Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Idioms: way

Type: Article

Tim Bowen goes out of his way to explain idioms. He certainly has a way with words.

‘They went out of their way to make us welcome’. If you go out of your way to do something, you make an extra effort, even though it is not easy or convenient to do so. If things have come a long way, they have made a lot of progress or improved greatly over a period of time, as in ‘Aircraft safety has come a long way since the 1950s’. This expression is normally only used in the perfect tenses.

If you have a way with someone or something, you have a special connection or relationship, as in ‘Rupert has a way with words. I always enjoy listening to his talks’ or ‘She has a way with animals. They always seem to like her’. When people do something in a big way, they do it a lot or think it is important, as in ‘Paul was into sailing in a big way. He spent every weekend out on the water’.

The expression in no way, shape or form is used to emphasize that something is not true or possible, as in ‘This government is in no way, shape or form responsible for the mess that we find ourselves in’.

To emphasize that something is definitely true, the expression no two ways about it can be used, as in ‘Let’s face it. The government is responsible, no two ways about it’. The expression it’s always the way can be used to say that something always happens in a way that is annoying, as in ‘It’s always the way, isn’t it? You forget your umbrella and it starts raining’.

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