Espressioni Idiomatiche inglesi
La lingua inglese, come ogni altra, è ricca di espressioni idiomatiche cioè modi di dire, di solito difficili da tradurre se non facendo ricorso ad espressioni più o meno equivalenti nella lingua d’appartenenza. Altri, possono apparire incomprensibili perché slegati da ogni riferimento culturale o linguistico, come ad esempio “To be the bee’s knees”.
Queste le dieci espressioni idiomatiche della settimana; le spiegheremo in modo dettagliato nel contesto di una frase per aiutarvi ad utilizzarle nello speaking o nel writing quotidiano.
Potete inserirle negli esercizi di writing o durante la conversazione in Sala Chat: l’importante è familiarizzare con le espressioni idiomatiche per cogliere e descrivere una situazione o un significato al pari di un native speaker.
1)To be the bee’s knees
Meaning: Something excellent
Example: “You’re a very good chef, but your pumpkin soup is the bee’s knees!”
2) Cut corners
Meaning: When something is done badly to save money or time
Example: The builders cut corners on the quality of the materials and so the building eventually collapsed .
3) Elvis has left the building
Meaning: When something comes to an end -when a show is over.
Example: Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and good night.
Where does it come from? The phrase was first used by promoter Horace Lee Logan on December 15, 1956, near Shreveport, Louisiana. Elvis had appeared in the middle of the night’s lineup, and Logan needed to quiet the audience so that the remaining performers could play.
The full quotation was: All right, all right, Elvis has left the building. I’ve told you absolutely straight up to this point. You know that. He has left the building. He left the stage and went out the back with the policemen and he is now gone from the building.
“Elvis has left the building” is also heard at the end of Elvis’ March 1961 Pearl Harbor Memorial benefit concert, after Elvis exits at the end of “Hound Dog” and a short coda from the band.
4) Read between the lines
Meaning: To deduce a meaning which isn’t made explicit in a speech/sentence
Example: “Read between the lines of the Prime Minister’s statement, it seems he will stand for re-election.
5) Hear it on the grapevine
Meaning: To hear rumors
Example: “I heard on the grapevine that Kelly and jake are getting married next year. Do you think it’s true?”
A famous song by Marvin Gaye in 1968 was titled “I heard it through the grapevine”.
The chorus was:
“I heard it through the grapevine, not much longer would you be mine.
Oo, I heard it through the grapevine, and I’m just about to lose my mind.
Honey, honey yeah.”
6) To hear something straight from the horse’s mouth
Meaning: To learn something from the authoritative source
Example: Q. “Are you sure the company is hiring?” A:”Sure! I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth! The Human Resources Manager told me”.
7) Speak of the devil!
Meaning: When a person you are speaking about, suddenly arrives.
Example: “Well, here’s Sam now, speak of the devil “
8) Blessing in disguise
Meaning: something positive that, at first, seems disappointing.
Example: “Losing that job turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as he started studying again and finally got the degree in Economics”.
9) Let sleeping dogs lie
Meaning: To avoid changing a situation which could become complicated.
Example: Tom: “I’m not sure whether my boss is disappointed about my recent report. Should I ask him?”
Ellen: “If he hasn’t told you anything, I’d say to let sleeping dogs lie.
10) Kill two birds with one stone
Meaning: To accomplish two different things at the same time
Example: ” I bumped into both of my managers in the canteen so I killed two birds with one stone and told them about the client’s problem..