Lesson 33

Identify Idioms and Collecting Seashells


1. Have you ever collected anything?

2. Do you collect anything now?


Last week our class went to the beach to search for seashells. We found many. I picked up several shells but they all seemed to look the same. It was difficult to tell them apart. I know some seashells by sight but most of them I do not know. I often mistake one shell for another. Their shapes and colors all have something in common so it is hard to tell for sure what kind of shell it is. I have a seashell book so I usually look up the shells there. Many of the shells in the book look the same. Sometimes, I can put my finger on exactly what kind of shell it is but often I cannot.

Reading Questions

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

1. What did he pick up?

2. Was it easy to tell the seashells apart?

3. Does he know some seashells by sight?

4. Does he often mistake one shell for another?

5. Do the shells have much in common with each other?

6. Can he usually tell for sure which kind of shell it is?

7. Can he look up the shells in a seashell book?

8. Is it always easy to put his finger on exactly which kind of shell he finds?

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. To Pick can mean to take or to choose something. Up usually indicates movement from a lower position to a higher position. What does to pick up something mean?
a)    to take something from the floor or ground
b)    to lose something
c)    to remember something

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. To Tell can sometimes mean to recognize or distinguish someone or something. Apart means separately or individually. What would to tell something apart mean?
a)    to talk about something
b)    to tell something to someone
c)    to distinguish between two things

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. A sight is a view of something. By can mean according to something. The movie was good by my standards means the movie was good according to my standards. What does by sight mean?
a)    to recognize something when you see it
b)    to discuss something that you see
c)    to learn about something when you see it

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. to mistake something for something else
a)    to remember the name of something
b)    to know exactly what something is
c)    to think that something is something else

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. in common
a)    shared together
b)    understood together
c)    talked about together

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. for sure
a)    in the future
b)    certainly
c)    possibly

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. to look up something
a)    to search for something
b)    to look at something
c)    to look over something

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. If you put your finger on the reason for something, then you identify and understand the reason for it. What does to put your finger on something mean when you are trying to identify what something is?
a)    to make a mistake about something
b)    to remember to bring something
c)    to identify something

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

Multiple Choice

Choose the correct idiom for each underlined expression:

1. The woman picked up her umbrella from the floor.
a)    put down
b)    took up
c)    dropped

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. It is difficult to tell the two cars apart.
a)    count
b)    look at
c)    distinguish between

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. The little boy knows the players by sight.
a)    sees the players often
b)    has never seen the players
c)    can recognize the players

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. It is easy to mistake one tree for another tree.
a)    think that the trees are similar
b)    tell exactly what the name of each tree is
c)    learn the names of the trees

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. I have much in common with my best friend.
a)    that I do not like about
b)    that I share with
c)    that I do not know about

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. My friend plans to give me my money tomorrow for sure.
a)    maybe
b)    probably
c)    certainly

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. I will look up the word in the dictionary.
a)   find
b)   write
c)   search for

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The man was strange but I could not put my finger on the reason why he was strange.
a)   discuss
b)   identify
c)   forget

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

Grammar Focus

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

1. I stopped to _____________ the money on the floor.
a)    pick down
b)    pick up
c)    pick in

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. The two rocks look the same. I cannot _____________________ .
a)    tell them all apart
b)    tell them apart
c)    tell it apart

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. I would not know the new teacher ______________ .
a)    by sight
b)    for sight
c)    in sight

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. I often _____________________ the other one.
a)    mistake one swimming coach to
b)    mistake one swimming coach for
c)    mistake one swimming coach of

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The new computers have much __________________ .
a)    for common
b)    to common
c)    in common

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. I do not know __________________ what time the party will start.
a)    in sure
b)    of sure
c)    for sure

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. I will ________________ the word in a dictionary.
a)   look up
b)   look to
c)   look in

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. It is difficult to _________________ the problem.
a)   put my finger on
b)   put my fingers on
c)   put the fingers on

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

Discussion Questions

Answer the following questions using the idioms from this section:

1. Have you picked up anything from the sidewalk recently?

2. Did you ever pick up some money on the ground?

3. Do you know two people who you cannot tell apart?

4. Can you easily tell apart most trees in your local park?

5. Do you know many different types of cars by sight?

6. Is there any famous person who you do not know by sight?

7. Have you ever mistaken one person for another?

8. Do you ever mistake one type of toothpaste for another type?

9. Do you have a lot in common with all of your friends?

10. Do you know any singing styles that have nothing in common with each other?

11. Do you know what you will do next weekend for sure?

12. Do you know what you will do this evening for sure?

13. Do you often look up words in a dictionary?

14. When did you last look up some information in a book?

15. Can you always put your finger on the cause of a computer problem?

16. Do you know anyone who seems strange but you cannot put your finger on why he or she is strange?

Role Play

Student A: You are looking at your friend's rock collection. All of the rocks are a dark color. They all look the same to you. You cannot tell any of them apart. You think that it is not interesting to collect rocks. You ask your friend why he or she collects them.

Student B: You love your rock collection. You think that it is very interesting. You never mistake one rock for another. You try to share your excitement with your friend.

Lesson 33