viernes, 23 de mayo de 2014

English Idioms using Colour

English Idioms using Colour

A list of colourful English idioms…


feeling blue = feeling unhappy: "What's the matter with you? Feeling blue?"
out of the blue = completely unexpected: "I sent off my application to the company, but heard nothing. Then completely out of the blue they sent me a letter."


see red = become extremely angry: "When people are cruel to animals, it really makes me see red."
a red letter day = a day of great importance: "It's a red letter day tomorrow in the company. It's our fiftieth birthday!"
paint the town red = celebrate: "They went out last night and really painted the town red – they didn't come home until 5 a.m."
in the red = overdrawn: "It's the end of the month and we're in the red again. We have to control our spending better."
like a red rag to a bull = likely to make someone angry: "Don't talk to him about politics – it's like a red rag to a bull."
red tape = bureaucratic paperwork: "You have to cut through a lot of red tape to get proposals accepted in this company."
red carpet treatment = treat someone with great respect: "When we visit our offices in Asia, we get the red carpet treatment."


get the green light = get approval to start something: "We've finally got the green light to start research on the new product."
green fingers = be a good gardener: "Everything grows in her garden. She definitely has green fingers."
green-belt area = an area of protected land surrounding a town or city: "The green-belt area around London is disappearing fast."
green politics = environmental politics: "He's in green politics and often campaigns to fight pollution."


black market = illegal trade: "You can change dollars for a much higher rate on the black market."
black economy = a part of the economy unregulated by the authorities: "He doesn't pay any taxes and thinks that the black economy will make him rich." (He's working on the black.)
give someone a black look = look at someone as if you are angry: "Why is he giving me such a black look?"
on the black list = be on a list of "undesirables": "We won't be invited to their party this year – we're on their black list."
blacklisted = be banned: "Many actors and writers were blacklisted in Hollywood in the 1950's because they were considered "un-American."
in black and white = be extremely clear: "This contract is in black and white: we aren't allowed to keep any pets in this house."
black spot = a dangerous spot: "his roundabout is a black spot for traffic accidents."
black and blue = be badly bruised: "When she fell off her bicycle, she was black and blue for days."


white Christmas = when it snows at Christmas: "There hasn't been a white Christmas here since 1983."
whitewash = cover up the truth: "I don't believe his story. I think it's all a whitewash."


a grey area = something which is not definite: "I think genetic engineering is a bit of a grey area."
grey matter = your brain: "Doing crossword puzzles tests your grey matter."

Chemists (Drugstore or pharmacy) vocabulary

Chemists (Drugstore or pharmacy) vocabulary

In England, high-street chemists (drugstore or pharmacy) stock a huge range of toiletries (items for personal hygiene), baby products,cosmeticsperfumes and medicines. Dispensing chemists also fill prescriptions (given to you by your doctor) and some even develop films for you.

Baby care
Many people buy nappies (diapers) for their babies at chemists. Along with the nappies are other products for babies, such as nappy creamcotton wool buds (lengths of plastic tipped with soft cotton to clean a baby's ears, for example), baby wipes (to help clean a baby) and so on.

Hair care
Chemists also stock a range of hair products. You can buy shampoo and conditioner (to wash your hair) and products to colour hair. For styling your hair you can buy gel or mousse, which act a bit like glue to keep your hair in a particular style. You can also buy hair brushes or combs, to make your hair neat, and hair grips and hair slides, which are plastic objects that keep your hair in place.

Personal hygiene
There's normally a wide selection of personal hygiene products. Many English people like to soak in a long, hot bath, and so there's a huge market in bath oilsbath salts or bubble bath – all ways to add nice smells to your bath! You can also buy nail scissors and emery boards (to file your nails) and pumice stone, to rub away dry skin from your feet. For oral hygiene, you can buy toothbrushestoothpaste and dental floss, which is like string that you use to clean between your teeth. You can also buy face and body creams, moisturiser (cream to prevent your skin from going dry), soap and deodorant. Other items you can find in this section of the chemist are razors, to shave hair from your body, shaving foam; and feminine hygiene products, such as tampons and sanitary towels.

Make up
If you are looking for cosmetics or make-up, you can find eye-liner (or kohl), mascara (for your eyelashes) and eye-shadow, which is coloured powder to put on your eyelids. You can also buy foundation (a cream to put on your face to give an even surface), blusher (to add colour to your cheeks), lipstick (which adds colour to your lips), andlip-gloss which adds shine to your lips. To colour your nails you can use nail polish, also known as nail varnish.

How to express shock in English

How to express shock in English

It is sometimes difficult to say how you feel in unexpected situations, such as natural disasters, especially when you feel sad. Here's a list of some common expressions to help you express shock and disbelief.


I was shocked to hear…
The news came as a complete shock.
We're all in complete shock.
Everyone's reeling from the shock of…
It happened out of the blue.
Who could have predicted it?
I (just) can't get over ….
We were completely taken aback by…
I was just stunned by…


I just can't believe…
It's unbelievable.
I / You just can't imagine…
Words can't describe… (how I feel about / the terrible devastation etc)
There's no way it could have happened.

Saying how bad something is

It's so awful.
It's terrible / What terrible news.
It's a tragedy.
It's a catastrophe (pronounced "ca – tas – tra – fee" with the stress on "-tas")
This is the worst thing that could have happened.

The after effects

Here are some words and phrases that we often use to talk about the immediate or long-term effects of a natural disaster or other sad event.
to come to terms with = to accept: "It will take us a few months to come to terms with what's happened."
to assess the damage = to find out the extent of the damage: "Surveyors are assessing the damage done to buildings."
to provide emergency relief / emergency assistance: "International organisations are providing emergency relief."
to give moral support = to sympathise with the victims: "We can only give them our moral support."
to learn the lessons = to learn from something: "We hope the government will learn the lessons from the earthquake and spend more money on research."
to be better prepared: "Monitoring will help us be better prepared in the future."