At C2 level, you need to understand and use phrases and idioms where the meaning is not transparent. You will probably know the individual words used, but this may not help!
Some examples of common idioms are given below. Choose the correct option (a or b) to complete each definition.
EXAMPLE: If something happens out of the blue, it is a) unexpected b) creative. Answer: a
1 When things fall into place, events happen to a) change the order of a list b) produce the situation you want.
2 If something goes downhill, it a) gradually becomes worse b) picks up speed.
3 If something is on the cards, it is a) likely to fail b) likely to happen.
4 When you are talking about a change in your life and you say the rest is history, you mean that a) it happened a long time ago b) you are sure that people know what happened next.
OK, that didn’t take too much of your time, did it? So let’s go the extra mile!
I challenge you to create your own sentence with one of the idioms above, and then share it in the comments. This is by far the best way to remember these idioms and to make them your own.
Here’s my example: “At first I was disappointed, but a few weeks after I’d gotten the
bad news things started to fall into place, and before I knew it I felt better again.”
And for anyone who’s taking the Cambridge exam, here’s a little tip form me to you. In the first part of the speaking paper, i.e. the interview, you should throw in a phrasal verb and an idiom. First impressions count and this is an easy way to score points.
Q – Are you working or studying at the moment?
A – Both. I’ve got to bring home the bacon, so I’m holding down a (part-time) job as … .
Now create answers for these questions
Q – What do you enjoy most about the place where you’re living now?
I’m pretty sure you’ll make a good first impression if you prepare for these two questions!