Give someone the green light




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hot-headed

This phrase is used to describe a person who easily gets mad or angry.

Example #1:

Boy1: I swear I am going to break his neck! Did you see what he did to my car?

Boy2: Relax. You’re too hot-headed. Road rage will get you nowhere.

Example #2:

Employee: I’ve been loyally serving this company for a full 10 years, why can’t I have the promotion, sir?

Boss: Frankly Josh, you may be great on the job but you’re too hot-headed most of the time. Try to tame your temper and I just might change my mind.

Example #3:

He gets mad for no reason at all. He is too hot-headed!

Example #4:

Jane is Jacob’s complete opposite. She is meek as a lamb while he is hot-headed most of the time.


horse around

If you are horsing around, then you are playing in a loud, naughty manner.

Example #1:

Your two little boys are going to break a limb if they don’t stop horsing around.

Example #2:

Mother:

Will you be horsing around at the park again?

Son: No mom, Dan and I are just going to play basketball with a few friends.

Example #3:

Why don’t you stop horsing around when I’m asking you to help me with the house chores!

Example #4:

Please stop horsing around with your little brother. I am writing an important letter. How can I concentrate when you’re making too much noise?


hooked to; hooked on something

When you are hooked to something, it means you are addicted to that object. When you are hooked on something, it may also mean that you are obsessed with it.

Example #1:

I tried playing rugby last Thursday and now I’m hooked to the game. I plan to buy train with the local team!

Example #2:

That celebrity is hooked on cocaine. No wonder her entire career is crumbling!

Example #3:

With new judges and a new batch of talents, many people are becoming hooked on the new season of American Idol.

Example #4:

Reality TV is something I will never be hooked on!


help oneself

This denotes that you should take any amount of food or drinks without being served and with no hesitation at all. Informally, it is also used to describe stealing something.

Example #1:

Girl1: These cookies smell so good! Can I have one?

Girl2: Sure, help yourself.

Example #2:

The waiter said the drinks were on the house. Don’t be shy! Help yourself to a couple of bottles.

Example #3:

I’m sure you must be starving by now. There’s some cake in the fridge, go ahead and help yourself.

Example #4:

Can I help myself to some coffee? All this paperwork is making me extremely sleepy!

by heart

When you know something by heart, it means you can recall it anytime because it’s rooted deep in your memory.

Example #1:

Grandma maybe turning 85 this month, but she still knows all her grandchildren’s names by heart!

Example #2:

I used to remember the lines of that song by heart, but now I can’t even recall the first line! I must be getting old.

Example #3:

She may have had guitar lessons for over a year, but she can’t play a single song by heart!

Example #4:

Girl: Are you sure you know the way to Beth’s house?

Boy: Sure, I know every turn by heart. Don’t worry!


give one’s all

This phrase is used to refer to one’s maximum capacity in terms of skills, knowledge or resources.


Example #1:

I gave it my all, but I totally forgot the last line of the song!

Example #2:

I’d give my all to get VIP tickets for that upcoming U2 Concert!

Example #3:

The other two contestants weren’t that good. If you gave it your all during the interview portion, you might have won the crown!

Example #4:

I would have given it my all during the finals, but I got a bad knee injury before the first half was over.


on cloud nine

This is an expression used to refer to extreme happiness. When you are on cloud nine, it means you are very happy or delighted.

Example #1:

I won the lottery! I’m on cloud nine!

Example #2:

If I find the perfect dress for the prom, I would probably be on cloud nine, even if I don’t have a date!

Example #3:

She’s been smiling all day. Why is she on cloud nine?

Example #4:

Jake proposed to Amanda and the whole office cheered and celebrated their engagement. They must be on cloud nine right now!


crystal clear

When something is crystal clear, it means that it is understood properly.


Example #1:

I wrote down all the necessary instructions down to the most basic details. I’m sure it will all be crystal clear. Give me a call just in case you have more questions, ok?

Example #2:

Boy: Are you sure you understand everything we discussed about the car?

Girl: Yes, it’s all crystal clear.

Example #3:

The teacher’s lesson was clear as crystal and the students passed the test she gave the next day.

Example #4:

It may not be crystal clear now, but I’m sure that you will understand it better when you grow up.


boss around; boss about someone

This is a phrase that refers to a person who orders someone with or without the authority to do so.

Example #1:

I don’t like her at all. She is always bossing me around. I’m her stepsister. I’m not the house help!

Example #2:

Girl1: You can’t boss her around. She’s one rank higher than you!

Girl2: Really? I thought she was a beginner just like us!

Example #3:

Ben won the bet. Now I have to let him boss me around for an entire week! I have to give him a free ride and clean his locker every day.

Example #4:

My mom likes to boss my dad around sometimes, especially when there are lots of chores around the house.


bring something up

When you bring something up, it means you mention it during a conversation. This phrase also refers to the rearing of a child to be an adult.

Example #1:

Please be sure to bring up this issue during the board meeting next week.

Example #2:

Girl: Do you know anything about the latest robbery in that small bank down town?

Boy: No, I don’t. Why are you bringing it up?

Girl: Well, since you always know the latest happenings in town, I assumed you would have an update about it.

Example #3:

You know I did not bring you up to be a dishonest man. You should tell the cops everything you know about the crime.

Example #4:

My mom was always on the road when I was growing up. I was practically brought up by my aunt!


cost an arm and a leg

This refers to something that is very expensive.

Example #1:

I have to save enough money to buy a decent wedding dress. Many wedding dresses cost an arm and a leg these days!

Example #2:

I really want to buy that vintage couture dress for my sister. When I saw the price tag, I immediately changed my mind. It costs an arm and a leg!

Example #3:

Are you sure you want to buy this car? There are many more affordable choices you know. This one costs an arm and a leg!

Example #4:

I can’t believe I spent a month’s salary on that weekend trip. That simple hotel room alone costs an arm and a leg!


red in the face

When someone is red in the face, it means the person is really embarrassed.

Example #1:

When the police finally caught her, she was handcuffed and escorted to the police car. She was red in face!

Example #2:

During the wedding, I tripped on my gown while walking down the aisle. I was absolutely red in the face!

Example #3:

He became red in the face when he picked a fight with the owner of the club by mistake.

Example #4:

The teacher became red in the face when a student challenged her opinion.


make ends meet

When you are making ends meet, it means you have just enough money to survive, without any money left for extravagant things.

Example #1:

Because of the crisis, some families barely have enough to make ends meet.

Example #2:

Girl1: Can I borrow some money from you?

Girl2: You know I would lend you cash if I had some, but I got laid off from work last week. I’m now struggling to make ends meet.

Example #3:

Some people make ends meet by managing several jobs all throughout the week.

Example #4:

It’s not fair when some people are filthy rich while others can’t even make ends meet.


Turn someone off

When you are turned off by someone, it means you are annoyed or disgusted with the behavior, attitude or appearance of that person.

Example #1:

She may be pretty, but when she speaks with that Southern Drawl, it just turns me off.

Example #2:

Boy1: What happened to that cute girl you were hanging out with last week?

Boy2: It turns out she already has a boyfriend.

Boy1: You mean she’s a two-timer? That’s such a turn off.

Example #3:

He may be rich and handsome but he’s too self-righteous. I think that’s what turned Mary off. She ditched him the other day.

Example #4:

Don’t pick your nose in front of your date. It will definitely turn her off!


Piece of cake

This is a phrase or expression used to imply that something is very easy to do. It may also be used to describe a topic that is easy to understand, or a problem that is easy to solve.

Example #1:

Girl: Thank you so much for helping us out with the decorations!

Boy: No problem, it was a piece of cake!

Example #2:

Gina aced the test. With all the studying she has been doing lately, the exam was probably a piece of cake!

Example #3:

Are you nervous about the interview? Don’t worry! The other applicants said it was a piece of cake.

Example #4:

If you studied for this test, it would have been a piece of cake.


I hope you enjoyed this book and found it helpful. Please share it with your friends.

Wishing you the best of life!

Robert Hewson


You can always contact me at admin@americanenglishtips.com

Please share this ebook with your friends. This ebook was produced by Robert of

RobTheTutor.com. For a free American English ecourse – subscribe at

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