IDIOM CONNECTION

Lesson 13

Horse Idioms and a Holiday

Introduction

1. Have you ever ridden a horse?

2. Would you like to ride a horse?

Reading

I heard straight from the horse's mouth that I was going to get an extra holiday from work. My boss told me. I immediately began to prepare for my holiday. However, I was putting the cart before the horse to begin planning before I talked to my wife. One of our hobbies is to go over travel brochures in the evening so we have many holiday ideas. This time we were at a loss about where to go. There were any number of options but we could not make a decision. I wanted a quiet vacation by the beach. My wife wanted shopping and excitement. She is usually as stubborn as a mule and will never change her mind. Finally, everything worked out and we will spend our holiday in a city that is close to a beach.

Reading Questions

Answer the following questions. The answers can easily be found in the reading above.

1.What did this person hear straight from the horse's mouth?

2. Why was he putting the cart before the horse?

3. What do they like to go over in the evening?

4. What were they at a loss about?

5. What were there any number of?

6. Who is usually as stubborn as a mule?

7. Does she often change her mind?

8. Did everything finally work out?

Making Connections and Idiom Meanings

Some of the idioms have another meaning or are connected to another meaning. Use this information to help you choose the correct meaning for each of the underlined idioms:

1. Sometimes people who watch horse races want to get good reliable information from someone who is close to the horses. This could be a trainer or someone who works with the horses. What could straight from the horse's mouth mean in the following sentence?

We heard straight from the horse's mouth that our company is for sale.
a)    by listening to gossip
b)    directly from a dependable person
c)    from some people who were talking

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. Usually a horse pulls a cart. If you put the cart before the horse, then you are doing things the opposite of how they are usually done. If someone puts the cart before the horse in daily life, what is he or she doing? What would to put the cart before the horse mean in the following sentence?

We are putting the cart before the horse to begin to prepare to move before we find a new apartment.
a)    doing things in the wrong order
b)    planning to wait
c)    immediately going

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. The lawyer will go over the legal papers today.
a)    examine
b)    return
c)    look for

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. I was at a loss to explain where my car keys had gone.
a)    not interesting in trying
b)    easily able
c)    uncertain about how

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The car salesman had any number of ideas about buying a new car.
a)    very few
b)    a large number of
c)    one or two

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. Mules are a combination of a donkey and a horse. Some people say that mules are stubborn. What does as stubborn as a mule mean in the following sentence?

The man is as stubborn as a mule.
a)    very flexible
b)    not very flexible
c)    always angry

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. My friend often changes her mind about what she wants to do.
a)    will not talk
b)    changes her decision
c)    talk freely

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. I hope that everything will work out with my new job.
a)    be satisfactory with
b)    be terrible for
b)    be unknown about

Your answer is: ___  out of 1



True or False

Choose whether each statement is true or false:

1. The woman is as stubborn as a mule. She is very flexible.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. When you go over something, you examine it.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. You can often believe something that you hear straight from the horse's mouth.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. When things work out, it is usually not a good thing.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. When you are at a loss, it means that you are uncertain about something.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. People who often change their minds for no reason can cause problems for other people.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. If there are any number of correct answers to a question, then you will easily be able to get an answer.
a)   True
b)   False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. When you put the cart before the horse, you plan things in the correct order.
a)   True
b)   False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Grammar Focus

Choose the word or expression that makes each of the following sentences correct:

1. The girl was _______________ about what to do with her dog.
a)    in a loss
b)    at a loss
c)    over a loss

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. There were many problems with the project but finally things __________________.
a)    worked about
b)    worked in
c)    worked out

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3.The boy heard ______________________________ that tomorrow will be a holiday.
a)    straight from the horse's mouth
b)    straight at the horse's mouth
c)    straight in the horse's mouth

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. I ____________________ several times before I decided which movie to see.
a)    change my mind
b)    changed my mind
c)    have changed my mind

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. My friend ____________________________ when he began to build the bookcase without a plan.
a)    put the cart over the horse
b)    put the cart before the horse
c)    put the cart under the horse

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. There are ___________________ places to go for a holiday.
a)    numbers of
b)    any numbers of
c)    any number of

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. The girl is _____________________ and she will never change her mind.
a)   as stubborn as mule
b)   as stubborn as mules
c)   as stubborn as a mule

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. I usually _____________ my essays before I give them to my professor.
a)   go over
b)   go under
c)   go about

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Discussion Questions

Answer the following questions using the idioms from this section:

1. Have you heard anything straight from the horse’s mouth recently?

2. Do you like to get important information straight from the horse's mouth?

3. Do you sometimes put the cart before the horse when you do something?

4. Have any of your friends put the cart before the horse recently when they made a plan to do something?

5. Do you always go over your e-mail messages before you send them?

6. Do you review your financial situation regularly?

7. Were you ever at a loss about what you want to study?

8. Are you at a loss about what to do about anything at the moment?

9. Do you have any number of things to do this weekend?

10. Do you have any number of friends who you like to spend time with?

11. Do you think that sometimes you are as stubborn as a mule?

12. Do you have any friends who are always as stubborn as a mule?

13. Is it easy for you to change your mind about something?

14. Do you know anyone who will change his or her mind too often?

15. Do things usually work out for you when you have a problem?

16. Do you know anyone for whom things never seem to work out?

Role Play

Student A: You are going over your plans for a weekend holiday with your friend. There are any number of things to do but you cannot agree with your friend about anything.

Student B: You disagree with everything that your friend suggests.

Lesson 13