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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.

  • to be in the same boat = be in the same unpleasant situation.
    All of us have lost our job. We're all on the same boat.
  • to miss the boat = fail to take an opportunity that will give you an advantage.
    You'll miss the boat if you don't buy shares now.
  • to push the boat out (UK) = spend more money than usual on something special.
    Come on, push the boat out and get tickets for the concert!
  • to rock the boat = cause problems for other members of a group by criticizing something.
    She didn't want to rock the boat, so she kept silent during the meeting.
  • to throw somebody under the bus = get somebody in trouble by placing the blame on him or not standing up for him.
    She threw her employees under the bus, claiming no responsibility in her own mistakes.
  • to paddle one's own canoe (UK) = do things for oneself.
    She was alone so she had to paddle her own canoe all the time.
  • to put the cart before the horse = do two things in the wrong order.
    First you must have dinner and then eat the dessert. You're putting the cart before the horse.
  • to upset the apple cart = spoil somebody's plans.
    She didn't want to upset the apple cart by asking to change the date of the meeting.
  • to climb/jump/get on the bandwagon = start doing something that a lot of people are already doing (used to show disapproval).
    They noticed the success of reality-shows around the world and decided to jump on the bandwagon to produce their own.
  • to fall off the back of a lorry = be probably stolen (used humorously).
    He has a new stereo, which, we suspect, fell off the back of a lorry.
  • to jump ship = leave an organization that you are working for, specially to join another.
    Our boss jumped ship and now he's working for our competitor.
  • to run a tight ship = manage a company effectively.
    Our new boss really runs a tight ship.
  • to desert/leave a sinking ship = leave a place or a person when things become difficult.
    She didn't want to desert a sinking ship but the company situation was really unbearable.
  • somebody's train of thought = somebody's sequence of ideas.
    She couldn't follow his train of thought on the matter.
  • to lose one's train of thought = forget what one was thinking about.
    I'm sorry, but I lost my train of thought. What was I saying?

We thank Sandra Riera (from Barcelona, Spain) for her suggestion.


Choose the right answer.

1. This is the perfect opportunity to move to another city. Do it now or you'll .

2. You should first paint the room and then enter the furniture, but not the other way around! Don't .

3. Everything was going fine here. Now you come and !

4. Sorry, but I . I can't remember what I was going to say.

5. Laura isn't helping us at all. She decided to .

6. Fred has always had his own ideas. He's not the kind of person to .

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