Learn American idioms and phrases through conversation: Topic – Buying a House

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Helena Daily English
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One of the best ways to improve communication skills is to become familiar with the language by reading, building vocabulary, and discussing what you study in daily conversations. Helena Daily English blog provides the Daily English knowledge that you can study and then try to apply in everyday situations

Hi everyone,

Learning American idioms through conversation can be an effective and engaging way to grasp the nuances of language. Idioms are often deeply rooted in culture, and understanding them can provide insight into the social context of conversations.

1. Summary of the conversation between Mrs. York, Mr. York and the realtor

The conversation involves Mr. and Mrs. York discussing the potential purchase of a house with a realtor. The realtor highlights the property’s advantages, emphasizing its value and future potential. Mrs. York expresses the need for more time to consider the decision due to past experiences, and Mr. York suggests discussing it privately. They talk about the house’s perceived perfection, Mrs. York’s concerns about the cost, and Mr. York’s reminder of their goal to simplify their lives and secure a nest egg for retirement. Ultimately, they decide to make an offer on the property.

2. American idiom list and example

  1. To be in the market for something: To want to buy something, to be looking to buy something
    • Example: Sarah is in the market for a new car because her old one keeps breaking down.
  2. To mull something over: To think about something
    • Example: Before making a decision, Jake needed some time to mull over the job offer and weigh the pros and cons.
  3. To be a steal: To be a great bargain
    • Example: The antique furniture she bought at the flea market turned out to be a steal; it was worth much more than what she paid for it.
  4. To go up: To increase, to become higher or larger
    • Example: Gas prices always seem to go up just before the holiday season.
  5. To go through the roof: With reference to money, price, value, it means “to become very high
    • Example: When he heard about the cost of the repairs, John’s anger went through the roof.
  6. To be a drop in the bucket: To be small in comparison to something else
    • Example: The small donation was appreciated, but it was just a drop in the bucket compared to what was needed to fund the project.
  7. To clean up: To make a very large profit, to make a lot of money
    • Example: The entrepreneur cleaned up in the stock market, making a substantial profit in just a few weeks.
  8. To take your time doing something: o not rush. To do something slowly and carefully
    • Example: Don’t rush the painting; take your time to ensure it’s done perfectly.
  9. To be burned: To be betrayed, fooled, or hurt, especially after expecting a positive outcome
    • Example: After investing all his savings in the business, Jack felt burned when it failed to generate any profit.
  10. To eye something up: To look at, examine, or consider visually
    • Example: Sarah spent a lot of time eyeing up the latest fashion trends before deciding on her new wardrobe.
  11. To chomp at the bit: To be very anxious or eager to do something
    • Example: The students were chomping at the bit to start their summer vacation.
  12. To strike while the iron’s hot: To take advantage of a favorable opportunity
    • Example: Recognizing the opportunity, they decided to strike while the iron’s hot and launch their new business.
  13. To talk something over: To discuss carefully in order to come to a decision
    • Example: Before making a major decision, it’s important for a couple to talk things over and ensure they’re on the same page.
  14. To make yourself scarce: To leave, to move away from someone
    • Example: When the boss started assigning extra work, John decided to make himself scarce and avoid the additional tasks.
  15. A dream come true: Something wonderful, something so good it’s as though it came out of a dream
    • Example: Winning the championship was a dream come true for the team and its fans.
  16. To keep in mind: To remember. To consider
    • Example: As you start your new job, keep in mind the company’s values and mission.
  17. To talk something up: To praise something verbally
    • Example: The salesperson always knows how to talk up the features of a product to make it more appealing to customers.
  18. A catch: A drawback or negative quality that might not be obvious
    • Example: The job offer seemed perfect, but there was a catch—the extensive travel requirement.
  19. To be hung up on something: To find fault with something, to identify a weakness or a drawback in something.
    • Example: Some people are hung up on finding the perfect job, but sometimes you need to compromise.
  20. At your fingertips: Readily available
    • Example: With the internet, information is at our fingertips, making research much easier.
  21. To lose your shirt: To become financially ruined. To lose a lot of money
    • Example: Gambling can be risky; you might win big, but you could also lose your shirt.
  22. A crapshoot: A chance or risk, named after the dice game
    • Example: Investing in the stock market can be a bit of a crapshoot; there are no guarantees.
  23. Nest egg: A sum of money saved up and set aside
    • Example: Saving a portion of your income each month can help you build a nest egg for future expenses.

3. Conversation 

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