Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Idioms: the senses

Type: Article

You'll like the sound of this ... Tim Bowen treats us to a feast for the senses.

If something leaves a bad taste in your mouth, you continue to feel unhappy or disappointed about it for a considerable amount of time afterwards. You might take your revenge on the person responsible for it by giving them a taste of their own medicine (treating them in the same way they treated you) but you might find that sort of behaviour an acquired taste (something you must try or have many times before you start to enjoy it).

If you like the sound of something, you are pleased by something you have heard or read, as in 'A holiday in Greece? I like the sound of that'. The expressions by the sound of it/things or from the sound of it/things are used to say that you are basing your ideas or opinions on what you have heard or read, as in ‘From the sound of things, they'll probably have to move before next year’.

If you have your sights set on something, you intend to achieve it, as in ‘She clearly has her sights set on a top job', but if you lose sight of something, you forget something important or forget how important it is, as in ‘We had lost sight of the value of true friendship’.If someone or something is a sight for sore eyes it means they or it is very pleasant to see, as in, 'After walking for miles in the hot sun, the ice cream store was a sight for sore eyes.' However, in contrast, an eyesore is something very unpleasant to look at, for example, 'The new tower block was a real eyesore.'

A person described as a soft touch is someone who can be persuaded very easily to do something, for example, to give you money, while a person who has the magic touch has a talent for solving difficult problems or resolving tricky situations.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • This is a good way to teach senses!

    Thank you so much!

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  • One example of "leave a bad taste in your mouth" can be found "One" U2 song.

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  • I'd like to see more real examples of the idioms, I mean, for each idiom at least 5 sentences. If possible the idioms should be classified in term of frequency, by using a corpus this could be done. So the idiom should be presented, the meaning explained, 5 examples shown and the classification, among the 1000 most common ones. But thanks anyway.

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