1. to hide one’s light under a bushel
Meaning: to conceal one’s talents and skills
Example: Please don’t hide your light under a bushel—the Society needs your valuable expertise.
2. to throw a tantrum
Meaning: to become very angry and unreasonable
Example: When you are a grown-up, you don’t throw a tantrum if something offends you, you discuss it.
3. to stamp one’s mark on sth
Meaning: to affect or change something in a way that allows people to recognize one’s influence
Example: She has stamped her own mark on the British film industry.
4. a clash of personalities
Meaning: a situation in which two people disagree because they have very different personalities
Example: There had been a clash of personalities between the two leaders over the question of defence policy.
5. to have a superiority complex
Meaning: to have a feeling that one is superior to others
Example: She has a superiority complex, imagining that she is somehow better at everything than her classmates.
6. to hear something through the grapevine
Meaning: to hear news from someone who heard that news from someone else, to learn of something informally and unofficially by means of gossip or rumor.
Example: Never believe the gossip that you hear through the grapevine – always try to find the truth from an official source.
7. to act one’s age
Meaning: to behave in a way suitable for someone as old as you are
Example: During the most recent years of her career, Madonna has faced criticism for her revealing outfits, her outrageous performances and her decision to collaborate with her younger contemporary contemporaries, with many calling for her to “act her age”.
8. codes of conduct
Meaning: voluntary rules which people accept in a situation
Example: The Code of Conduct is voluntary but it is seen as a sign of best practice.
9. to assimilate knowledge
Meaning: to absorb and understand knowledge
Example: Some people claim that children assimilate knowledge more easily than adults, citing studies into the way that young children learn.
10. to marshal facts
Meaning: to organise facts in support of an idea
Example: His tutor asked him to marshal facts on the history of China in preparation for the exam.
11. to be a team player
Meaning: a person who willingly cooperates with others
Example: Employees who are good team players are more likely to be selected for promotion.
12. the downfall of communication
Meaning: the decline of communication
Example: Texting and social media are causing the downfall of society’s interpersonal communication.
13. a breakdown in communication
Meaning: a misunderstanding which results from people failing to discuss and resolve something
Example: The dispute between the workers and the employer was the result of a breakdown in communication over wages.
14. to live in harmony with one another
Meaning: to live with others in a way which avoids conflict or disagreement
Example: The students who share the house are all good friends and they are able to live in harmony with one another.
15. to keep abreast of something
Meaning: to have the most recent information about something
Example: This new service helps doctors keep abreast of the newest drugs available.
16. to accelerate the flow of information
Meaning: to spread information with a higher speed to create faster response times and more accurate interactions
Example: The new software, Wildtech, is intended to help accelerate the flowof information among scientists, and forest and wildlife managers.
17. behind the times
Meaning: refers to a person who is old-fashioned and has not adopted certain modern customs, beliefs, or behaviors
Example: He was angry when they said that his accounting methods were behind the times because he did not use computer software.
18. set in his or her ways
Meaning: A person who is set in his or her ways is stubborn and committed to their current way of doing things. They aren’t open to changing, even if the change would be an improvement
Example: As people get older, they often become set in their ways and are reluctant to try anything new.
19. a social butterfly
Meaning: refers to an extroverted person who loves to socialize
Example: A social butterfly is a person who is socially dynamic, networking, charismatic, and personally gregarious.
20. a stickler for sth
Meaning: Someone who is a “stickler for something” is a person who strongly insists on that quality or behavior, and wants or expects other people to maintain the same standard
Example: The author described himself as a stickler for details, who loves things done right the first time.
21. to be user-friendly
Meaning: to be easy to use, without a need for advanced skills
Example: One feature of modern communications technology is that, in general, it is user-friendly.
22. social networking sites
Meaning: a website on which you communicate with people who share your interests
Example: Young people today waste too much time on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter
23. to break off a relationship/to break off negotiations
Meaning: to end something suddenly
Example: The US and China broke off negotiations earlier today on the new trade agreement.
24. to reach a stalemate/to reach deadlock
Meaning: a disagreement in which neither side is able to find a solution
Example: The talks between the superpowers broke up when both sides reached deadlock over important issues.
25. to have social skills
Meaning: to have the personal skills required for successful communication and interaction
Example: In all jobs which involve dealing with the public, it is important
to have good social skills.
26. to have a laid-back attitude
Meaning: relaxed, not worrying about anything
Example: Our teacher had a laid-back attitude in the classroom, but she was always well-prepared and committed to her students.
27. to be a workaholic/a shopaholic
Meaning: a person who spends too much time working/too much time shopping
Example: Although I take my studies seriously, I would not describe myself as a workaholic, because I have other interests too.
28. to see the big picture
Meaning: to understand all the important aspects of a situation
Example: Students sometimes get confused with so many details to remember, but our history teacher is able to make us see the big picture.
29. to be generous/helpful to a fault
Meaning: to be very generous/helpful to others, even when it can cause problems for oneself
Example: My parents are generous to a fault, and they have helped me a lot with my education.
30. to make small talk/to exchange pleasantries
Meaning: to talk in a polite way about unimportant matters such as the weather
Example: I enjoy a serious discussion and I don’t like to make small talk orexchange pleasantries with others simply in order to be polite.