Welcome to our new course!

During the following 5 weeks we'll be working with idiomatic expressions of American English.

Do you know the English for : levantar en peso
or dar parte de enfermo ?
These are some of the idioms that you'll learn today...

A Few Guidelines...
Let's begin our class now!


An idiom is an "idiomatic expression". A phrase that originated from life stories or fiction and that today has a meaning that differs from the literal one.

"Get down to business" then... because today's topic is :

Idioms at Work

Below is a text with popular expressions. Click on the underline words to open a window and read the meanings if you have doubts.

Mike's Story

Mike was depressed. He was at the "end of the rope". He had lost the contract for the company, and the "big wigs" were giving him the "cold shoulder". His boss "called him on the carpet", and his "name was mud" that day at the firm.

For years his job had been great, but now he was being "raked over the coals" for something beyond his control. In his mind, Mike felt he was being "sold down the river", but he wasn't going to let himself down.

He would "pull up stakes" and start over again. It wouldn't be easy. Being the "low man on the totem pole" at a new company was not Mike's idea of success. Anyway, the next day he would "call in sick" and start the search for a new job. A change would suit him perfectly!

But before Mike knew it, everybody forgot about the contract. In a few days even his boss was telling him he was a great employee. Mike just "laughed up his sleeve". He was no "sucker" and a "headhunter" had already called him about a new position. The "bottom line" was that once he got himself established again, everything would be allright.

Click on "glossary" to see the complete list of idioms and definitions.


And to round off this session, try this exercise :


Choose a suitable idiom for each sentence.

What I hate most about being a supervisor is to call someone on the
Before implementing any changes I have to check with the big
An entry-level position is like being the low man in the totem
I like my current job but if a headhunter calls me, I'll pull up
His colleagues gave him the cold when he kissed-up to the boss.

Here we have reached the end of our first class.
Have you discovered the answers to the GUESSING GAME? The two idioms are: "call on the carpet" and "call in sick".
Hope you meet us again!

Have a great week,

Your electronic teacher


Copyright 2001 - 2005 Veronica de la Vega - Todos los derechos reservados