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Ten Very Common Expressions in Spoken English


Level: Intermediate

This lesson will help you learn (or review) ten expressions which are very common in spoken English. Once you have learned them, our advice is to use them often.

Part One. First find the word in Column B which fits the blank space in Column A.
Then notice that groups (or chunks) of words in Column A are in bold face type. These are very common expressions and we suggest you remember as if they were each a single word. You have probably met many of them before.
Finally, look at Column C and match the meanings with the boldface chunks in column A.




1. all of a ___________________

a. smoking

a. isn't connected with

2. all at ____________________

b. place

b. everywhere

3. all over the _______________

c. clue

c. Keep working on it

4. and all the ________________

d. bathroom

d. I'll be right back

5. Let's have a _______________

e. look

e. and so on

6. You might as well get on with ________

f. it

f. I have no idea

7. Hang on a ________________

g. sudden

g. suddenly

8. I haven't got a _______ where I'm going.

h. rest of it

h. suddenly

9. My cough has nothing to do with my________

i. minute

i. Wait!

10. I have to go to the _________

j. once

j. Let's see.

Part Two. Now fill in the blanks below with the boldface chunks from Column A. Use each chunk once.

Friend One: What happened to your pants?
Friend Two: I was riding my bike along Broadway and ________________________ this dachshund came out of nowhere and started chasing me. It didn't get me, but it took a big piece out of my pants!
Friend One (laughs): I can't believe you were attacked by a weiner dog!
Friend Two: Don't laugh. They have sharp little teeth.

Friend One: We'd better get going, or we'll be late.
Friend Two: ___________________________ I just have to make a quick phone call first.
Friend One: Okay, fine. But if the tickets are all sold out, remember, don't blame me.

Colleague One: Is this a good time to talk?
Colleague Two: Sure. I just ___________________ first. I'll be right here.
Colleague One: Okay, sure. I'll just grab a coffee, then, and I'll meet you back here.

Acquaintance One: So where did you grow up?
Acquaintance Two: My family lived ____________________: Victoria, the Comox Valley, Prince George, Kamloops, Kelowna, Horsefly…
Acquaintance One: Horsefly! I've never met anyone who's lived in Horsefly.

Brother: Where's Mom?
Sister: I don't know… __________________________________. She wasn't here when I got home and she didn't leave a note or anything.
Brother: did you check the phone messages? Maybe she had to work late.

Neighbor One: What are you up to this weekend?
Neighbor Two: Oh, nothing too exciting. It's just a work weekend. Mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, trimming the hedges, cleaning out the garage, fixing the fence, ________________________________.
Neighbor One: Sounds fun. I'll think about you while I'm skiing down the slopes of Whistler.

g. Doctor: So, what seems to be the trouble?
Patient: I've had this horrible sore throat for the last three or four days. My throat feels like it's on fire. Especially when I try to talk.
Doctor: Then open up, and _____________________________. Say aaaaaaaaah.

Friend One: You really seem like you're in a bad mood tonight. I hope it's not something to do with me.
Friend Two: No, don't worry, it __________________________________. I just had a lousy day at work.
Friend One: Me too, actually.

Acquaintance One (humourously): Did you go crazy ____________________, or was it a slow, gradual process?
Acquaintance Two: I think I've always been a bit crazy.
Acquaintance One: I thought so!

Colleague One: Does anyone know where Dolores is? Our meeting was supposed to start five minutes ago. She said she'd be here.
Colleague Two: I saw her a few minutes ago, and she said she'd be about ten minutes late. We might as well ___________________________.

Talking Point

1. Do you know anyone who has lived all over the place?

2. Name a subject which you haven't got a clue about. Would you like to know more about that subject, or not?

3. When was the last time you told someone to hang on a minute, or something that meant the same thing?