Recursos para estudiantes de inglés de todos los niveles, profesores y traductores. Para aprender o mejorar tu inglés en forma divertida.
English Vocabulary - Vocabulario de inglés
¿Qué es un idiom?
Un "idiom" o "idiomatic expression" es una frase idiomática utilizada en lenguaje coloquial informal.

En general, el significado de la frase en sí es diferente al significado normal de cada palabra por separado. Por ejemplo, "to let the cat out of the bag" significa "revelar un secreto". Si traducimos palabra por palabra, sería "dejar salir al gato de la bolsa", lo cual es incorrecto.

La dificultad para los estudiantes de inglés radica en que no pueden traducirse literalmente y deben aprenderse de memoria, aunque en algunos casos existen equivalentes muy similares en el idioma español.

Lee las explicaciones y luego realiza el ejercicio.

  • the ball is in your court = it's your turn, it's your decision.
    We already decided what to do, now the ball is in your court.
  • out of left field = unexpected.
    Sheila didn't know what to do when she was asked that question out of left field.
  • to get to first base = to reach the first stage of success in an attempt to achieve something.
    We will get to first base when we finish this campaign.
  • to play the game = to accept the rules, to do things in the expected or usual way.
    If you want to be promoted, you have to play the game.
  • to hit below the belt = to hurt somebody in an unfair or cruel way.
    His comments hit below the belt.
  • to hold the aces = to have the necessary advantages so that you are sure that you will win.
    The Americans hold all the aces in space exploration.
  • to give the game away = to spoil a surprise or secret by doing something that lets somebody guess what the secret is.
    Laura gave the game away by laughing just when Tom came in.
  • a win-win situation = a situation that will end well for everyone involved.
    This campaign is a win-win situation.
  • to kick off = to start.
    The meeting kicked off with the director's speech.
  • to start/keep the ball rolling = to begin/continue something.
    To start the ball rolling, famous artists were invited to contribute to the campaign. To keep the ball rolling, people can donate their part too.
  • that's the way the ball bounces = that's the way things happen.
    Paul was fired because he had stolen a computer, that's the way the wall bounces.
  • to jump the gun = to start doing something too son.
    We have to take our time to think about this decision, so don't jump the gun.
  • to take time out = to take a break from an activity.
    I have a terrible headache, could we just take a time-out?
  • to touch base with somebody = to talk to somebody about something.
    I have to touch base with my boss before I present my resignation.
  • to throw in the towel = to admit that you have been defeated.
    I have to go on until I succeed, I'm not going to throw in the towel yet.

We thank Bladimir Rodríguez (from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) for his suggestions.


Choose the right answer.

1. Now, all of you must keep quiet or you'll .

2. Some women from their careers when they have young children.

3. That's not fair! Your remarks really !

4. The storm came and surprised us.

5. She likes visiting her childhood town and her old friends.

6. She shouted at me before I started to speak. I don't understand why she always .

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