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6

"Your time is up" is a common idiomatic phrase for telling someone they are about to die. The response by Frosty the Snow Chick is snarky and takes the inquiry somewhat literally. A proper response to the question can vary from: Nothing much. (i.e., I have nothing going in my life that's notable.) or I'm doing/going/seeing X Y today or this weekend. ...


5

I think the source of that statement was mixing his idioms. I think he meant to say "cut the mustard" (meaning "to be adequate"), but he accidentally confused "mustard" with "cheese", with funny results -- unless he did it on purpose to be humorous.


3

This is obviously where experience and knowledge starts to really help! One practical way that even native speakers are advised to use to get that knowledge is a decent thesaurus, and then under synonyms or antonyms there should be some useful alternatives - including phrasal verbs. Here is thesaurus.com I have put in 'separate' already. Notice the tabs ...


3

"Come together" can also mean that something is developing or working out as you want it to. In this case, the app is letting you see how the plan gets set up and working effectively. 3 : to begin to work or proceed in the desired way // The project started slowly, but everything is finally starting to come together now. Source: Merriam-Webster.


3

Something that is very close to this sentiment—although being a proverb, it's not identical—is every dog has its day: [The Free Dictionary] Prov. Everyone gets a chance eventually. Don't worry, you'll get chosen for the team. Every dog has its day. You may become famous someday. Every dog has his day. Although, if interpreted in its usual sense it's ...


3

I have commonly heard: One man's trash is another man's treasure. It doesn't have the exact same meaning, but it is similar to what you are looking for. Even if you do not have a use for something, it may have a use to other people. It can therefore also mean that even if you don't obviously have a use for something now, it does not mean that it is ...


3

A single word that describes this idea is placeholder: 1 : a person or thing that occupies the position or place of another person or thing // The bill would empower the governor to appoint a placeholder to a vacant U.S. Senate seat, to serve through the next general election cycle. — John Sharp // The result was that the legislation ...


2

To answer your questions: The sentence works, as in it's valid English and it makes sense. However, I've only ever heard the phrase "daunting task" used when something is seriously challenging. Examples: To send a rocket to the moon is a daunting task. Harvesting all these crops by nightfall is going to be a daunting task. "Daunting" isn't used ...


2

Idiomatically, if you do that, you are blowing it out of proportion: [The Free Dictionary] blow (something) out of (all) proportion To make something seem more important, negative, or significant than it really is; to exaggerate something or focus unnecessary attention on something. I'm sure he didn't mean anything by that comment—don't blow it out of ...


2

It's not an idiom or metaphor. That sentence is the start of Chapter Eighteen of the Ghost Files by April Baker. In the previous chapter (Seventeen) the narrator goes to a "rock band tournament", where a number of bands compete for a prize, and right at the end, receives some surprising information, and, as the next chapter starts, is considering it while ...


2

When the soldiers or animals jump out it's to ambush and an ambush. So you have "waiting in ambush", "lying in ambush" as well as "waiting to ambush" The cat lay in ambush on the windowsill, and attacked as soon as the prey was within reach. The platoon waited in ambush behind the barn, but were soon exposed by barking dogs. The salesman sat in the bar ...


2

Still waters run deep. Originally the proverb implied that silent people are dangerous because their motives cannot be read—they may be harboring hostile intentions. Today, however, the proverb is usually understood to mean that silent people have hidden depths of insight and emotion—they should not be dismissed merely because they don't parade ...


2

Sayings like "there is life in the old dog yet", or "there is many a good tune played on an old fiddle" certainly fit, but they can both imply an element of surprise at the old person's ability to keep up with someone younger as if the display of vitality is uncharacteristic. If instead, you want to portray the older person as fit, strong, and dismissive of ...


2

I know the second one as There is life in the old dog yet. As given in The Free Dictionary. One still has vitality or the ability to perform certain actions despite one's advanced age. Did you see Grandpa out on the dance floor? There's life in the old dog yet!


2

"Letting the grass grow under your feet" is a saying about procrastination, so it does not really fit. "Until the cows come home" does mean a long time, but not indefinitely - the cows come home each day (it refers to them returning each morning for milking after being put out to pasture at night). "Hell freezes over" is normally used when saying that ...


2

The author of the story humorously modified the established idiom. Just as the Christian Bible was used for oaths by ordinary people, so railway officials might consider their timetables to be 'holy books' that regulate their activies. You can imagine that English teachers might swear on a stack of dictionaries, or of copies of a well-known grammar book.


2

1) As you mentioned, all of these statement are very close in meaning to each other. A slight difference in meaning I see is that while 'putting a spoke in his (or their) wheel' always indicates interfering with the plans of someone else, 'putting a monkey wrench/spanner in the works' means that you are fouling up a particular system but not always the plans ...


2

I: Uh huh. Are women’s films actually made for women? I mean, do the film makers sit down and say ‘We’re going to make a women’s film here’? P: Yes, they often make a story which they think women will like. But often it’s the other way round. For example films from classic literature, such as Pride and Prejudice – these could be called women’s films. ...


2

Native speakers looking for this kind of thing use a thesaurus (wikipedia), most often one descended from Roget's 1805 work. An online version of that gives separate 10 Irrelation: Adj. disrelated, disconnected, dissociated, detached, removed, separated, separate, segregate, apart, independent, independent. 15 Difference: Vb. separate, sever,...


2

You're so right that translation is far more than simply substituting words. To translate well from one language to another you need to have a reasonable idiomatic understanding of both. My favourite example of how you can't translate with a bilingual dictionary alone is that if you were asked to translate the German term "schraube and mutter" into English ...


2

An expression that comes close to your proverb is: The devil take the hindmost defined by phrases.org.uk as: A proverbial phrase indicating that those who lag behind will receive no aid. And by Widtionary as: everyone should look after their own interests, leaving those who cannot cope to whatever fate befalls them. There is a cycle race - with ...


2

Some possibilities include: "Engaged/were locked in mortal combat." "Fought (each other) to the death." "dueled", "clashed" Softer possibilities include "threw down" (which evokes the image of someone removing boxing gloves and restrictive clothing - "The gloves came off"), or softer still, they "had a fight".


2

I think this idiom might fit: There's no hard-and-fast rule about X. Hard-and-fast means strongly binding; not to be set aside or violated. However, in the context of contracts and in consideration of leniency, I can't think of one.


2

One common idiom is to say, It's not written in stone. Obviously, if you have a rule that's literally carved into stone, it's difficult to amend. Also, it's likely that this idiom is based on the Biblical story of Moses revealing the Ten Commandments written on stone tablets, so this idiom is the equivalent of saying, "It's not a commandment directly from ...


2

An often used phrase is textbook example or equivalently textbook case: : a classic, perfect case/example // The scandal is a textbook case/example of corporate greed. (source: Merriam-Webster) Of your other examples, typical is a good solution too, picture less so. I'd rather choose model, or the much more sophisticated word paragon: A person or ...


2

There doesn't seem to a word which is an exact parallel and addresses all these cases and is in common usage, or even uncommon usage. Your phrase "an obvious example of" may be one of the best ways of conveying your precise meaning, though there are alternatives which would be much more natural in common English but aren't identical in their connotations. ...


2

The idiom I immediately thought of is look up to. From macmillandictionary.com: look up to someone to admire and respect someone He’s a role model for other players to look up to. You can also consider, view, see, have someone as a role model, or be a role model for/to someone. You're a role model someone follows, or copies, or imitates.


2

Actually, yes, that's what it means and I agree, it doesn't make much sense when taken literally. When this phrase is used it's usually to highlight the fact that nobody else is there to say goodbye to the person. They are alone in their departure and the writer wants to call attention to this fact without saying it literally. It emphasizes the solitude and ...


2

"In the red" (meaning lose money) or "in the black" (meaning make money), are common idioms. Being "in the red" indicates that you have a debt, but you expect, or hope, to make a profit later. It is normal for businesses to borrow money from the bank, with the intention of making a profit later. The company went into the red during the second quarter, but ...


1

Consider the following idioms. To push one's buttons. Meaning: to do things that create a very strong emotional reaction in one, especially anger, irritation, or exasperation: I hate Mary's new boyfriend, he's always trying to push my buttons, and he's doing a good job of it! To hit/strike/touch a nerve. Meaning: to make someone feel angry, upset, ...


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