What is one of the most confusing aspects of the English language? My 3600 hours inside of the ESL classroom have taught me a few things. One reoccurring theme is that ESL idioms confuse most learners extremely easily. I use the story of our imaginary character, Eric, to help students learn a definition and an example of idioms about the home.
#1 A roof over your head– This means to have adequate housing.
Example: Eric’s dad always reminds his family that they are fortunate to have a roof over their head.
#2 Hit a home run– This is to be successful.
Example: Eric saved $5,000 for a new car working over the summer. His dad feels like Eric hit a home run on that one.
#3 Wake up on the wrong side of bed– To feel grumpy or irritable right from the beginning of your day
Example: Eric woke up and yelled at his sister. His dad asked Eric if he woke up on the wrong side of bed.
#4 Sweep something under the rug– to cover up a bad deed or mistake.
Example: Eric broke his mom’s favorite dish. His dad isn’t going to tell his mom. He is just going to sweep it under the rug for Eric.
#5 The home stretch– This is the end of something very long.
Example: Eric has only four more weeks left of high school. He is coming down the home stretch.
#6 Go through the roof– To get upset about something.
Example: Eric stole $50 from his friend Justin. Justin went through the roof about that when he found out.
#7 Home free- to be sure success is coming. The difficult part is over.
Example: Eric already paid for the down payment on his new car. He is home free now.
#8 Go home in a box- To die and be sent home in a box.
Example: Eric doesn’t want to join the army after high school. He thinks he will get sent home in a box.
What is your favorite idiom?