8 Expressions That'll Make You Sound More Natural in American English

In this article, I’m going to teach you these 8 common words and expressions:

  1. Be about to
  2. Hideous
  3. Bent out of shape
  4. On the money
  5. What’s up with…
  6. Go off
  7. Get into
  8. To die for

1. Be about to

If you’re about to do something, you’re going to do it very soon. So we can say,

“I’m about to leave.”
“The movie is about to start.”
“He looks like he’s about to cry.” 

2. Hideous

When something is hideous, it’s very ugly. For example,

“The dress is hideous.”
“They built a hideous building in front of our house.”

We can also call an experience or an action hideous when it’s painful, unpleasant or evil. So we can say,

“The experience felt like a hideous nightmare.”
“The criminal was sentenced to life in prison for his hideous crimes.”

3. Bent out of shape

Literally, when an object is bent out of shape, it means that something distorted it or altered it, such as a hit or an accident. But this expression is rarely used literally. Most commonly, it’s American slang and it means angry, upset or annoyed. Let’s look at some common examples,

“They were bent out of shape because we were late.”
“She was bent out of shape because we didn’t invite her.”
“Don’t get all bent out of shape. I’m sure he didn’t mean to insult you.”

4. On the money

On the money is an informal American expression which means ‘exactly’ or ‘precisely’. Most commonly, we combine it with ‘right’ as in the following examples,

“I think what she said is right on the money.”
“She was right on the money when she told me that I should find a new job.”

5. What’s up with…

What’s up can be used sometimes as a kind of greeting. It’s another way to say, “What’s new?” and we usually respond with “Nothing much!”

But sometimes we use it when someone looks unhappy, worried or is just acting strange. For example, if your friend looks upset or is acting a little weird today, you can ask:

What’s up with you today? ”

Keep in mind that we can only use this expression with friends or with people who are close to us. Let’s look a few other examples,

What’s up with John lately?”
“Is something up with your sister? She looks really unhappy.”

We can also use it when a thing is not working properly. So we can say,

What’s up with your car? It’s making weird sounds.”

6. Go off

When a phone or an alarm goes off, it starts ringing. For example,

“I didn’t hear the alarm go off this morning.”
“I can’t believe my phone went off during my job interview!”

7. Get into

When we get into something, we become interested in it. So we can say, 

“How did you get into surfing?”
“I can’t get into this book because the first chapter is so boring.”

8. To die for

When something is so good that you want to have it, it’s to die for. It’s another way to say that something is delicious, irresistible or very attractive. For example,

“This cake is to die for!”
“Our hotel room had a view to die for!”

Do you want to become a more fluent and natural English speaker? Try an online class with me!
2020年4月28日
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Sama Alkhalili

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I help motivated professionals improve their job performance and accelerate career progression by advancing their communication skills in English. I've been helping non-native speakers improve their English communication skills for over ten years. From my experience, I know that the problem at this point is that your English is affecting your job performance. You are an expert in your field and you express yourself well in your native language, but feel unable to communicate in English. You might feel embarrassed because your colleagues and clients have a hard time understanding you when you speak in English. You might not understand or know how to use business English idioms, expressions, and phrases to express yourself. You might stay quiet in meetings because you spend a lot of time thinking about what to say even when you have great ideas and valuable feedback. You may also feel challenged when writing business emails, because you worry that there may be mistakes, or that your...
Flag
英語
globe
加拿大
time
236
使用語言:
英語
母語
,
西班牙語
A2
,
義大利語
A2
I help motivated professionals improve their job performance and accelerate career progression by advancing their communication skills in English. I've been helping non-native speakers improve their English communication skills for over ten years. From my experience, I know that the problem at this point is that your English is affecting your job performance. You are an expert in your field and you express yourself well in your native language, but feel unable to communicate in English. You might feel embarrassed because your colleagues and clients have a hard time understanding you when you speak in English. You might not understand or know how to use business English idioms, expressions, and phrases to express yourself. You might stay quiet in meetings because you spend a lot of time thinking about what to say even when you have great ideas and valuable feedback. You may also feel challenged when writing business emails, because you worry that there may be mistakes, or that your...
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