IDIOM CONNECTION

Lesson 43

Explain Idioms and a New Cell Phone

Introduction

1. When did you get your first phone?

2. Have you ever had any problems with your phone?

3. What kind of problems did you have with it?

Reading

I recently bought a new cell phone. It worked well up to the time that I pushed the wrong button. Then it suddenly stopped working. I immediately phoned the phone company to try and clear up the problem. I was connected to a woman at a service center. She began to break down the operation of the phone for me. I paid attention to what she was saying but she could not get her point across to me. She connected me to her supervisor. He was very good and was quickly able to explain the particulars of the problem. He spelled out exactly what I should do in order to fix my phone. Finally, after two hours, I was able to sort out the problem.

Reading Questions

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

1. Up to when did the phone work well?

2. Who did he phone in order to clear up the problem?

3. What did the woman at the service center begin to break down?

4. What did the customer pay attention to?

5. Could the woman at the call center get her point across?

6. Who explained the particulars of the problem?

7. What did the supervisor spell out?

8. Was this person finally able to sort out the problem?

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. up to
a)    over
b)    until
c)    after

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. to clear up a problem
a)    to solve a problem
b)    to discuss a problem
c)    to explain a problem to someone

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. to break down something
a)    to take care of something
b)    to break something
c)    to divide something into parts

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. to pay attention to someone
a)    to listen to someone with full attention
b)    to ignore someone
c)    to pay someone some money

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. Across means from one side to the other side. It could also be from one person to another person. What do you think that to get something across to someone means?
a)    to give something to someone
b)    to explain something so that someone can understand it
c)    to help someone

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. the particulars of something
a)    the general idea of something
b)    the details of something
c)    whether something is working well

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. You can spell out a word which means that you name the letters of the word. Therefore, you clearly explain how a word is spelled. What does to spell out a problem mean?
a)    to explain a problem clearly
b)    to discuss a problem
c)    to solve a problem

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. to sort out something
a)    to solve and deal with a problem
b)    to avoid dealing with a problem
c)    to discover that there is a problem

Your answer is: ___  out of 1



Multiple Choice

Choose the idiom which correctly completes each sentence:

1. My car was working well _______________ the time that I had an accident.
a)    over
b)    up to
c)    under

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. The bank worked hard to _______________ the problem.
a)    think about
b)    make
c)    clear up

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. The supervisor tried to ______________ the problem so that I could understand it.
a)    discover
b)    break down
c)    pay attention to

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. We should _____________ the weather forecast.
a)    sort out
b)    sort over
c)    pay attention to

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. It was difficult to __________________ the classroom rules to the students.
a)    get across
b)    think about
c)    learn about

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. I do not understand _______________ the computer problem.
a)    how to pay attention to
b)    how to spell
c)    the particulars of

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. The telephone operator ______________ how to use the International telephone card.
a)   spelled out
b)   spelled in
c)   broke up

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. I talked to the credit card company and we were able to _____________ the problem.
a)   sort down
b)   sort out
c)   spell in

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




True or False

Choose whether each statement is true or false:

1. If you know the particulars of something you know many things about it.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. It can take much time to sort out a computer problem.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. If a problem has been cleared up then it has not been solved.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. It can be frustrating if you cannot get something across to someone.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. When you spell out a problem to someone you do not explain it.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. Up to last week, the problem was very serious. It is still a big problem.
a)    True
b)    False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. It is not necessary to pay attention to your university professors.
a)   True
b)   False

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. When you break down a problem into parts, you have not divided 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. I watched the horror movie up _____________ the violent part.
a)    in
b)    to
c)    over

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. I need to clear _____________ a couple of problems before my holiday.
a)    over
b)    in
c)    up

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. Our mathematics teacher always tries to break _______________ a difficult problem.
a)    down
b)    over
c)    under

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. I paid attention ________________ the police officer at the accident.
a)    in
b)    for
c)    to

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. I could not ___________________ across what I wanted to say to the bank manager.
a)    get
b)    got
c)    gotten

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. I do not understand the particulars ___________________ the new company policy.
a)    to
b)    of
c)    for

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. I tried to spell _________________ the reasons that I did not like the new plan.
a)   out
b)   over
c)   on

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. I am trying to sort _________________ some problems with my bank.
a)   out
b)   over
c)   on

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Discussion Questions

Answer the following questions using the idioms from this section:

1. Up to when do you plan to study English?

2. If your friend is supposed to meet you at noon but does not come, up to when would you wait for him or her?

3. Do you have any problems that you must clear up soon?

4. Has anyone ever helped you clear up a difficult problem?

5. Did you ever have to break down a problem so that someone could understand it?

6. Did anyone ever break down a computer problem so that you could understand it easily?

7. Do you always pay attention to what your friends are saying, even though they may talk too much?

8. Do you sometimes not pay attention to your teacher or supervisor?

9. If you have a problem with your computer or your phone, is it easy for you to get the problem across to other people?

10. Do you know a problem that is difficult to get across to other people?

11. Do you know the particulars of your bank account?

12. Can you explain the particulars of your credit card or phone contract?

13. Did your phone company clearly spell out the terms of their contract for you?

14. Do you think that most credit card companies spell out the details of their agreements clearly?

15. Have you ever had a problem that was difficult to sort out?

16. Do you have a problem that you cannot sort out at the moment?

Role Play

Student A: You have just bought a new phone. You do not know how to use it. Your friend is explaining how to use it to you.

Student B: You are explaining to your friend how his or her new phone works.

Lesson 43