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Idioms in Conversations


burn the candle at both hands
rain check
come down hard on someone
standard bearer
take care of
blow up
quick to anger



burn the candle at both hands:

Lucy: I've flunked the doctorate certification test. I'm upset.

Dan: Oh! I'm sorry to hear that, Lucy. But you burn the candle at both hands: you either give up your full-time job, or doctorate study.

Lucy: Plus I have two kids. My husband should do more around the house.

Dan: I hear you. My wife doesn't go to school, but she has a demanding job and works after hours. So I must do more household chores than my share and take care of the kids at night when she works late in the evening.

Lucy: You're telling me, but you also burn the candle at both hands. Your wife is lucky, though. My husband goes to school, but he has a flexible work schedule. He could do more to help me spare more time for study.


rain check

Mark: I have an extra ticket for The Color Purple for next Friday. Would you like to see it with me?

Pat: Thanks for the offer, Mark, but I have to see my parents next weekend. I'll leave early next Friday for Boston. I'll take a rain check this time.


come down hard on someone
standard bearer

Mary: Don't come down so hard on your daughter if she doesn't want to go to college. May be she will change her mind later.

Doris: Listen. I work so hard for her. I don't want her to be miserable in life. I am doing my best to give her the best future I possibly can.

Mary: I understand what you're saying. Especially, nowadays college education is the standard bearer to get a job.


blow up

Chuck: He blew up and lost the tennis match. I didn't expect that.

Jeff: Why, Dad? He's not a better player than his

opponent, a four-time college tennis champion.


quick to anger

Jane: I blew up at my husband last night for no reason. I was so exhausted at work yesterday. When I went home very tired to see only there was no dinner ready yet, so I lost my temper at him. It was his turn to cook, but he said he had to stay at work little longer. So he couldn't get the dinner done.

Karen: Well. Sometimes I am the same, too. I am quick to anger, especially, when I am tired.



flunk: v. To fail a test

burn the candle at both hands: idiom . To try to do too much at once

give up: idiom To stop doing something; to quit

full-time job: 35-40 hours work in the U.S. an employee works in one job and gets additional benefits besides salary

plus: adv in this conversation means in addition

to do more around the house: do more household work in the house

demanding: adj. asking for more input, resources, time and effort

work after hours: idiomatic verbal phrase-to work extra hours; to stay in the work-place after the work-schedule

take care of: idiom to give care

I hear you: idiomatic verbal phrase. Truly understand your point

one's share: one's responsibility to carry out

household adj. Involving a family

chore: n. Usual work, routine work

household chores: house work we do regularly such as vocuming, laundary, cooking, ironing, doing the dishes, taking out the garbage, and etc.

flexible: adj. Adaptable, capable of making adjustment

spare: v. To reserve, put aside

The Color Purple: a popular musical play and movie of the 90's adapted from the novel of the same title in the U.S.

leave for: idiomatic verb-To leave our home, city our work to go a different place, city, country

rain check: idiom. A promise to accept an invitation at other time

come down hard on somebody: idiom. To punish strongly

miserable: adj. To be unhappy, incapable of taking care of oneself

standard bearer: idiom. A person or thing that leads a standard. In this conversation, a college diploma leads a standard to get a job

blow up: idiom To stop playing well

opponent: n. A person you compete against

champion: n. A person who has won medals in a field of sport

blow up: idiom. To explode in anger

for no reason: adverbial phrase. Without a good cause, reason

to be exhausted: to be very tired

only: adv- In this conversation, nothing else but only what it is. In this conversation, only is used to emphasize the idea that the only thing Jane saw that the dinner was not cooked

one's turn: to be in a position to do something a person expects you to because that person has done the same to you; reciprication

lose temper: idiomatic verb. To blow up

to be quick to anger: to get angry easily










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