IDIOM CONNECTION

Lesson 41

Control Idioms and a Librarian

Introduction

1. Do you know any librarians who are really nice?

2. Do you know any librarians who are not nice?

Reading

The school librarian likes to call the shots in the library. She will never hurry and she always takes her time to do even the smallest thing. She wants to try to keep everybody in line with their book borrowing habits. Recently, she has been trying to crack down on people who talk in the school library. She likes to lay down the law to anyone who makes even the smallest sound. The vice- principal is not happy with her attitude and her desire for control. He is the head of the committee that controls the purse strings for the library so he has some power. He usually tries to keep his opinions to himself but he wants to do something to create a better situation in the library and in the school. He plans to speak out about this situation and try to solve this problem soon.

Reading Questions

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

1. Who likes to call the shots in the library?

2. Who always takes her time?

3. Who is trying to keep everybody in line?

4. Who is the librarian trying to crack down on?

5. Who did she lay down the law to in the library?

6. Who controls the purse strings for the library?

7. Who usually keeps his opinions to himself?

8. Does the vice-principal plan to speak out about this situation?

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. To call the shots could have various origins. One could be in a game of billiards where someone calls which shot someone could take. Another origin could be when someone is practicing with a rifle and calls where their shot will go. What could call the shots mean in the following sentence?

The politician wanted to call the shots during the crisis.
a)    not express his opinion
b)    not be responsible for anything
c)    be in charge and tell people what to do

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. The girl always takes her time in the morning.
a)    tries to hurry
b)    gets up early
c)    does things without hurrying

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. The supervisor must work hard to keep the employees in line.
a)    let the employees be responsible for the money
b)    make the employees act correctly
c)    permit the employees to be in charge

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. The city plans to crack down on people who smoke cigarettes in public places.
a)    take their time with
b)    strictly enforce the rules for
c)    be responsible for the money for

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The company will lay down the law to stop people from using social media at work.
a)    not express their opinion
b)    use their power
c)    speak freely

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. Many years ago both men and women kept their money in a purse. There was a string at the top to open and close the purse. What do you think that to control the purse strings means in the following sentence?

The secretary controls the purse strings in her company.
a)    is responsible for the money
b)    speaks freely
c)    is responsible for the people

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. I usually keep my opinions to myself when I am at a meeting.
a)    listen to everybody's opinions
b)    express my opinions
c)    do not express my opinions

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The politician plans to speak out about the tax issue.
a)    never speak
b)    not speak
c)    speak freely

Your answer is: ___  out of 1



Exercise C: True or False

Choose whether each statement is true or false:

1. The business owner likes to call the shots in his company. He likes to tell people what to do.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. The little boy always wants to take his time before he goes to school. He likes to prepare for school early.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. Our boss is not flexible and he works hard to keep everybody in line. He is not very strict.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. The teacher will soon crack down on people who are late. She is not concerned about these people.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The school laid down the law about cell phone use in the school. They seem to have a problem with people using cell phones.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. My uncle controls the purse strings in his company. He is responsible for the money.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. The manager kept his opinions to himself during the meeting. He said many things.
a)   True
b)   False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The man spoke out about the problem in his company. He talked to someone about it.
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 young man always ________________ on his basketball team.
a)    calls to shot
b)    calls the shots
c)    calls a shots

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. The man likes to _______________ in the morning so he always gets up early.
a)    took his time
b)    takes his time
c)    take his time

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. It was difficult to keep the children __________ during the field trip.
a)    to line
b)    in line
c)    over line

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. The school will ____________ on people who are late for classes.
a)    crack over
b)    crack up
c)    crack down on

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The sales manager plans to _______________ to the salespeople.
a)    lay in the law
b)    lay up the law
c)    lay down the law

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. The grandmother _______________ in her small business.
a)    controls the purse strings
b)    controls the purse size
c)    controls the purse string

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. The company president usually tries to keep his opinions _______________.
a)   over himself
b)   in himself
c)   to himself

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The students decided to ______________ about the bad food in the cafeteria.
a)   speak in
b)   speak out
c)   speak to

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Discussion Questions

Answer the following questions using the idioms from this section:

1. Who calls the shots in your workplace or school?

2. Do you know anyone who calls the shots in his or her organization?

3. Do you like to take your time in the morning?

4. Do you know anyone who always takes his or her time and is therefore often late?

5. Did your teachers try to keep you in line when you were in elementary school?

6. Do you know someone who could never be kept in line?

7. Do the police in your city sometimes crack down on crime?

8. Does the city where you live ever crack down on something?

9. Did your teacher ever lay down the law to you?

10. Have you ever laid down the law to somebody?

11. Who controls the purse strings in your family?

12. Do you control the purse strings for anything?

13. Do you usually keep your opinions to yourself?

14. Do you know anyone who does not, but should, keep their opinions to themselves?

15. Do you know anyone who likes to speak out about current events?

16. Do you usually speak out when you want to complain about something?

Role Play

Student A: You are living in a dormitory for the summer. The dormitory supervisor is trying to keep everybody in line. She is cracking down on anyone who breaks even a small rule. You do not like her because she is too strict.

Student B: You are the dormitory supervisor. You want to lay down the law to the people who are staying there. You are arguing with someone who lives there.

Lesson 41