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Idiomatic Phrases


George: What's your name?

Mary: My name is Mary. What's your name?

George: My name is George. Where are you from, Mary?

Mary: I'm from Chicago. Where are you from, George?

George: I'm from New York.

Mary: Oh, I love to see New York. It's one of the most interesting cities in the world.

George: Why not drop a line when you have a chance to come to New York?

Mary: Sure. I'll do that.

George: Here's my telephone number.

Mary: That's great. I'll call you. Here is my number if you come to Chicago.


  1. What's your name?

  2. How old are you?

  3. Where are you from?

  4. What's your education?

  5. What do you do for a living?

  6. What's your marital status? Are you married or single?

  7. What are your interests?

  8. Do you have a hobby?

  9. Do you travel? Which countries did you travel to?

  10. What'd you think of these countries' cultures? Do you have a favorite country?


  1. My name is Mary.

  2. I'm twenty-four years old.

  3. I'm from the United States. I live in Chicago.

  4. I'm a college graduate. I studied software engineering in college. I work for Microsoft as a software engineer.

  5. I'm married. I have two children, one boy and girl.
  6. I enjoy dancing, meeting new people, and traveling.
  7. I have two hobbies: I write. I write short stories. I play tennis in my spare time.
  8. Yes, I do. I travel in the United States, Europe and Africa.
  9. Well, the more I travel the more I see there are different ways of living, surviving life and enjoying it. Africa is a definite wonder.


enjoy: transitive verb. To like. Examples: I enjoy going to the movies; I enjoy movies. I enjoy classical music.

marital status: compound noun. being married, unmarried, single or widow or widower

interests: plural noun. Things we like to do in this conversation

hobby: noun. An activity we engage in for pleasure and learn skills necessary to practice it. Don't use "hobby"for "interest". The difference between "having a hobby" and "having an interest" is: an interest doesn't always necessitate skills but a hobby does. In addition, we spend time regularly on our hobbies, and a hobby can become a career if we start making a living out of it. For example, cooking, writing poetry, painting, and playing sports can be all hobbies if we practice them for pleasure. On the other hand, we may only an interest in cooking, writing poetry, painting or sports, without necessarily practicing them.

spare time: compound noun. Free time. " I have plenty of spare time now. because I work only 3 days a week."

work for: prepositional verb. To work for a company. To be employed by a company

Well: It suggests hesitation to respond to a question in conversation. "Do you like the United States? "Well, I like certain things about it, but not everything." This answer suggests a hesitation to say directly 'No, I don't like the US'.

definite: adjective. Certainly

wonder: noun in this conversation. Extraordinary

survive: intransitive verb. To overcome a big difficulty or life-threatening condition. "I have lost my job but still survive. I'm working part-time on two different jobs."

Idiomatic Phrases:

to be from (a country or city): The country or city we were born in and have lived. "I'm from Peking, China." She's from Italy."

to be married: to be + past-participle verb. To be in marriage: "I am married for six years; He is married to a Japanese woman."

the more I travel, the more I see: adverbial phrase. It is used to stress a relationship between two ideas. "The more I read this book, the more I learn about computers." "The more education, the more opportunity for a better job one can have." "The more practice, the more improvement you will make in your English."

surviving life: verb + gerund (ing) + noun. To be able to do well in life. Life brings us challenges. If we survive life, that means we are doing fine: we have sufficient money, health, and feel content about it.

enjoying life: verb + gerund (ing) + noun. Taking pleasure out of life.

think of: prepositional verb. To have certain opinion of things or people. "What do you think of your new boss?" This sentence means what is your opinion of your new boss? "What do yo think of the Iraq War?" "What do you think of President George Bush?"

Why not: Informal way of making a recommendation. "It is hot today. Why not go to the beach?" "Why not take a course in computers? These sentences suggest "I recommend we go to the beach." "I recommend you take a course in computers."

drop a line: To write a note to somebody. "Drop a line when you get a chance." This sentence means "Write me a note when you have a chance."


I'm: I am. A contraction. "m" is the sound stresse, but not 'am'.

That's: That is. A contraction. The sound stressed is 'm', but not 'is'

What's: What is. The only sound stressed is 's'.






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