IDIOM CONNECTION

Lesson 30

Cat Idioms and a Boy in Trouble

Introduction

Do you know any cartoon characters who are cats?

Reading

The boy was playing outside his house while his mother was at the store. To the extent that it is possible for a young boy to be good, he was usually very good. However, when the cat’s away, the mice will play and sometimes the boy did things that he should not do. On this particular day he saw some older boys walking by his house. Curiosity killed the cat and the boy decided to tag along with these older boys. He was a copycat and wanted to do what they were doing. He followed them into an old building. Inside the building the boy fell into a hole in the floor and could not get out of it. The older boys had to call the police who came and rescued the boy and took him home. When he arrived home, he looked like something the cat dragged in. He looked terrible. It took a long time before everything got back to normal in his house.

Reading Questions

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

1. To the extent that it is possible, was the boy usually good?

2. When the cat's away, the mice will play. Who was playing outside his house?

3. Did curiosity kill the cat and cause the boy to do something?

4. Who did the boy tag along with?

5. Was the boy a copycat?

6. Could the boy get out of the hole in the floor by himself?

7. Who looked like something the cat dragged in?

8. Did everything get back to normal soon?

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 following idioms:

1. Extent means the range or size or amount of something. It can also mean how much or how big something is. What does to the extent that mean?
a)    in my opinion
b)    as much as or to the degree that
c)    in a very brief manner

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. Cats like to eat mice. Therefore, mice like to avoid cats. However, if there is no cat around, then the mice can relax and play. What does when the cat's away, the mice will play mean in a classroom or an office?
a)    people are usually responsible and you never have to worry about them
b)    when you are not watching someone, he or she may get into trouble
c)    children always like to play and never study

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. curiosity killed the cat
a)    curiosity can cause problems
b)    being curious will never cause you any problems
c)    it is good to be curious

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. to tag along with someone
a)    to follow along with someone
b)    to not follow along with someone
c)    to hope to meet someone

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. a copycat
a)    someone who copies another person
b)    someone who makes photocopies
c)    someone who likes other people

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. to get out of somewhere
a)    to get something from someone
b)    to think about leaving somewhere
c)    to leave somewhere or to escape from somewhere

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. Sometimes a cat will bring or drag something home. Usually, what the cat drags home looks terrible. What does to look like something the cat dragged in mean?
a)    to look clean and energetic
b)    to look tired and dirty
c)    to look great

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. to get back to something
a)    to hope for something
b)    to return to something
c)    to try and do something

Your answer is: ___  out of 1



True or False

Choose whether each statement is true or false:

1. To the extent that the man understands history, he believes that the building is very important. The man knows a little about history.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. When the cat's away, the mice will play and the students are happy when their teacher is absent. The students like to have fun while their teacher is absent.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. Curiosity killed the cat and the little girl was in trouble from following the other girls. The little girl was not curious at all.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. The man will tag along if his friends go to the game. The man may go to the game.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The little girl is a copycat. She often wants to do what her sister is doing.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. The cat had to try hard to get out of the swimming pool. It was difficult for the cat to escape from the swimming pool.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. The little girl looks like something the cat dragged in. She is wearing a clean new dress
a)   True
b)   False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. Things slowly got back to normal after the party. The party was probably big and energetic.
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. ___________________ I know the man, he is very honest.
a)    To the extent if
b)    To the extent that
c)    To the extent for

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. When the cat's away, ____________ will play.
a)    a mice
b)    the mice
c)    mouses

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. ____________________ and the woman had much trouble because of her curiosity.
a)    Curiosity killed a cat
b)    Curiosity killed some cats
c)    Curiosity killed the cat

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. The woman __________________ her daughter when her daughter went shopping.
a)    tagged along to
b)    tagged along with
c)    tagged along for

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The student is _______________ and copies the work of other students in his class.
a)    a copycat
b)    copycats
c)    a copycats

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. The baby tried hard to _______________ her bed.
a)    get out of
b)    get over
c)    get in from

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. When the boy arrived home he _______________ that the cat dragged in.
b)   looked like things
a)   looked like something
b)   looked like a cat

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The business conditions were very bad but now everything is ______________________.
a)   getting back in normal
b)   going back in normal
b)   getting back to normal

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Discussion Questions

Answer the following questions using the idioms from this section:

1. To the extent that you understand computer security, are you confident when you use a credit card online?

2. To the extent that you understand economics, what do you think of the world's economic situation?

3. When the cat’s away, the mice will play. Did this ever refer to you when you were a child?

4. Do you know any school classrooms where if the cat's away, the mice will play?

5. Did curiosity ever kill the cat and cause you a problem?

6. Do you know any child where curiosity killed the cat and the child had a problem?

7. Do you have any friends who you like to tag along with when they go somewhere?

8. Did anyone ever tag along after you when you were a child?

9. Were you a copycat when you were in elementary school?

10. Do you know anyone who was a copycat when he or she was a child?

11. Do you find it difficult to get out of your house in the morning?

12. Do you know any animals that could easily get out of their cage?

13. Have you ever looked like something the cat dragged in when you got home?

14. Do you know anyone who often looks like something the cat dragged in?

15. Does your life usually get back to normal quickly after you have a vacation?

16. Can you always get back to being calm after you are involved in a stressful situation?

Role Play

Student A: You are a parent and you are talking to your child who is in high school. Your child has arrived home very late and looks like something the cat dragged in. You are not happy.

Student B: You are a high school student talking to your parent. You arrived home late because you tagged along with some friends and got into trouble. You are trying to explain what happened.

Lesson 30