• The Grammar Goat - Idioms

First, here are some possible answers to the last blog’s questions…

  1. Have you tried this dish before? → I was wondering if you have tried this dish before, sir?
  2. Can you sign here? → I would be grateful if you could sign here, please sir?
  3. Do you prefer red or white wine? → Could you tell me if you prefer red or white wine, madam?

The Grammar Goat - Idioms


When a student says he knows an idiom, “Ah, yes I know it!” this isn’t always true. It isn’t enough to just remember the idiom. It isn’t enough to give a definition. You must also know the correct context for the idiom; when it is appropriate or inappropriate to use.

With most idioms, the realistic goal for students should be understanding an idiom when listening or reading. It is much more difficult to use it appropriately in conversation or in writing.

You should never learn an idiom in isolation. You should always learn an idiom in a memorable context. Also, drawing a picture of an idiom can help students to remember it, especially if you are a visual learner.

The Grammar Goat - Running A Tight Ship

“Our hotel manager manages us very well. She speaks to us every day and she makes sure we are all doing our jobs with 100% effort. We all know the rules. Our hotel manager runs a tight ship.”

To run a tight ship = to manage or control something very well

Does your manager run a tight ship?

Do you know what this idiom is (look at the picture below) and what it means?

Can you write an example sentence using the idiom which is memorable?

The Grammar Goat - Cup Of Tea

Grammar Goat Key Words:

Idioms, a context, appropriate, inappropriate, a visual learner