Come a long way

To make a great amount of progress overtime

“The podcast has come a long way since it first started ten years ago.”


The ball is in someone’s court

It is someone’s responsibility to do something or take a decision now. For example, when you have done your bit and it’s now the other person’s turn to make a move.

“In my latest blogpost, I have put forward several ideas for you to keep your English afloat this summer. The ball is in your court now.”


No strings attached

To show that an offers carries no special conditions or something unpleasant you have to accept as part of it

“In Salem (Massachusetts), Sidewalk Talk volunteers listen with no strings attached.”


Have a soft spot for 

To be particularly fond of someone or something

“They have a soft spot for Canada and travel there as often as they can.”



If you have get-up-and-go, you have a positive attitude, energy and drive to take action.

“This project needs people with lots of get-up-and-go.”


On another note

Changing the subject

“….I’ll send in the reports tomorrow.

On another note, we are all meeting up for after-work drinks on Friday. You are more than welcome.”


Have a think

(British) Think about something carefully

“Let me have a think about it and I’ll get back to you.”


Nothing to write home about

Mediocre, not exciting

“The play was nothing to write home about, a bit of a waste of time and money really.”


I can’t make head nor tail of something

I don’t understand it at all.

“I can’t make her nor tail of the lyrics of this song but I love the tune.”


Fair enough

To show you accept it when someone says something reasonable.

A: “I don’t mind doing overtime today as long as I can take an afternoon off next week.”

B: “Fair enough.”


Up to no good

Doing something bad, illegal or immoral

“The neighbours feared that the group of teens hanging out in the street were up to no good and called the police.”


Keep to a/the minimum

to limit to the smallest amount possible

“The doctor told her patient to keep his alcohol intake to a minimum.”


At hand 

Or close at hand. Very near, accessible when needed.

“Always keep tissues close at hand when young kids are around.”


Lose your nerve

To lose the courage to do something that you were planning to do.

“Just before going into the classroom to meet a group of students, the girl lost her nerve and couldn’t face up to it.”


Miss the point

Fail to understand what is important in a message

“But you are missing the point, the main idea in her speech is that we can and should do something to stop global warming.”


(Have) a craving for

To crave or  have a craving for something means to have a strong desire for something.

“My workmate had a craving for chocolate this morning and quickly popped out to the shops to get some.”


That takes the biscuit

 It is too much. The most annoying thing in a series of things. (US- the cake)

“Late as usual and now you want us to start all over again. That really takes the biscuit!”


(It) gives me the shivers

It makes me feel frightened

“The way that man looked at the girls gave me the shivers. He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a school.”



Apart from a ship that breaks ice in frozen waters, an ice-breaker can be something that someone says or does to make it easier to start a conversation among people who meet for the first time.

“As an ice-breaker, the teacher handed out small pieces of paper where the students had to write three activities they were into, and then walk around and share.”


Few and far between

Not happening very often

“Screenings of films in their original version are few and far between in this city.”


Clases de Inglés en Vitoria – Gasteiz. Particulares y grupos reducidos.