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Idioms: “on the clock” & “off the clock”

“On the clock”: to be working/getting paid Example: The police officer stopped to have dinner on his break. The waitress offered him a beer. He said, “No thanks, I’m on the clock.”     “Off the clock”: not at work/off duty/not being paid to work Example: Rebecca works at a grocery store. She had just finished her shift and was leaving for the day. On her way out, a coworker asked for her help. Rebecca said, “Sorry I can’t help, I’m off the clock.”


“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”: A child does not differ from (is the same as) their parents. Examples: After meeting the student’s parents, she realized the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; they were sarcastic too. Can you believe his behavior? Sadly, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.


“It runs in the family” & “In one’s blood”

Here are two idioms that people use when talking about things that family members have in common. “It runs in the family.” Someone that many members/people in the family have, such as a quality, skill, problem and/or disease. Examples: A passion for theatre runs in the family. Diabetes runs in his family.   “In one’s blood” Something that is in-built in one’s family. Examples: Teaching runs in my blood. Playing soccer runs in his blood.


“A spitting image”

Here is an idiom that people use when they talk about people in their family or people in other families. “A spitting image” Typically, used when someone has a strong resemblance (looks just alike/similar) to another family member. Examples: Her daughter is a spitting image of her. Brad is a spitting image of his father.


“close family” / “close-knit family” / “tight family”

“close family” “close-knit family” “tight family” They all refer to a family that is connected, stays near each other, is united in love, and/or spends lots of time together. Examples: We are a close family. They are a close-knit family. They are a tight family because they spend lots of time together.


A joke…This Woman Has Four Men in Her Life.

The joke is that the woman is never lonely because she has 4 men in her life. Each of the men’s name is bolded. Charlie Horse: A Charley horse is a muscle spasm that is typically in the legs. She gets (wakes) up with a charley horse Arthur Itis: Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of the joints in the body. She spends the day with (having) arthritis. Will Power: Is when a person uses control to not do something. She dines (eats) with will power. Ben Gay: Bengay is a cream that is used to relieve muscle and joint pain. She goes to sleep with Bengay on her body.  


A “Touchy Subject”

Touchy subject: A subject that can make people feel uncomfortable or upset. It can also offend people or cause them to feel emotional pain. It is best to deal with a touchy subject in a careful and sensitive way.   Examples: Age is a touchy subject for some people. For some people, weight is a touchy subject. Death is a touchy subject. There are people that feel money is a touchy subject.


Ways to Talk About Relaxing

If you are going to talk about yourself relaxing, you can say things like… I’m going to… relax chill chill out unwind rest destress “chillax”   Here are some phrases you can use to talk about yourself… I need to/I will… take a break “unplug” “switch off” take time for myself “put my feet up” “recharge my batteries” “clear my mind.”


Ways to Say Relax & Calm Down:

If someone is talking loudly, yelling, or screaming and you want them to speak in a lower tone of voice, you can say… Please, lower your voice. (Use this in a formal/professional setting.) Please, don’t talk so loudly. Please stop yelling/screaming.   If you want the person to stop talking about the situation or physically stop taking action, you can say… Just, let it go. Just, drop it. Give it a rest.   If you want the person to pause and think, you can say… Please stop and think. (Use this in a formal/professional setting.) Wait a moment. Hold your horses.


U.S. Time:

In the U.S., we use a 12-hour clock. Many other countries use a 24-hour clock.   In the U.S., each day has two (2) twelve (12) hour shifts. Midnight 12:00am 12:01am-11:59am (this is the morning) Noon 12:00pm 12:01pm-11:59pm (this includes the afternoon, evening, & night) am (before noon) = morning pm (after noon) = afternoon, evening, & night Some of the countries that use a 12-hour clock: Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Columbia, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Egypt, Bangladesh, India, Jordan, Pakistan, Philippines, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.