Winter Olympics: competition, league, skate, time-out, gold, silver


Idiom Explanation Example
blow the competition away to outdo all the other competitors She was a far better swimmer than anyone else there – she blew the competition away.
out of someone’s league
to be much better than someone else I don’t understand how Tom and Lily got together. She’s way out of his league!
skate on thin ice
to be in a precarious position The boss is in a bad mood today. If you keep cracking jokes around him instead of doing your work, you’re skating on thin ice.
short break or pause Will you two please stop fighting for a minute? Take a time-out!


Idiom Explanation Example
Not all that glitters is gold. not everything that looks good is actually good

—Christian seems to get along so well with his family. I’ve never seen them arguing.
—Not all that glitters is gold.

worth one’s/its weight in gold
very valuable/useful True friends are worth their weight in gold.
Silence is golden.
sometimes it’s better to be quiet than to talk

—Can I borrow your books? I promise I’ll give them back soon. The weather’s so lovely today. Shall we go to the lake? But perhaps it’s already too late for that. Look! I bought this today. Do you like it? You’re not saying anything!
—Silence is golden.


Idiom Explanation Example
every cloud has a silver lining
everything that’s bad also has a good side to it If I I hadn’t lost my job, I wouldn’t have met my boyfriend – we met at the employment agency! I guess every cloud has a silver lining.
on a silver platter
to get something without having to put out any effort She never had to work. She got everything handed to her on a silver platter.
to be an eloquent, convincing speaker He only had to describe his business concept and the sponsors immediately agreed to finance it. He’s truly a silver-tongued devil!
born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth
to be the child of rich parents He’s used to luxury. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
display incorrect answers

Exercises C1

Complete the sentences with the words below.

silver – golden – ice

  1. Sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all. After all, silence is  .
  2. Are you sure you want to take that risk? You’re really skating on thin  .
  3. She’s an incredibly convincing speaker. She’s truly  -tongued.

Choose the correct idiom.

  1. As a flight attendant, Betty has travelled around the entire world. But the job is exhausting, it’s not as glamorous as it looks.
  2. Jacob really likes Mia, but she’s a successful businesswoman and he’s still living with his parents.
  3. Don’t be nervous about the dance contest, you’re way better than all the others.
  4. Talented, motivated employees are important to a company.
  5. Carlos and Michael are constantly fighting. Yesterday I got tired of it and said:

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