Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Idioms: roof

Type: Article

Have you ever hit or gone through the roof? Tim Bowen is here to calm your nerves and explain a few idioms along the way.

‘When the final whistle blew, the home fans raised the roof’. This means they made a lot of noise, cheering and applauding. If, on the other hand, someone hits the roof, they become very angry quite suddenly and start shouting, as in ‘When the manager found out what had happened, he hit the roof’. The expression go through the roof can be used in a similar way, as in ‘My sister went through the roof when she saw what I’d done to her car’. Go through the roof can also be used to indicate a rapid increase to a very high level, as in ‘Petrol prices have gone through the roof over the last few months’.

A roof over your head means somewhere to live, as in ‘Some people are struggling to keep a roof over their head these days’. If you find yourself under someone’s roof, you are in their house, usually on a relatively long-term basis, as in ‘As long as you are living under my roof, you’ll do as I say’. If you are under the same roof, you are living in the same home as someone else, as in ‘Things got so bad between them that they could no longer bear to live under the same roof’.

The roof of the world is used to describe the highest mountains in Asia, particularly the Himalayas and the surrounding regions, as in ‘China’s new 1,200-mile railway crosses some of the world’s harshest terrain on its way to the roof of the world’.

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