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A chip off the old block

刊登日期: 2016.06.18
作者: Grace Tse  

When people say that the son or the daughter is the same as the father or the mother, you might hear the following two proverbs:

Like father, like son. (有其父必有其子)

Like mother, like daughter. (有其母必有其女)

By looking at these two proverbs, you might easily guess that the children look like or behave like their parents. How about the idiom “a chip off the old block” in the following sentence?

Everyone says that John is a chip off the old block.

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An olive branch

刊登日期: 2016.06.11
作者: Grace Tse  

When you have a quarrel with your friend, your teacher might tell you, 

“Can you think of extending an olive branch to your friend?” 

Does your teacher ask you to give a branch of an olive tree to your friend? An olive branch is a symbol of peace. “Extending an olive branch” (伸出橄欖枝;願意講和)does not mean that you are giving out a real olive branch to your friend. Instead, it means that you are making an offer of peace with your friend to end the quarrel. 

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As mad as a hatter

刊登日期: 2016.06.04
作者: Grace Tse  

In the English language, there is a very common sentence pattern using “as + adjective + as” to compare things which are equal in some way.

Henry is as big as an elephant.

In the following sentence, the idiom “as mad as a hatter” is used to refer to a crazy person.

He is a clever man but sometimes is as mad as a hatter(發瘋).

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刊登日期: 2016.05.28
作者: Grace Tse  

Before aeroplanes were invented, people dreamed of being able to fly like birds. Many brave inventors thought of different ways to fly high in the sky. However, many experiments failed until the Wright brothers invented the world’s first successful aeroplane in the 19th century.

We can say a thing like an aeroplane which flies high in the air is a “high-flyer”.

The engineers were pleased that they had successfully designed an aeroplane to be a powerful high-flyer(高空飛行器).

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Steal someone's thunder

刊登日期: 2016.05.21
作者: Grace Tse  

What do you think of when you hear the word “thunder”? BOOM! BANG! This loud noise occurring during stormy weather can make us jump and feel scared. While a lot of us are afraid of thunderstorms, why does a person “steal someone’s thunder”?

Mary was very upset because Jack stole her thunder and told the teacher that he had done the project all by himself.

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Thumbs up

刊登日期: 2016.05.14
作者: Grace Tse  

Very often in our daily lives, we make a thumbs-up sign or see someone giving a thumbs-up sign. In recent years, this sign has also become a popular emoji on the internet, particularly on the Facebook social media site and WhatsApp Messenger.

What do you want to express when you send this emoji to your friends? According to a survey, people use this emoji to express a lot of emotions such as “good job”, “keep it up” and “proud of you”.

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Rule of Thumb

刊登日期: 2016.05.07
作者: Grace Tse  

What are our fingers called? Each of them has a specific name. The first digit of our hand is the thumb, followed by the index finger (or pointer finger, forefinger), middle finger (or long finger), ring finger, and little finger (or baby finger, small finger, pinky). In the English language, the word “thumb” is used to form a lot of idioms. One of them is “rule of thumb”.

A rule of thumb for happiness in life is to maintain an optimistic attitude.

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Bring home the bacon

刊登日期: 2016.04.30
作者: Grace Tse  

Bacon is preserved meat which comes from the back or sides of a pig. This food is very popular in Western countries. So you may be able to infer the meaning of the idiom “bring home the bacon”, when a worker says,

“I must work hard so that I can bring home the bacon.”

The idiom “bring home the bacon” does not mean that the worker brings the meat to his family to eat. This actually means that the worker can earn a living, especially for his family.

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Over the moon

刊登日期: 2016.04.23

American astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first person to step on the moon. This was such a great achievement that he was “over the moon” when he recalled his voyage to the moon in 1969. When we change the preposition “on” into “over”, the expression “over the moon” becomes an idiom. Then what happened to Neil Armstrong when he was “over the moon”? The idiom means that he was extremely happy and pleased. 

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Dark horse

刊登日期: 2016.04.16
作者: Grace Tse  

There was a Marathon race馬拉松賽跑) last Saturday. When everyone expected John to be the winner, Kay, a little-known runner, unexpectedly won the race. The next day, a news headline said, 


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