Placeholder Image

字幕表 動画を再生する

  • Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.  

  • Are you ready to expand your  vocabulary? Let's do it

  • A few months ago I made this video, 50 Important  English Phrases, and you loved it. Unfortunately  

  • there were a lot of phrases that I didn't include  in that lesson. Of course there are more than 50  

  • phrases that are important in English, so good  news. Today I'm going to help you to grow your  

  • knowledge, expand your vocabulary, and learn  50 more important phrases in English. These  

  • phrases are divided into different categories  like animals, body, work, transportation,  

  • wisdom. This will just help you to categorize  them in your mind and help you to remember them,  

  • I hope. You are definitely going to hear these  when you watch English movies and TV shows and  

  • have conversations. We use them all the timeLet's get started with our first category

  • Our first category are idioms that have to  do with animals or animal characteristics.  

  • For each of these idioms, I'm going to be  telling you the idiom, then giving you a  

  • sample sentence. I want you to think about  what might this idiom mean in that context,  

  • and then I'm going to tell you what the  definition is. This is going to test your  

  • context skills. Of course, it's just one  sentence, it's not a whole conversation,  

  • but I hope that this will help you be able  to understand these when you hear them in  

  • conversation so that you can get the full picture. All right, let's start with the first one.  

  • A little bird told me. "A little bird told me  it was your birthday. Here's a present." Mmm,  

  • this is when you know a secret but you don't  want to reveal who told you. So, if you're giving  

  • a little present to your friend and your friend  thinks that you don't know that it's his birthday,  

  • you might say this sentence, "A little bird told  me it was your birthday today. Here you go." 

  • As the crow flies. "As the crow flies I'm  pretty close to the school, but because of  

  • lots of one-way streets it takes me a long time  to get there." What do you think this means? As  

  • the crow flies. A crow is a kind of bird. It's  really big and black. There's a lot of crows  

  • in my yard and they always make loud caw soundsCaw, caw, caw. They're always really loud. I'm not  

  • sure why they chose this for this idiom, but this  means that if you take the straightest distance,  

  • not accounting for one-way streets, just  a straight distance, as the crow flies,  

  • "I'm not that far from my school, but because of  one-way streets it takes me forever to get there." 

  • To kill two birds with one stone. "I wanted to  bake cookies with my son and I needed to make  

  • another English lesson for you here on YouTubeso I decided to kill two birds with one stone,  

  • and I did both." Have you seen the lesson  where I baked cookies, chocolate chip cookies,  

  • with my three-year-old son? You can watch this up  here. It is a delight. It was delightful to film  

  • that with him and to eat cookies together. What  do you think this idiom means? Hmm. It means that  

  • you're getting two things done at the same timeYou're saving time and you're being efficient

  • Curiosity killed the cat. Well, it's getting  close to Christmas time here in the US,  

  • and if a package arrives at our door and  my son says, "Hey, I see we got a package,"  

  • I might say, "Hey, curiosity killed the catDon't ask questions around Christmas time."  

  • And that's kind of hinting that probably  this is a Christmas present for him  

  • and I don't want him to open that package. I'm  kind of warning him about being too curious.  

  • So this is the meaning of the idiom that being  curious can sometimes get you into trouble

  • Cat got your tongue. "What's the matterWhy are you so quiet? Cat got your tongue?"  

  • Imagine if a cat got your tongue. Mmm. This is  talking about being speechless or not talking,  

  • being quiet, and usually it's probably because  you can't think of something to say. "Oh. Oh,  

  • wow, she just told me something really  shocking. Uh, I can't say anything."  

  • And the other person might say, "What? Cat got  your tongue? Why aren't you saying anything?" 

  • To bark up the wrong tree. The word bark is the  sound that a dog makes. Woof, woof. Bark, bark.  

  • Or we might say in the sample sentence,  "My sister was barking up the wrong tree  

  • when she accused me of taking her favorite shirtIt was in the dirty laundry the whole time.  

  • I didn't do it." What do you think this meansIt's when you believe or pursue something that's  

  • wrong. So she was accusing me of taking her  favorite shirt, but I wasn't the one who did it,  

  • it was just in the dirty laundry basket. I want  to let you know that we often use this idiom to  

  • talk about sexuality. For example, the famous TV  host Ellen DeGeneres is married to a woman. So,  

  • if a man flirts with Ellen DeGeneres, she might  say, "Sorry, you're barking up the wrong tree."  

  • That means, you believe that I'm going  to be interested in you? But that's not  

  • true. You are believing something that's not  true. So we often use it in those situations

  • Our final idiom for the animal section is to  be packed like sardines. Have you ever eaten  

  • sardines? They're the little fish that are  often packaged in a little tin or in a can,  

  • and there are often a lot in that can. So what do  you think about this sentence? "When everyone got  

  • in the train, we were packed like sardines."  This is something that hasn't happened much  

  • in the year 2020 but we can remember back to  the good old days when we were all together,  

  • lots of people together. Well, when you are  packed like sardines, you feel like that  

  • little fish that's smashed into a tin or into  a jar or a can. You are packed like sardines

  • In our next category, there are a lot of idioms  that have to do with the farm, or farm-related  

  • vocabulary. But don't worry, you don't have to  be a farmer to use these or understand them. I  

  • hope that they will be useful to you. The first  one in this category is, when pigs fly. "I told  

  • my husband that I would stop eating chocolate when  pigs fly." This is something impossible, something  

  • that will never happen and you can use it in those  situations. "I will never stop eating chocolate.  

  • I will stop eating chocolate when pigs fly." To put all of your eggs in one basket. Hmm.  

  • When you're applying for a job, don't put  all your eggs in one basket. You should apply  

  • to multiple companies. Mmm, to put all your eggs  in a basket. Are you applying to become a farmer?  

  • No. In this situation we're talking about  diversifying. Don't put all of your hope,  

  • all of your dreams, in just one optionInstead, you should apply to multiple companies.  

  • It's not a good idea to put all of your  efforts and resources in just one place

  • Don't count your chickens before they hatch. "I  wanted to buy a car with my end of year bonus that  

  • I was expecting from my job, but my friend told me  not to count my chickens before they hatch." Hmm,  

  • not to count my chickens before they hatch? This  means that you shouldn't assume something is going  

  • to happen. You should wait until you are certainYou're not sure if you're going to get that end  

  • of year bonus from your company, so don't buy  a car in advance. Instead, wait until you have  

  • the money and then you can buy the car. Don't put the cart before the horse.  

  • "Don't put the cart before the horse by  quitting your job before you have another  

  • one." Hmm. Can you imagine the same ideacounting your chickens before they hatch,  

  • putting the cart before the horse. Mmmthis is the same idea, talking about doing  

  • something in the wrong order. Before you  quit your job you probably should secure  

  • another job so that you're not jobless while  you're searching for a job. So don't do things  

  • in the wrong order. Don't put the cart before the  horse. Make sure the cart is behind the horse

  • Straight from the horse's mouth. "If you don't  believe me, ask him and hear it straight from  

  • the horse's mouth." Mmm, if your friend  tells you that he just quit his job because  

  • he got a job as an advisor to the entire  company, wow, this is a big promotion, you  

  • might not believe it. So you might say, "Hey, ask  him and get it straight from the horse's mouth."  

  • Is that guy a horse? No, it just means hear  it directly from the source. Instead of  

  • hearing it from someone else, hear something  directly from the source, the horse's mouth

  • A needle in a haystack. "Trying to find my  friend in a crowd was like trying to find  

  • a needle in a haystack." Do you imagine  that this is an easy task or a tough task?  

  • Very tough task. Maybe impossible. If there is  a needle in the middle of a haystack, good luck  

  • trying to find it. In fact, this happened to meliterally, last year. My two-year-old son, Theo,  

  • dropped a basketball pump needle in our grassWe were pumping a basketball in the grass. We  

  • should not have done this in the grass, we should  have done it on the sidewalk. But he dropped the  

  • needle and I knew almost exactly where it fellbut do you know what? It took almost one hour,  

  • it took me, my husband, two neighbors and my son  trying to find that needle in the grass. It was  

  • almost impossible. Thankfully we found it, but  this is a really tough task to find a needle in  

  • a haystack, or in my case, a needle in the grass. To hit the hay. "Are you hitting the hay?"  

  • No, when we say, "Hoo, after learning these 50  idioms, you are probably going to be ready to hit  

  • the hay." That means, you're so tired you want to  just go to sleep. Maybe at the end of a long day  

  • you say, "All right, I'm going to go hit the hay.  I'm so tired, I'm going to go hit the hay." You're  

  • not sleeping in a barn, you're just going to bed. Our next section of idioms have to do with  

  • the body or different body parts. They might seem  a little bit strange when you first hear them,  

  • but stick with them and you'll be able  to use it. Our first one is, break a leg.  

  • This sounds kind of like a mean thing to  say, right? "Hey, I hope you break your leg."  

  • No, if you say, "Break a leg," to someone, think  about this situation. "Before I went onstage for  

  • the performance, my fellow actors told me to  break a leg." Are they evil, terrible people,  

  • trying to make me get hurt? No, this simply means  good luck, and it's something that you can use  

  • usually in a performing or competing situation. If you're performing or competing, you can say to  

  • other people, "Break a leg." In fact, sometimes  it's seen as bad luck if you say, "Good luck,"  

  • to someone who's giving a performance. So if  you are a singer and you're going to sing in  

  • front of other people, if someone says to you,  "Good luck, you can do it," you might think,  

  • "Oh, no, I'm going to fail." Because in some  situations, depending on how superstitious your  

  • theater group is or your singing group is, saying  good luck can be considered bad luck. So instead,  

  • this expression, break a leg, is used for these  professional, competing or performing situations

  • Pulling my leg. "I thought my dad was telling  me a serious story, but it turns out he was  

  • just pulling my leg." Is my dad pulling my legNo. In this situation it just means that he's  

  • teasing me or telling me a joke. I want to tell  you a little story. I live in the mountains,  

  • and as I've mentioned before, there's black  bears everywhere. Sometimes there's a black bear  

  • walking down my street, really. But one time  I was at the store and my hands were full of  

  • grocery bags. I had just bought some  food and I was walking towards my car  

  • when I saw a black bear in the parking lotand the black bear started to chase after me,  

  • maybe he wanted my food, and I started to run. You should not run when you see a black bear.  

  • But that was just my instincts. I ran and I got  my bags and I started running and the black bear  

  • caught my shoe and he started pulling my  leg, just like I'm pulling yours. Ha ha.  

  • Do you get it? Do you understand this joke? If  you don't, first of all, don't worry, this story  

  • is not true at all. Well, it is true that there  are black bears in my neighborhood, but a black  

  • bear has never chased me at the grocery storeInstead, black bears are really shy and timid,  

  • and usually if you just go, "Roar," and make  a loud noise, they run away. They're very shy

  • But I wanted to tell you this story. When  I was little I loved to tell this joke  

  • because usually people are listening like, "Ohreally? Oh, really? Oh, really?" And then you say,  

  • "The black bear was pulling my leg."  This is literally, he's pulling my leg,  

  • and then we say, "Just like I'm pulling your  leg," or, "Just like I'm pulling yours."  

  • And this is called a punch line. That means it's  the end of the joke, it's something funny that  

  • was said, and it means, "Ha ha, I'm just teasing  you. I'm just telling a joke." So, if you have any  

  • English friends or English-speaking friends who  know this idiom, you can tell this little story,  

  • this little joke, and maybe they'll get a good  laugh. If they don't understand this idiom,  

  • maybe it's a good time to teach them. Keep an eye out. Take your eye out?  

  • No. Keep an eye out. "Keep an eye  out for snakes when you're hiking,  

  • they're everywhere." A couple of years ago, my  husband Dan and I saw a huge, thick rattlesnake  

  • right beside the trail where we were hikingand it was a little reality shock for me because  

  • when I hike I'm just looking at the trail, I'm not  really thinking about every possibility. But now,  

  • because of that experience, I try to keep an eye  out for snakes and always just remember that they  

  • could be there and to keep an eye out for themCan you imagine what this means? It means to be  

  • on the lookout for something. This is like active  searching, so now, whenever I step off the path  

  • or if I step over a log or especially for my kidsif they're running ahead of me, I need to make  

  • sure that they're safe because snakes are much  more dangerous for children, so I want to keep  

  • an eye out for snakes. This is actively looking. Keep your eyes peeled. That sounds awful. Usually,  

  • for a banana, you peel a banana. But to keep your  eyes peeled? What about this sentence? "When I  

  • go hiking I keep my eyes peeled for snakes. I  keep my eyes peeled for snakes." We can imagine  

  • your eyelids are kind of like a banana peel, so  you're keeping your eyes open, you're peeling  

  • your eyes so that you can be on the lookout  for snakes. This is the exact same meaning,  

  • to keep an eye out, to keep your eyes peeled  for something, this is the exact same thing

  • See eye to eye. "We may not see eye to eye on all  issues, but we both love cats." Mmm. This means  

  • that you agree, or don't agree, with someone  else. We see eye to eye on something. It's  

  • very important when you have children that you  and your spouse, this is your husband or wife,  

  • need to see eye to eye on parenting. How are  you going to teach your children, discipline  

  • your children, you need to agree on how you're  going to do that. You need to see eye to eye

  • My eyes were bigger than my stomach. "Whenput all this food on my plate for Thanksgiving,  

  • my eyes were bigger than my stomach." MmmThis means that I thought I was hungrier  

  • than I really was, so I put lots of food on my  plate. Oh, my eyes were getting big and excited,  

  • and then when I ate, oh, my stomach  couldn't actually eat all of that food

  • Bite off more than you can chew. "Right now I'm  creating two new English courses but I think I  

  • might have bitten off more than I can chew. I'm  going to need to delay one of them." Mmm. This  

  • means that I overcommitted. I'm doing too much.  I bit... more than I can chew. It's just too  

  • much food, or figuratively, too much work. Keep your chin up. "I know that learning 50  

  • idioms is tough, but keep your chin up. You can  do it." This is talking about having courage or  

  • strength during a difficult time. Keep your  chin up, it's a great word of encouragement

  • A chip on your shoulder. "When he missed the  game-winning shot because the other player  

  • hit the ball out of his hands, he left  the game with a chip on his shoulder."  

  • Does that mean that there's actually like  a potato chip on his shoulder? No. Instead,  

  • this means that you have some kind of grudge  or grievance or this kind of hard feeling  

  • because of something else. When you feel like  someone did something wrong to you that wasn't  

  • fair, maybe you have a chip on your shoulderHe missed the basket at the end of the game,  

  • but it's maybe because someone hit it, maybe  it's because it was his fault. We don't know,  

  • but in any case, he had a chip on his shoulderHe had this angry feeling inside of him because  

  • of how he was wronged. Bend over backwards. Mmm,  

  • can you bend over backwards? We might say that  car companies are bending over backwards to sell  

  • cars nowadays. Because of the difficult economic  situation people aren't buying new cars, so car  

  • salesmen have to bend over backwards to sell carsMmm. This means they have to make a great effort  

  • in order to do something. They have to  put in a lot of effort to sell cars

  • Add insult to injury. So, the injury is when you  get hurt and an insult is a mean word. If you  

  • get hurt, if you fall on the ground, and someone  says, "You're so dumb, you fell on the ground,"  

  • that's awful. You're hurt and then someone says  something mean to you, how terrible. Look at  

  • this situation. I accidentally locked my keys  in my car, and then, to add insult to injury,  

  • my phone battery died so I couldn't even calllocksmith. Mmm. You see, one bad thing happened,  

  • I locked my keys in my car, and then  another bad happened, my phone battery  

  • died so I couldn't call anyone for help. To  add insult to injury. This is about making a  

  • bad situation ever worse, to add insult to injury. Rub salt in the wound. A wound is if you get a cut  

  • or it could be a lot worse, and you put  salt in that wound. Ouch, that sounds awful.  

  • Let's look at this situation. My kids woke up  really early and grumpy. They were not happy,  

  • and then seeing my friend's pictures  of her kids happily playing together  

  • just rubbed salt in the wound. Mmm. My friend  wasn't doing something bad, she was just sharing  

  • about her day, that's no problem. We love to  share pictures, especially of our families,  

  • but, for me, I was already having a tough  situation. My kids woke up early, I was tired,  

  • they were grumpy, they were not happy, and thenthat was not good, but then it got even worse  

  • when my friend showed me, "Look, we're playing  together. We're having a happy time." Oh, it makes  

  • me feel not too good. So, it is rubbing salt in my  wound. Does that sound familiar? Mmm. It's making  

  • a bad situation worse. Yep, this is exactly the  same as our previous idiom. It's making something  

  • that was already bad even worse. Go behind someone's back. Mmm.  

  • "When I told my teenage daughter that she couldn't  go on a date, she went behind my back and climbed  

  • out her bedroom window to go on a date with him."  Hmm. Do you get a sense that this is a good thing?  

  • No, this means that you're doing something  bad secretively. She snuck out the window,  

  • not exactly a good thing to do if you  want to build trust in a relationship,  

  • but here she is going behind my back. Our next category are idioms that have  

  • to do with work and productivity. So, if you arestudent, if you are working at a job and you have