The Hardworking Mother

Learning Idioms in Context: The Hardworking Mother

Here is a short story about a hardworking mother. You’ll find idiom definitions, example sentences, conversations, and a short quiz after reading the story.

Once upon a time, there was a mother who was very supportive of her husband and worked as a part-time sales lady.  She received a clean bill of health, no matter how busy she was. She also gave her best in all projects to meet the sales target of her company she was working with. Her goal was to provide her family with a good life. Though some people have no roof over their heads, she was thankful for their place.

She was an excellent example for her children because she was very diligent and driven to succeed. She never tried to be as blind as a bat. With this, she was ready to face any challenges. She started working as an assistant in a small law firm and had a baptism of fire, but this did not cause her to stop working hard. She had a full of beans and went to work with a smile. 

A clean bill of health

Meaning
  • when someone or something is examined and identified as legal or healthy or in good condition
Example Sentences

I went to a doctor last Monday, and I was given a clean bill of health.

I have received a clean bill of health as my company has met all the requirements to operate.

A: You look so happy today.

B: I have received a clean bill of health, and that makes me happy.

A roof over your head

Meaning
  • it is a place where you reside
Example Sentences

I have met children in the street without a roof over their heads.

My friend has experienced a whole week to have no roof over his head.

A: I still consider myself lucky, no matter how small my apartment is.

B: You’re right as there are many people outside that have no roof over their heads.

As blind as a bat

Meaning
  • someone is entirely or nearly blind and is never willing to recognize problems or challenges
Example Sentences

My sister is as blind as a bat when she’s not wearing her eyeglasses.

Bella is as blind as a bat when she is with her irresponsible boyfriend.

A: I find out what is our manager’s weakness this morning.

B: Me, too. He is as blind as a bat when he got multiple projects.

Baptism of fire

Meaning
  • a first experience which is very challenging
Example Sentences

My first day of class as a Math teacher was a real baptism of fire.

Jamie’s first few months as a wife is a real baptism of fire for her.

A: What are you most afraid of now these days?

B: As much as possible, I don’t like any baptism of fire.

Be full of beans

Meaning
  • someone energetic and healthy
Example Sentences

I always wanted to be full of beans every time I go to work.

My mother has full of beans every day.

A: Why are you very excited?

B: I have to be full of beans because today is my birthday!

Quiz

  1. Everyone expects ______________ before receiving a diagnostic result.
  2. No one likes to have the street __________________________. 
  3. Sometimes we can be _____________ when we encounter multiple failures.
  4. Leslie’s first day of work is ______________ because she encounters unprofessional colleagues.
  5. You need to be _____________ when you invite someone to be your prom date.

Idioms

An idiom can be a phrase, saying, or a set of words that have a metaphorical definition. The use of idioms is accepted both in daily conversation as well as in a business setting.

Learning Idioms in Context: Lily’s Belief in Life

A blessing in disguise
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
A little learning/knowledge is a dangerous thing
You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs
You can’t judge a book by its cover

Learning Idioms in Context: Robert’s Big Dream

A dime a dozen
A penny for your thoughts
A snowball effect
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink
You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar

Learning Idioms in Context: Gary’s Path To Success

Beat around the bush
When it rains, it pours
Well begun is half done
A snowball’s chance in hell
A stitch in time saves nine

Learning Idioms in Context: Todd’s Student Life

Bite the bullet
Break a leg
Weather the storm
A penny saved is a penny earned
A storm in a teacup

Learning Idioms in Context: The Productive Life of James

Call it a day
Cut somebody some slack
Wrap your head around something
We see eye to eye
Waste not, want not

Learning Idioms in Context: Leticia’s Jobs

Cutting corners
Get your act together
Under the weather
Bent out of shape
The best of both worlds

Learning Idioms in Context: A Mother’s Love

Hit the sack
It’s not rocket science
The last straw
A perfect storm
Miss the boat

Learning Idioms in Context: Making New Friends

Let someone off the hook
On the ball
Barking up the wrong tree
Cost an arm and a leg
Throw caution to the wind

Learning Idioms in Context: A Young Man Lived In A Village

Bite off more than you can chew
At the drop of a hat
On a wild goose chase
Rain on someone’s parade
Take a rain check

Learning Idioms in Context: The Apple Tree

Every cloud has a silver lining
Save for a rainy day
Take (something) with a grain of salt
There are other fish in the sea
You can’t have your cake and eat it to

Learning Idioms in Context: The Hardworking Mother

A clean bill of health
A roof over your head
As blind as a bat
Baptism of fire
Be full of beans

The Apple Tree

Learning Idioms in Context: The Apple Tree

Here is a short story about a man who had spent his whole life planting trees in his garden. You’ll find idiom definitions, example sentences, conversations, and a short quiz after reading the story.

Once upon a time, there was a poor man who never had the chance to go to school. He tried to convince his parents to let him study but still rejected. After a year, his parents have decided to let him enroll in the nearest school, but he needed to take it with a grain of salt due to multiple rejections received.

With what happened, he ended up rejecting the idea of studying as he thought that there were other fish in the sea. With this, he spent his whole life planting trees in his garden. He had an apple tree that bore a lot of fruit. 

The apple tree made the man very rich. He tried to save for a rainy day, too. The man and his wife were very blissful for a long time although both of them did not experience to study in a school. As a man without a college degree, he believed that every cloud has a silver lining. But one day, the man came up with an idea and thought, “Why we need to wait for this tree to bear fruit? I am also paying more taxes now than before. Let us sell the whole land and make a tremendous amount of money.”

The man was very upset to wait for the apple tree to bear fruit each season. The foolish man’s wife also agreed, so they decided to sell the land at a high price. Though the price was costly, the land was sold quickly because of the apple tree. The man and his wife moved to the city and lived happily. They did not apply for any job as they thought their money was enough to support their lives. After a few years, the man realized his mistake. He ended up poor again.

Every cloud has a silver lining

Meaning
  • to get some benefits in a bad situation
Example Sentences

Do not be upset of not winning the class presidency as I am sure that every cloud has a silver lining.

For every trial or difficulties that you encounter in life, you need to remember that every cloud has a silver lining.

A: Things are not easy for me these past few days.

B: I knew that your company’s sales are not doing well, but you don’t need to worry because every cloud has a silver lining. 

Save for a rainy day

Meaning
  • to save money to be used in times of unforeseen trouble, or need
Example Sentences

Benny has been aiming to buy a new smartphone, but his brother advised him to save for a rainy day.  

Delia has been saving a portion of her monthly salary because she believes that she needs to save for a rainy day.

A: Daniel, what is your top priority now?

B: I plan to save for a rainy day and pay off all my debts.

Take (something) with a grain of salt

Meaning
  • to evaluate something to check its authenticity and never believe immediately
Example Sentences

Every time that the new employee talks about an information that is not formally announced yet by the board, I need to take it with a grain of salt.

A lot of politicians nowadays are making a lot of promises before the election, but make sure to take these promises with a grain of salt.

A: I can’t believe that I am reading a lot of articles with full of exaggerations.

B: Yes, these articles online should always be taken with a grain of salt.

There are other fish in the sea

Meaning
  • mostly being said when someone has been unsuccessful or has broken up with his/her partner
  • can also be applicable to excellent opportunities, possibilities that one can find
Example Sentences

My boyfriend suddenly broke up with me so my sister has advised me that I don’t need to be hopeless as there are other fish in the sea.

Martha is very disappointed because she fails to ace the annual promotion, but she still strives to do her best as there are other fish in the sea.

A: Leslie, my son has been so depressed because his girlfriend left him.

B: There are other fish in the sea, so your son should cheer up. 

You can’t have your cake and eat it too

Meaning
  • someone cannot do or have two options at the same time when these options conflict with each other
Example Sentences

It’s true that I can’t have my cake and eat it too because I have been working very hard to pay for my big house, but I rarely go home.

Lenny wants to be promoted to get a higher salary, but she is afraid that she might have less time for her daughter, so she accepts the fact that she can’t have her cake and eat it too.

A: Why is it that I am paying more taxes in the past few months.

B. Your company has boomed. So, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you want more sales and company growth, never expect to pay less tax.

Quiz

1. Always think that ____________________ in this world because there are many opportunities that are coming in your way.

2. John has been told to ________________ because he keeps on spending all his salary.

3. You did not fulfill your promises to me so everything that you will say, I need to ________________.

4. Don’t be frustrated as ____________ so keep moving, and do your best always.

5. I ___________ because I wanted to be fit, but I cannot promise not to pig out when the foods are grilled pork and fried chicken.

A Young Man Lived In A Village

Learning Idioms in Context: A Young Man Lived In A Village

Here is a short story about a young man who lived in a village. You’ll find idiom definitions, example sentences, conversations, and a short quiz after reading the story.

There was a young man who lived in a village. He was one of the most responsible residents in that village. All the residents loved him. He was known to help anybody at the drop of a hat. Sometimes he bites off more than he can chew, but he never complained.

The longer he lived in that village, the more that he was on a wild goose chase due to some not genuine request, but he was still there to help. With this, people admired him. His attitude became contagious. He made himself available to those who were in need. On the other hand, it became natural that other people rain on his parade as they thought he was doing this with a purpose.

Some of his neighborhood created a feeling of unhappiness against him. But one day, when he turned nineteen years old, a fantastic thing happened. He received numerous birthday greetings. Most residents invited him to dinner, but he needed to take a rain check. Everyone thanked him for his effort to help others in times of need.   

The residents gathered together. The young man was asked:

“What motivates you to help us?”

Moral of the story: Always do good and ready to help others.

Bite off more than you can chew

Meaning
  • to promise something to do which is hardly achievable 
Example Sentences

I like to suggest that you don’t be afraid to bite off more than you can chew when you are not that skilled enough to complete the task.

Mylene bites off more than she can chew because she takes significant risks for every venture she is engaged for her business.

A: Are you sure that you can handle all these teams?

B: I am not sure as I bite off more than I could chew when I agreed to manage these three teams.

At the drop of a hat

Meaning
  • without any hesitation or immediately, without delay
Example Sentences

My father is my hero, and he is ready anytime for me at the drop of a hat.

Due to the traffic condition tonight, you can’t expect me to arrive in our meeting place at the drop of a hat.

A: What do you love most to do?

B: Travelling is one of my hobbies. I’m ready all the time at the drop of a hat.

On a wild goose chase

Meaning
  • to chase or search for something impossible to find 
Example Sentences

Jim has been on a wild goose chase trying to find for a blue rose in a nearby garden. 

Sam was on a wild goose chase trying to search for free food in the canteen yesterday. 

A: You look so tired. What happened?

B: My sister and I were on a wild goose chase after our dog vanished into woods.

Rain on someone’s parade

Meaning
  • to ruin or spoil someone’s plan 
Example Sentences

Daniel rained on his brother’s parade by giving him more tasks so that he cannot attend his classmate’s birthday party.

I don’t like to rain on your parade, but I think you are not capable of joining our group yet.

A: It seems that you wanted to say something. What is it?

B: It is never my intention to rain on your parade, but there is a piece of bad news.

Take a rain check

Meaning
  • to refuse or decline an offer nicely but might be taken up later
Example Sentences

Sharon has to take a rain check for a lunch invitation this Monday.

Alma cannot decide to join the annual camp, but she said that she would like to take a rain check on it.

A: Are you coming with us tonight?

B: I will take a rain check as I have a lot of tasks to finish.

Quiz

  1. I don’t want _______________ because it is very risky.
  2. Linda’s boyfriend is reliable because he _______________any time.
  3. Investigators are frequently _______________ .
  4. My mother has to _______________ as she never wanted to be a loser.
  5. Most of the time, wise people always _______________ before making a decision.