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언제라도 글을 남겨주세요.
Which of these colloquial expressions means ‘go to bed’ in American English?
a) Hit the beach
b) Hit the books
c) Hit the hay
d) Take a hit
The correct answer is c) hit the hay.
a) Hit the beach means that a person is planning to leave to spend time at the beach. There are a few other casual expressions in which hit + location means ‘go to’ that location, including ‘hit the mall’ and ‘hit the gym.’
After work, I am going to hit the gym.
b) Hit the books means that someone is going to study.
I really have to hit the books this weekend or I may fail my test on Monday.
c) Hit the hay means go to bed.
I’m tired, so I guess I will hit the hay.
d) Take a hit is generally a reference to taking drugs. In sports, such as in football, it is used more literally when one player is tackled or hit by another player.
George took a hit of marijuana before giving his speech.
The football player took a hard hit and ended up in the hospital.
We hope today’s lesson on Compecs Connection was a hit.
Which TWO of these expressions mean “easy”?
a) Like water off a duck’s back
b) It’s a piece of cake
c) It’s a walk in the park
Both b) and c) are used to express that something is easy to do.
I don’t know why everyone is complaining; this assignment is a piece of cake.
The marketing project was a walk in the park, and I finished within the hour.
a) “Like water off a duck’s back” is used to express that a person is unperturbed by something.
The boss’s words were harsh, but John seemed unaffected, like water off a duck’s back.
At Compecs Connection, we hope your next challenge is a piece of cake.
Which is the best expression to sum up this context?
Mrs. Chen is having trouble understanding the iPhone update.
a) If the shoe fits, wear it.
b) She can’t see the forest for the trees.
c) You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
The correct answer is c). “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” means that it can be difficult to teach someone how to do things differently if they have been doing things in the same way over a period of time. It implies that the person may be stubborn about changing old habits or unable to understand new ways of doing things. The oldest written record of this expression is in John Fitzherbert’s The boke of husbandry, 1534 (https://www.theidioms.com/you-cant-teach-an-old-dog-new-tricks/).
a) is used to suggest to someone that a label, remark or criticism applies to them. It is usually used in a negative context and said directly to the person being criticized. In the sample sentence, Mrs. Chen is being talked about in 3rd person, not spoken to directly, so this expression would not be used. A typical context would be:
DaYoung: Soo, did you take that from my desk?
Soo: Are you calling me a thief?
DaYoung: If the shoe fits, wear it.
It is assumed that the phrase was influenced by the Cinderella story, a fairy tale in which Cinderella becomes a princess because the shoe fits (https://grammarist.com/idiom/if-the-shoe-fits-and-if-the-cap-fits/).
b) is used when someone is so focused on small details that they miss the big picture. In the sample sentence, we don’t know why Mrs. Chen doesn’t understand the iPhone update, but there is nothing to suggest that she is hyper-focused on details.
The finance manager was only concerned with Monday’s poor sales figures, but the entire quarterly budget was in shambles. He couldn’t see the forest for the trees.
This expression appears in a Renaissance proverb collection written by Heywood, published in London in 1546 (https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/can%27t+see+the+forest+for+the+trees).
The plaintiff agreed ______ settle outside of court.
The correct answer is b) to.
Be careful with these tricky expressions. Agree on, agree to, and agree with cannot be used interchangeably.
“Agreed on” means that after consultation, two or more people have come to a decision. Notice that the preposition “on” cannot be immediately followed by a verb, and that the opposite expression is “disagreed on”.
The children agreed on what to buy their parents for Christmas.
The teachers disagreed on their contract for the next school year.
“Agreed to” is used to say that someone has committed to a course of action. “Agreed to” is typically followed by the base form of a verb. Note that we cannot say “disagreed to,” but we can say “did not agree to” followed by a verb.
He agreed to meet her at the coffee shop.
He did not agree to meet her at the coffee shop.
(x) He disagreed to meet her at the coffee shop.
Generally, you should avoid using a noun following “(did not) agree to”. Nevertheless, in casual speech, you may occasionally encounter that structure with a noun. Native speakers would interpret casual sentences like these by considering in context what the activity related to the noun would be. For instance:
He agreed to a meeting. (May be interpreted as “He agreed to attend a meeting.”)
He did not agree to a pizza. (May be interpreted as “He did not agree to order/eat a pizza.”)
Note that we cannot use “disagreed to” + noun, even in casual speech.
(x) He disagreed to a meeting. (Cannot be interpreted.)
“Agree with” indicates that two people have the same opinion, or that a person approves of something. “Agree with” is typically followed by a person or idea. The opposite sense can be expressed using “disagree with”.
I agree with Bob that we should wait a month to buy a new car.
Some of the cabinet members disagreed with the president’s approach.
We hope you found this edition of Compecs Connection most agreeable.
Which sports expression means “angry” in slang?
b) teed off
The correct answer is b) teed off. This term comes from golf, and it literally means that a golfer hit a golf ball that was perched on a tee. In colloquial language, however, it means that someone is very angry.
Lee was really teed off at his wife for spending so much money.
Selection a) blind-sided comes from American football. In football, it literally indicates that a player was knocked down by an unseen opponent. In everyday English, we use ‘blind-sided” to express shock or surprise, especially upon hearing bad news.
Tom was completely blind-sided by the news that his company was filing for bankruptcy.
c) Tackled is a past tense verb that comes from soccer. When the player holding the soccer ball is knocked to the ground by one or more opponents, we say he was tackled. Idiomatically, to tackle means to attempt a difficult project. Note that tackled is used as a verb, and we would not likely use the participle “tackled” in the adjective position.
The office manager tackled difficult projects, while new employees were given easier work.
We hope you enjoyed today’s Compecs Connection. Tune in next time to tackle a new language puzzle.
Which of the following choices does NOT fit the sentence?
It was raining so hard that I got ___________.
d) sopping wet
Expressions a) soaked, b) drenched, and d) sopping wet conjure the image of something completely saturated with water, like a heavy, wet sponge; or a person whose clothes are heavy with water or hair so wet that water is dripping from it. We often use these expressions if we have been caught in a very heavy rain without an umbrella, but we would not use these expressions to say that we are wet from a bath or a shower. In that case, we might say that we are “dripping wet”.
Your clothes are soaked! Could you please wring them out in the bathtub?
I can’t believe this weather! I got drenched just going from my house to the car.
I got caught outside in a downpour. My socks and shoes are sopping wet.
c) soggy, however, does not fit the sentence. “Soggy” means that something is moist, damp, or wet throughout, but not quite as wet as sopping, soaked, or drenched. Also, in American English, we generally use the word soggy to refer to objects but not to people.
My dryer must be broken because my clothes feel soggy.
Yuck. My food is soggy.
We hope you enjoyed today’s Compecs Connection. Stay dry!
Which expression do we NOT use when outdoor air is hot and moist?
It’s __________ outside.
The word d) damp should not be used to refer to a hot day. Dampness indicates a high level of moisture in the air. It is used in a collocation with “cold.”
As usual, Seattle is cold and damp today.
The word c) humid also indicates a high level of moisture in the air. However, humid is used in a collocation with “hot.”
As usual, Bangkok weather is hot and humid.
a) sweltering and b) boiling are also weather words used to indicate that the temperature is extremely hot and uncomfortable. These terms are usually used to refer to outdoor temperatures, especially weather that is both hot and humid. Sweltering and boiling may also be used in an exaggerated sense to emphasize that an indoor room is uncomfortably hot.
It’s boiling hot in Atlanta today.
Seoul is often sweltering in August.
We at Compecs hope you have a pleasant day!
What does play-by-play mean?
a) Two children who play alongside each other but do not interact
b) A theatrical performance with multiple acts, separated by an intermission
c) Detailed commentary about a sporting event while it is being played
d) A live music concert in which two groups perform sequentially
The correct answer is c).
Americans love sports and there are many expressions and metaphors in English that originated in the sporting world. The term “play-by-play” is one of them.
In sports, a “play” is a choreographed and rehearsed sequence of moves planned for use against opponents during a game. A play in basketball, for example, might involve two teammates passing the ball back and forth on one end of the court, and then surprising their opponents by throwing the ball to the other end of the court where a third teammate is waiting beside the basket.
A “play-by-play” is a continuous monologue delivered by an announcer who provides a moment-by-moment explanation of a sporting event while it is in progress. The announcer may talk about plays, players, turnovers of the ball, and other ongoing actions in great detail.
In colloquial English, the term “play-by-play” means that someone is providing a very detailed description of an action or event (unrelated to sports). We might use the expression in this way:
I don’t need a play-by-play—just give me a summary.
What happened at the meeting? Could you give me a play-by-play?
We hope you enjoyed today’s entry. See you next time at Compecs Connection!