What did you get up to at the weekend?

ski.jpg

Idiom: to get up to

Means: to do

Use: to ask about activities

Circumstances: Usually used to ask about the things someone did in a time period – at the weekend, at work today

Note: The subject is nearly always a person or group of people. This form is mainly used in questions. When replying to the question it is common to list the things you did – often using the simple past and adding your opinion as to how much you liked or disliked what you did.

A negative reply is possible and ‘much’ can be used: ‘I didn’t get up to much.’

Some examples:

A) What did you get up to at the weekend? B) We went skiing in the mountains. Had a great time too.

A) What did they get up to on holiday? B) Sounds as though they had a terrible time. It rained the whole two weeks.

Your turn:

Think about some people you know:

Ask yourself this question: What did (Person) get up to at the weekend? eg What did Mario get up to at the weekend?
You could write the replies. Then think of another four people you could ask.

Advanced usage: I hope to be getting up to a lot this weekend. We’ve got some friends coming to stay.

December 6, 2006 at 2:42 pm 2 comments

I have got a lot on at the moment.

ononononon

Idiom: to have a lot on

Means: to be very busy, to have lots to do

Use: to refer busy periods, parts of the day or month, etc

Circumstances: To indicate that someone is busy at this time

Note: The subject is nearly always a person or group of people, often used with ‘at the moment.’   A negative form is possible and ‘not much’ can be used: ‘I haven’t got much/a lot on at the moment’

Some examples:

I’m sorry, I can’t come on Tuesday. I’ve got a lot on that day. How about Wednesday?

James hasn’t got much on at the moment. He is waiting for the new project to start.

Your turn:

Think about some people you know:

(name of person) is has got a lot on. He’s (what – verb)+(when)
Think of another four examples.

When someone says he/she has a lot on, be patient with them!
I haven’t got much on at the moment. July is always a quiet time for me.

July 20, 2006 at 12:05 pm Leave a comment

I have got a lot in the pipeline.

Pipeline

Idiom: to be in the pipeline, to have (got) something in the pipeline

Means: being prepared, being worked on but not ready yet

Use: A business idiom used to refer to projects or plans for events or things that are not ready yet
Circumstances: To indicate that you have plans or are planning something
Note: When used with ‘to be’ – the expression is often a confirmation ‘Yes, it is in the pipeline’. ‘It’ refers to the thing being prepared which was mentioned by the person asking a question.

Some examples:

We have lots of interesting products in the pipeline. At least one will be launched this winter.

Are you going to add a small business consultancy service? – Yes, it’s in the pipeline. We will make an announcement shortly.
Your turn:

Think about your company or the government’s plans:

(name of company/the government) has lots of plans in the pipeline. It’s going to (what)+(when)
Think of another four examples.

This blog has many more examples of idioms in the pipeline!

July 20, 2006 at 11:34 am Leave a comment

Are you on the ball?

8_ball_jarno_vasamaa.png

Idiom: to be on the ball
Means: to be familiar with something, up to date, in control

Use: to refer to people and their level of knowledge and capacity to react to situations

Circumstances: To indicate that someone knows a lot about a subject

Note: This expression is often a compliment and implies that someone is intelligent and efficient. Often used with ‘really’.

Some examples:

Don’t worry, John’s really on the ball. He’ll sort out the problems very quickly.

Maria’s not really on the ball. She keeps on making too many silly mistakes.

Your turn:

Think about some people you know:

(name of person) is really on the ball. He knows lots about…….
Think of another four examples.

When you say someone is on the ball, you can explain what they know about or how quickly they will act.

‘On the ball’ is actually a sports expression, from football I believe. If someone is on the ball in a sport, they are in control.

June 29, 2006 at 12:23 pm 1 comment

Are you dead against smoking?

smoking

Idiom: to be dead against something

Means: to be disagree with an idea

Use: to refer to ideas and activities

Circumstances: When you disagree with an idea in a meeting or a discussion
Note: this expression expresses strong disagreement

Some examples:

I'm dead against lowering our prices. Our margins are already too low.

The boss is dead against employing another programmer. He thinks we have too many.

Your turn:

Think about some situations at work or in your country:

(name of person) is dead against……….. beacause……….
Think of another four examples.

When you are dead against something, say why and give some alternatives.

June 13, 2006 at 11:42 am 1 comment

You are dead right! Idioms are difficult.

Thumbs

Idiom: to be dead right

Means: 100% correct

Use: to agree with people.

Circumstances: Informal. Used in meetings, discussions and general conversation

Note: the opposite of dead right can be dead wrong

Some examples:

You are dead right about his idea. It just will not work.

He is dead right. Our products are not competitive.

Your turn:

Think about situations.

(name of person) is dead right about………….. Explain why.
Think of another four examples.

You cannot be dead right all the time!

June 13, 2006 at 11:41 am 4 comments

Is your head in the clouds?

headcloudcloud

Idiom: someone's head is in the clouds

Means: a person is always having unrealisitic ideas and thoughts

Use: to refer to people's characters

Circumstances: It is not a compliment and is used when you talk about someone you know

Note: the opposite of down to earth Often used with 'have' – to have your head in the clouds.

Some examples:

John's head is in the clouds again. He's talking about winning the lottery.
Tom has his head in the clouds. The client will never accept Tom's proposal.

Your turn:

Think about some people you know and complete this sentence:

(name of person) head is in the clouds. Explain why.
Think of another four examples.

It's is better to be down to earth than to have your head in the clouds!

June 6, 2006 at 12:03 pm 11 comments

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