Pearson Adult Learning Centre HomePearson Adult Learning Centre: An Idiom Dialogue based on The Globe and Mail, April 12, 2002



Students worked together to provide standard English for the underlined idioms in the dialogue, "A Surprising Day." Here are their results, shown in the parentheses (  ):

A Surprising Day

Today, my boss gave me a knowing smile (secret smile; special smile; mysterious smile) when I came in the door of the office. Now, I’m under no illusions (to have no doubts, I know very well) about my performance at work the past few months. We’ve been in the thick of (in the middle of, working hard on) a huge project and I sure cannot play down the importance of (lower how important it is, make less important, It has been very important to meet, underestimate) meeting deadlines these days. I was worried about what might happen.

However, our company is now leading the pack (is the leader, the best, on top), my boss said with a smile. He apologized to me for dragging his feet (being hesitant, being reluctant, not wanting to) on an important decision. Not only was he going to give me a financial carrot(reward, bonus, benefit) for all of my hard work, but also he said it was time to refresh my batteries. (relax, take a vacation, take a break, rest)

Instead of being on the chopping block (in danger, waiting to be executed, in trouble, blamed) as I had feared, he had given me a spanking new (brand new, new) Mercedes Benz! Not only that, but my boss said to set my sights on (look at, aim, look toward) the horizon because I was going to Hawaii, as well. He said I’d passed my rite of passage (challenge, test) and deserved a big reward!

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