Lesson Summary 

English idioms can be frustrating to understand and use at the best of times. In this video, I’ll teach you how to use some of my favourite ‘food’ idioms!

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Video Transcript
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Hello! I’m Emma from mmmEnglish. In this video, I’m going to show you how to use my favourite English ‘food’ idioms!

English idioms are ‘a piece of cake’!!

Now, if you don’t know what English idioms are…. They’re expressions in English that are really commonly used but the individual meaning of each word on their own is different to the meaning of the expression when all of these words are together.

So this expression means that something is easy or simple to do!

EXAMPLE. “I’m confident I passed the exam – it was a piece of cake!”

Now there are hundreds and hundreds of English idioms – so trying to learn them all is a pretty overwhelming task, isn’t it?Even just knowing which ones to focus on! Which ones to try and learn and which ones to use!?

Some idioms are very commonly used, others are not.

So my advice to you when you are learning idioms is not to use a huge long list of hundreds and hundreds of idioms. In this lesson, I’m going to share with you a few idioms that I use all the time – almost everyday!

And all of these idioms are to do with food. Ready? Let’s try them out!

1. (to) put all your eggs in one basket”

Now, this idiom is used to describe when you risk everything at once and it usually relates to money or opportunity or hopes for the future. And it’s based on the idea that if you drop the basket that’s full of eggs, you’ll lose everything!

Perhaps it’s a better idea to put your eggs in a few different baskets so that if you drop one, you’ll still have some others.

EXAMPLES:

  • While my brother trained to be a professional footballer, he also studied a degree in engineering. Because my dad advised him not to put all his eggs in one basket.
  • My uncle invested all of his savings in one company, that went bankrupt. I don’t know why he put all of his eggs in one basket.

2. “(to be) in a pickle”

We use this idiom when we are in a difficult situation or we have a problem.

EXAMPLES:

  • Often said as: “I’m in a bit of a pickle” especially when the problem is not too serious and you want to make it seem less serious than it really is
  • We’re in a pickle… I just locked the keys in the car!
  • I promised to pick up my sister from the airport. But I’m still at work and can’t leave yet. I’m in a bit of a pickle – can you help?

3. (to) bite off more than (one) can chew

This is one of my favourite ones. It’s when you try to do something that is too difficult for you and you’re not able to do it. Maybe you don’t have the skills or you don’t have the time to make sure that you can do it.

EXAMPLES:

  • He’s been working back late every night this week trying to finish the project. I think he’s bitten off more than he can chew.
  • I’m so sorry, I haven’t got time to meet you for lunch today. I’m organizing my sister’s surprise party and I’ve bitten off more than I can chew! There’s too much to do!

4. (to) butter someone up

Now this idiom means that you be really nice or friendly to someone, so that you can get something from them. You want them to do something for you so you’re very nice. You’re buttering them up!

EXAMPLES:

  • Have you ever cooked your mum a really nice meal (or maybe taken her out for a nice dinner) and then asked her if you could borrow some money?!! Well then, you’ve buttered them up!
  • I know that Paul has a spare ticket to the concert. Perhaps if we butter him up, he might offer it to us!
  • He’ll have to butter his boss up if he wants to take extra leave at Christmas time.

5. in a nutshell

Now this idiom is used to show that you are talking about something or describing something in a really simple way. You’re not using many words, you’re trying to be as clear and as simple as possible.

EXAMPLES:

  • Your friend asked you about a movie you saw on the weekend and you answer…. “Well, it’s a complicated story…. But, in a nutshell, it’s about three astronauts who disappear for thirty years, before returning to Earth with no memory anything that had happened!
  • I don’t want to explain their whole history, but in a nutshell, they just wanted different things out of life. She wanted travel and adventure, he wanted to focus on his career. So, in the end, they broke up. It’s really sad.

So, they are some of my favourite English ‘food’ idioms! I hope that you learned a couple of new ones and you were reminded about some that you already knew!

Do you know any other English food idioms? Share them in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already so that you can keep up to date with all of my new lessons. You can also find me on Facebook and check out my website at mmmEnglish.com for online courses and other information.

I hope that you enjoyed this lesson and I will see you next time! Bye for now!

 

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mmmEnglish Video Lessons are a series of video lessons created to build confidence in English learners and focus on English in daily life. Download them and watch them anywhere! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to be the first to get my new videos, and come and say hi on my Facebook page!!