4. Idioms (1)

4. Idioms (1)

Sam is unhappy with Tim's use of his phone.

Main practise:  Idioms
Revision:            Present Perfect  -  Phrasal verb: (to) cut down on  

better still - this is better, i.e.
  • Yes, we could go shopping this afternoon or, better still, go this evening when the town is
    not so crowded.

by the way - to introduce a new topic into the conversation, i.e.
  • …so we had a lovely afternoon on the beach. By the way, would you like to come over for dinner on Saturday?

chat - (colloquial) to talk, i.e.
  • I had a chat with Sally today. She's got a new job.

(to) cut down on - (phrasal verb) to reduce, i.e.
  • I must cut down on chocolate; I'm eating too much.

dream on - what the listener has said is crazy and / or impossible, i.e.
- Dad, you're going to lend me a hundred pounds. 
- Dream on, son.

no way - definitely not, (possibly rude if you don't know the person well) i.e.
- We're going scuba diving, do you want to come?
- No way, I'm a bad swimmer.

on average - the average, i.e.
  • In the UK 15-16 year olds, on average,  spend 4.8 hours a day online. 

the fact of the matter is - the truth is, (often used in argument) i.e.
  • The fact of the matter is your company promised a fifteen percent discount and is now offering only ten. 
-  I'm sorry I'm late, the bus was late.
-  I don't want your excuses, the fact of the matter is you're always late. If you're late again
   you'll have to look for another job.

(to) set a limit - to decide on a limit, a boundary, i.e.
  • We should set a limit on TV time for the childen. I suggest one hour a day, two at weekends.


Sam, Tim's mother, thinks he's using his mobile phone too much. Together, they try to agree how much he can use the phone each day.

Complete the sentences.

Sam:  Tim, you're using your phone too much.

Tim:  It's not that much, Mum. I just chat to my friends for a few minutes after school.

Sam:  No Tim, I've checked your phone usage.
            this last week you've used your phone, on average, four and a half hours
            a day.

Tim:  .

Sam:  It's true. I can show you the app report.

Tim:  All right. I'm sorry. I'll cut down on using my phone.

Sam:  I can set a limit on the app but, , we can agree to a limit.

Tim:  Okay. How about two hours a day?

Sam: .

Tim:  One and a half?

Sam: One.

Tim:  One!?!

Sam: One.

Tim:  Oh, all right.

Sam: Thank you. , what homework have you got tonight?


Complete the sentences with the vocabulary you've practised.

dream on  -  better still  -  no way  -  by the way  -  the fact of the matter is

1. -  Shall we go to a movie tonight?
    -  , lets get a DVD, order a take-out pizza and watch a movie at home.

2.   most scientists accept that climate change is mostly human-

3.   - I think I'll buy a new car next month. 
      - , you haven't got enough money to buy a bicycle.

4.   Well, Dave and Sue are going to London this weekend, and Pat's playing football.
      have you bought John a birthday present yet?

5.   Can you help Anna clean up the living room, please?
      , she made all that mess, she can clean it up.

6.   There's I'm going to lend him my computer, he
      deleted some of my files the last time I let him use it.