IDIOM CONNECTION

Lesson 20

Verbal Communication Idioms and a Talkative Person

Introduction

Do you often ride on a train or bus or airplane by yourself?

Reading

I took my seat on the train. I was looking forward to a nice quiet trip. I wanted to catch up on my reading. A woman sat next to me and immediately tried to strike up a conversation. I responded politely. She began to talk my head off. Whenever I tried to say something, she would interrupt me and put the words into my mouth. She rambled on about absolutely nothing for the whole trip. I tried to speak up and end the conversation but I could not get a word in edgewise. I had to listen to her until the end of my journey.

Reading Questions

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

1. What was the woman looking forward to?

2. What did she want to catch up on?

3. Who tried to strike up a conversation?

4. Did the woman begin to talk her head off?

5. When did the woman put words into her mouth?

6. What did the woman ramble on about?

7. Did she try to speak up and end the conversation?

8. Could she get a word in edgewise?

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. The boy is looking forward to his birthday party.
a)    is sad about
b)    is waiting eagerly for
c)    has forgotten about

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. I want to catch up on my reading this weekend.
a)    to do some reading that I did not have time to do
b)    to read something but not very much
c)    to relax and forget about reading

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. To strike up a friendship with someone means to start a friendship with someone. What do you think that to strike up a conversation with someone means in the following sentence?

I tried to strike up a conversation with the man in the store.
a)    start a conversation with
b)    stop a conversation with
c)    escape the conversation with

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. The woman in the supermarket line began to talk my head off.
a)    talk a little
b)    talk very much
c)    speak very clearly

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The man tried to put the words into my mouth when I was speaking to him.
a)    listen to me carefully
b)    say things for me
c)    talk a lot

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. The meaning of to ramble is to move from place to place with no purpose. What do you think that to ramble on when you are talking means?

The girl at the shoe store was rambling on about her haircut.
a)    talking a lot
b)    only talking a little
c)    not talking at all

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. To speak up can have two meanings. One meaning is to speak louder. However, some students are shy and hesitate to ask a question in class although their voices are loud enough. What could to speak up mean in the following sentence?

I will speak up and tell my neighbor to be quiet.
a)    not speak
b)    speak without hesitation
c)    become angry

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. Edgewise means sideways. Sometimes the space between two walls is so narrow that you must walk sideways to go through it. It is difficult to do this. Sometimes when you are talking to someone, they are speaking so much that you have to work hard to say what you want to say. What does to get a word in edgewise mean in the following sentence?

I could not get a word in edgewise with the store clerk.
a)    find an opportunity to say anything to
b)    remember what to talk about with
c)    talk quickly

Your answer is: ___  out of 1



True or False

Choose whether each statement is true or false:

1. If you are looking forward to something you are excited about it.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. You want to catch up on your sleep because you are tired.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. You try to strike up a conversation with someone because you do not want to talk to him or her.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. You are usually happy when someone talks your head off when you are tired.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. If you put the words into someone's mouth, you say something for him or her.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. Someone who rambles on about something, talks too much about something.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. You should usually not speak up in a class if you have an important question.
a)   True
b)   False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. Most people are happy if they cannot get a word in edgewise with someone else.
a)   True
b)   False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Grammar Focus

Choose the word that correctly finishes each sentence:

1. The boy is looking forward _______________ his holiday.
a)    in
b)    to
c)    at

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. I will go to the beach this summer in order to catch up __________________ my reading.
a)    for
b)    on
c)    to

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. The woman often strikes up a conversation _______________ the people in her apartment building.
a)    for
b)    in
c)    with

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. The man at the supermarket talked my head _______________.
a)    in
b)    off
c)    over

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The woman at the bank was putting the words ________________ my mouth during our conversation.
a)    over
b)    onto
c)    into

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. My friend was rambling _______________ about something but I do not know what.
a)    in
b)    on
c)    over

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. Everyone in the class was asked to speak _____________ if they had a question.
a)   over
b)   in
c)   up

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. I could not get a word _______________ edgewise with the man on the telephone.
a)   to
b)   over
c)   in

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Discussion Questions

Answer the following questions using the idioms from this section:

1. Are you looking forward to anything right now?

2. What did you often look forward to when you were a child?

3. Do you need to catch up on answering some of your email messages?

4. Did you ever have to work hard to catch up on your schoolwork when you were a student?

5. Do you often strike up a conversation with strangers?

6. Has anyone ever struck up a conversation with you on a bus or a train?

7. Has anyone ever talked your head off on a long trip?

8. Do you know anyone who always talks your head off?

9. Has anybody put the words into your mouth recently?

10. Do you know anyone who always puts the words into the mouths of others?

11. Do you know anyone who can ramble on about very small things?

12. Do you ever ramble on about something?

13. Is it easy for you to speak up in a large group?

14. Do you know anyone who cannot speak up in front of others?

15. Is there anyone who you cannot get a word in edgewise with when you speak to him or her?

16. Can you usually get a word in edgewise with most of your friends?

Role Play

Student A: You are on a bus and going on a trip for five hours. You want to relax and read your book. The person beside you begins to talk your head off. You are politely trying to make him or her be quiet.

Student B: You are next to this person on a bus. You like to talk and you want to talk to this person. Otherwise, the trip will be boring for you.

Lesson 20