Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Explain the meaning of these nouns that are used as verbs:

1. to buttonhole someone
2. to table an amendment
3. to bed down for the night (colloquial)
4. to axe expenditure
5. to mirror public opinion
6. to mouth one's words
7. to ferret something out
8. to toe the line
9. to skewer a fish
10. to tax someone's patience
11. to pot a plant
12. to elbow one's pay through the crowd
13. to inch one's way along
14. to corner someone
15. to foot the bill
16. It preys on my mind
17. to fork out (colloquial)
18. to line a coat
19. to fox someone (colloquial)
20. to lace one's tea with whiskey
21. to floor someone in an argument (colloquial)
22. to corner the market
23. to thumb a lift (colloquial)
24. to shoulder responsibility
25. to tiptoe in
26. to man a ship
27.. to board up a window
28. to sponge on someone (colloquial)
29. to house the survivors
30. to referee a match
31. to vacuum the carpet
32. to coat something with varnish
33. to ship goods abroad
34. to outline government policy
35. to cotton on (colloquial)
36. to head for somewhere
37. to dwarf something
38. to dog someone's footsteps
39. to peter out
40. to guy something (colloquial)
41. to map out a holiday
42. to egg someone on (colloquial)
43. to leaf about (colloquial)
44. to beard the lion in his den
45. to cash in on something

Find out the meaning of and create sentences of your own with:

1. bits and pieces
2. cut and dried
3. house and home
4. pure and simple
5. wind and weather
6. far and wide
7. dead and buried
8. fat and furious
9. odds and ends
10. out-and-out -
11. rough and ready
12. all and sundry
13. high and dry
14. by and by
15. spick and span
16. hard and fast
17. free and easy
18. flesh and blood
19. few and far between
20. song and dance
21. might and main
22. wear and tear
23. the rank and file
24. meek and mild
25. now and then
26. cock and bull
27. stuff and nonsense
28. heart and soul
29. off and on
30. so-and-so
31. skimp and scrape
32. pros and cons
33. sick and tired of
34. down-and-out
35. give-and-take
36. up and about
37. once and for all
38. up-and-coming
39. over and done with
40. dead and alive
41. high and mighty
42. by and large
43. rack and ruin
44. a free-for-all
45. head over heels
46. there and then
47. life and soul of
48. far and away
49. long and short
50. touch and go
Explain the difference in meaning between:

1. to do time (colloquial)
to make time
to mark time
to beat time
to kill time

2. I gave him an example.
I set him an example.
I held him up as an example.
I made an example of him.
I pointed to him as an example.

3. She swept out the room.
She swept out of the room.

4. He's mad to buy it.
He's mad about buying it.

5. to swear at someone
to swear by someone
to swear someone in

6. It is in the north-west of London.
It is to the north-west of London.

7. matters of moment
matters of the moment

8. to take place
to take one's place

9. to go on a walk
to go for a walk
to take a walk
to go on foot

10. I haven't time to answer questions.
I don't have time to answer questions.

11. It is time to go to bed.
There is time to go to bed.

12. I don't think much of Shakespeare
I don't think much about Shakespeare.

13. out of work
out of order

14. long-sighted

15. There is nothing to do.
There is nothing to be done.

16. to set fire to something
to light a fire
to put on a fire

17. He is good to do that.
He is good at doing that.

18. Only I spoke to his sister.
I only spoke to his sister.
I spoke only to his sister.
I spoke to his only sister.

19. to attend a lecture
to attend to a lecture.

20. He stooped to do it.
He stooped to doing it.
He stopped to do it.
He stopped doing it.

21. to do work
to make work
to make it do
to make it work

22. to overhear a conversation
to eavesdrop on a conversation

23. to do good
to make good
to make good a loss

24. He is sure to pass the examination.
He is sure of passing the examination.

25. He used to teach English.
He is used to teaching English.

26. to make a fuss of
to make a fuss about

27. I am not afraid.
I am afraid not.

28. He dared to ask for a rise.
He dared me to ask for a rise.

29. in short

30. to do someone justice
to administer justice
to do justice to a meal

31. I would have liked to do it.
I would like to have done it.

32. He doesn't care to spend money on it.
He doesn’t care about spending money on it.

33. The Prime Minister you met last Saturday is a fool.
The Prime Minister, whom you met last Saturday, is a fool.

34. to look up at someone
to look up to someone
to look someone up
to look upon someone as . . .

35. He swore to do it.
He swore to doing it.

36. I had no sooner married her than ...
I had sooner not marry her.

37. You are right to think that. .
You are right in thinking that.

38. to do some repairs
to make reparation

39. I haven't had time to do it this morning.
I didn't have time to do it this morning.

40. to give way
to give someone away
to give away someone
to give way to someone

41. They went to see the nurse's home.
They went to see the nurses' home.
They went to see the nurses home.

42. He tried lighting the fire with paraffin.
He tried to light the fire with parafin.

43. My flat has a southern aspect.
My flat has a southern appearance.

44. The people who were in the street were excited.
The people, who were in the street, were excited.

45. I propose to go to the cinema.
I propose going to the cinema.

46. to make the best of something
to make the most of something

47. to believe someone
to believe in someone

48. How clever you are at doing it!
How clever you are to do it!

49. I left them to play cards and went home.
I left them playing cards and went home.

50. to hold a conversation
to make conversation

51. I would not dream of it.
I would not dream about it.

52. to be on the go
to be in the swim
to be on the run
to be in the running

53. to go together
to get on together

54. to care for
to take care of
to look after
to be careful of

55. to beat someone
to beat someone up

56. He likes her more than I.
He likes her more than me.

Explain the difference between:

1. a furniture van
a van of furniture

2. a good business deal
a good deal of business

3. Parliament building
the building of Parliament

4. a horserace
a race-horse

5. shipshape
the shape of a ship

6. a pay-day
a day's pay

7. plate glass
a glass plate

8. a workhouse
house work

9. daytime
a day's time

10. a cargo boat
a boat’s cargo

11. an eye-glass
a glass eye

12. a shipwreck
the wreck of a ship

13. a square foot
a foot square

14. a book-end
the end of the book

15. a paper-weight
the weight of paper

16. a lamp standard
a standard lamp

17. a boat-house
a houseboat

18 the rush-hour
an hour's rush

19. a sports field
field sports

20. a back seat
a seat back

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