IDIOMS ORGANISER
Organised by metaphor, topic and key word
by Jon Wright

Edited by Jimmie Hill and Morgan Lewis
Illustrated by Bill Stott

Australia Canada Mexico Singapore Spain United Kingdom United States

Idioms Organiser
Organised by metaphor, topic and key word
Jon Wright

Publisher/Global ELT: Christopher Wenger
Executive Marketing Manager, Global ELT/ESL: Amy Mabtey
Cover design: Anna Macleod
Cartoons: Bill Scott
Copyright © 2002 by Heinle, a part of the Thomson Corporation.
Heinle. Thomson and the Thomson logo are trademarks used herein under license.
Copyright ©formerly held by Language Teaching Publications and R.A. Close 1992.
Printed in Croatia by Zrinski d.d.
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For more information contact Heinle, 25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210 USA,
or you can visit our Internet site at http://www.heinle.com
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used in any form or by any means — graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying,
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written permission of the publisher.

ISBN: 1 899396 06 3
The Author

Jon Wright is co-founder and Director of Studies of The Language Project, Bristol, a small school
With a special focus on developing innovative learner-centred materials. He has many years’
experience as a teacher, teacher trainer, materials writer and examiner. His other publications
include Basic Grammar, with Dave Willis, for Cobuild, and Dictionaries, in the OUP Resource
Books for Teachers Series.
Author’s Acknowledgement
would like to thank my editors Jimmie Hill and Morgan Lewis, for their considerable guidance in
shaping this book, as well as acknowledging the many ideas and examples, which they gave so
generously. The staff and students of The Language Project in Bristol have helped me in many
ways both in and outside the classroom. As always, a special thank you to Etsuko.

Idioms are important
Dear

Student

Words don’t come singly
You have probably spent a long time learning new words. Words, however, do not just
come individually, they also come in expressions – in groups. Idioms are among the
most common of these expressions. There are thousands of them in English:
I could eat a horse.
Money doesn’t grow on trees.
It’s not up to scratch.
I got there in the nick of time.
Language is literal and metaphorical
Sometimes when we use language we use it in a very literal way:
I’ve been out fishing, but caught absolutely nothing!
The same language can be used in a non-literal way – a metaphorical way:
Yesterday I caught the bus. My car wouldn’t start.
Here are more examples of this metaphorical use of catch:
He caught my attention.
Wait while I catch my breath!
Look at that tan! You’ve caught the sun!
I didn’t quite catch what you said.
The metaphorical uses of a word are often more common than the literal ones.
Idioms have grammar
Some idiomatic expressions are fixed and cannot change:
Two heads are better than one.
Very often you can change the tense and the pronoun:
I’m/She’s/We were all at sixes and sevens.
How is Idioms Organiser organised?
This book organises the most important idioms in English in four sections:
1. Areas of metaphor
2. Individual metaphors
3. Topics
4. Key Words
Make sure you study the Introductory Unit of this book before you begin the main
units. Plan your study and work regularly through the units on your own or in class.
Jon Wright

CONTENTS
Introductory Unit

7

Section 1: Areas of Metaphor

Time is Money
Business is War
Seeing is Understanding
Life is a Journey
Life is Gambling
A Company is a Ship
Moods are Weather
The Office is a Battlefield
A Project is a Race
Economics is Flying
Organisations are Gardens
People are Liquid
Review Unit

Section 2: Individual Metaphors

Animal Idioms
Bird Idioms
Body Idioms
Breaking Idioms
Building Idioms
Cat Idioms
Clothes Idioms
Colour Idioms: Black/White
Colour Idioms: Red/Blue
Driving Idioms
Eating Idioms
Eye Idioms
Face Idioms
Fingers and Thumbs Idioms
Fire Idioms
Fishing Idioms
Food Idioms
Foot Idioms
Hand Idioms
Head Idioms
Heart Idioms

Horse Idioms
House and Home Idioms
Life and Death Idioms
Metal Idioms
Mind Idioms
Number Idioms
Sports Idioms
Swimming Idioms
Temperature Idioms
Train Idioms
Water Idioms
Review Unit

Section 3: Topics

Advice
Agreeing and Disagreeing
Annoyance and Frustration
Being Positive
Certainty and Doubt
Change
Communicating
Dishonesty
Easy and Difficult
The Family
Good and Bad Quality
Health
Holidays
Knowledge and Ability
Memory
Mistakes
Misunderstanding
Money 1
Money 2
Moods
People
Power and Influence
Problems 1
Problems 2
Reading
Relationships 1
Relationships 2
Safety and Risks
Similarities and Differences
Sleep and Dreams
Speed

Starting and Stopping
Success and Failure
Suitability
Surprises
Time
Work 1
Work 2
Review Unit

Section 4: Key Words

All
And 1
And 2
Back
Cut
End
Fall
Good / Better / Best
Ground
Half
Know
,
Life
Light and Heavy
Like
Line
Lose and Lost
No
Of
Or
Point
Side
Something, Anything, Nothing
Thing
To + infinitive
Top and Bottom
‘Very’
Way
Word
Review Unit

Section 5: Index of Expressions

Section 6: Answer Key

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About josberto

Mi ŝatas traduki librojn pri matematiko kaj komputilaj teknologio. Mi esperas ke miaj tradukadoj estus utila kaj agrabla por vi.
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