idioms a

A Piece of Cake




What do the following idioms mean? Think of examples of these idiomatic sentences.



a blessing in disguise a chip on your shoulder
a dime a dozen a drop in the bucket
a piece of cake bend over backwards
a toss-up a taste of your own medicine
against the clock to add fuel to the fire
a slap on the wrist







A Blessing in Disguise

1. A blessing in disguise: a misfortune that turned out to be good.
Steve Jobs dropped out of university. But he later said it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Why was this a blessing in disguise? Have you or your friend have misfortunes in your lives that later turned out to be a blessing in disguise?

2. A chip on his shoulder: someone who’s cold, angry, quarrelsome.
My colleague has a chip on his shoulder. True or false? I know people how have a chip on their shoulder. Yes or no?

3. Dime a dozen: commonplace, cheap.
In the US, art, psychology, political science, sociology, history and literature graduates have become a dime a dozen. Blogs are becoming a dime a dozen. What do you think? Give examples of something that is a dime a dozen.

4. A drop in the bucket:
just a tiny amount (1%) out of the whole.
Are these all the watermelons we need to harvest? Oh, no. This is just a drop in the bucket. What in your work or project is only a drop in the bucket?

5. A piece of cake: very simple to do.
“Can you fix my computer? It’s will be a piece of cake!” I know some people who can repair any computer problem. Yes or no? What can you or your friend do that’s a piece of cake?

A Slap on the Wrist

6. Slap on the wrist: a light punishment (for a more serious offense)
The hacker caused millions of dollars of damage; and yet the judge gave him a slap on the wrist. Why did the judge give the hacker a slap on the wrist? Some people get away with a slap on the wrist. True or false?

7. Get a taste of your own medicine: to get what you have been doing to others.
Some people said that the US got a taste of its own medicine on 11 September, 2001. What do you think?

8. A toss up: an outcome that can happen either way, like flipping a coin in the air.
Where are you emigrating? I’m not certain yet; it’s a toss-up between Australia and Canada. The main currency of the future is a toss up between the dollar and the euro. Do you agree?

9. Add fuel to the fire:
make a bad situation worse.
Raising taxes is going to add fuel to the fire. What does this mean?

10. A race against the clock:
time pressure.
What did the surgeons say? Give examples of tasks or jobs that involve a race against the clock.

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