Học tiếng anh, ngoài trau dồi vốn từ vựng chính thống, chúng ta cũng cần học những từ, những cụm từ hay cách nói trong đời sống hàng này của người bản xứ, có như thế thì ít ra chúng ta cũng có thể hiểu được cách nói của người bản xứ trước khi nói được tiếng anh một cách lưu loát và gần gũi hơn với đời sống. Bài học bên dưới sẽ giúp bạn một số thành ngữ tiếng anh bắt đầu bằng chữ “A”
Be about to do sth – Chuẩn bị làm việc gì
►be going to do sth immediately
I was about to phone him when he walked into the office.
That’s about all/it – Hết rồi, xong rồi
►Used to say that you have finished telling somebody about sth and there is nothing to add
‘Anything else?’ ‘No, that’s about it for now’.
Be/get above yourself – Tự cao, tự đại
►behave as if you are better or more important than you really are
She’s getting a bit above herself. She’s only been working for me for two weeks and already she’s telling me what to do!
Keep abreast of sth – Cập nhật thông tin
►Make sure that you know all the most recent facts about a subject
It is almost impossible to keep abreast of all the latest developments in computing.
Of your own accord – Tự nguyện
► without being asked or forced
I didn’t need to tell her to apologize; she did it of her own accord.
By/from all accounts – Theo nhận định của nhiều người
► used when the speaker does not have the direct experience of the thing mentioned but is reporting the ideas, etc of others
I’ve never seen any of her films but she is a brilliant director, by all accounts.
The acid test (of sth) – Phép thử
►a situation which finally proves whether sth is good or bad, true or false
They’ve always been good friends, but the acid test will come when they have to share a flat.
• Acquired taste
An acquired taste –
► a thing which you find unpleasant or do not appreciate at first but which you gradually learn to like
Whiskey is an acquired taste.
An act of God (law) – Bất khả kháng
► an event caused by natural sources which people cannot control or prevent, for example a hurricane, earthquake, etc.
The insurance policy covers your house against all types of damage, excluding those caused by acts of God.
Add fuel to the fire/flames – Đổ dầu vào lửa – Bôi dầu cho kiến leo
► do or say sth which makes a difficult situation worse, or makes smb even more angry, etc.
She was already furious and his apologies and excuses only added fuel to the flames.
Take advantage of sth/smb – Lợi dụng ai – Lợi dụng thời cơ
► make good use of sth; to make use of an opportunity;
We made sure that we took full advantage of the hotel facilities.
►Make use of smb/sth in a way that is unfair or dishonest
He took advantage of my generosity (for example, by taking more than I had intended to give).
After all – Sau cùng
► used to show that sth is the opposite of what you first intend to do or expect to happen
I think I will have something to eat after all.
►used when you are explaining sth, or giving a reason
Can’t I stay up late tonight? After all, there’s no school tomorrow!
Then / there again – Hóa ra là
►used for introducing an extra piece of information which explains sth or gives another explanation for sth
I thought he liked me, but then again maybe he didn’t.
(Up) in the air – Chưa chắc chắn/ Chưa quyết định
►(of plans, etc) uncertain; not yet decided
I’m hoping to take a holiday this month but my plans are still very much up in the air.
Give yourself / put on airs – Tự cao / Kiêu ngạo
► behave in a way which shows that you feel you are important
The nice thing about her is that, in spite of being so rich, she doesn’t put on any airs.
All along – Ngay từ đầu
► from the beginning
I said all along that this would happen.
All in all – Xét toàn diện
►when everything is considered
All in all the film was a great success, despite the bad publicity.
Be all over smb / Rất quan tâm
►show a lot of affection for or enthusiasm about smb
He was all over her at the party.
Make allowances for smb / Xê xoa
►Not judge smb too strictly because of certain problems or difficulties
The court was asked to make allowances for the age of the accused.
To make amends(to smb) (for sth/doing sth) – Sửa chữa sai lầm
►do sth for smb in order to show that you are sorry for sth wrong or unfair that you have done
I’m sorry I upset you – how can I make amends?
Be poles / worlds apart – Hai thái cực
►be widely separated; have no interests that you share
Politically, the two leaders are two poles apart.
The apple of smb’s eye – Con cưng,
a person, usually a child, who smb loves very much; a favourite child
The second child, John, was the apple of his mother’s eye.
Cost/pay an arm and a leg / Rất đắt, rất mắc
► cost/pay a lot of money
We want to redecorate the living room, but I’m afraid it’s going to cost us an arm and a leg.
keep smb at arm’s length – Dè chừng / Không quá thân thiết
► avoid becoming too friendly with smb
He’s the kind of man who’s best kept at arm’s length, in my opinion.
Go astray / Lạc, mất
►become lost, be stolen
Several letters went astray or were not delivered.
►go in the wrong direction or have the wrong result
Fortunately, the gunman’s shots went astray.
Have (got) sth on good authority – Tin chắc
►be able to believe sth because you trust the person who gave you the information
I have it on good authority that the chairman is going to resign.