IDIOM CONNECTION

Lesson 50

Fail Idioms and the Internet

Introduction

Have you ever had a problem with your computer?

Reading

The man's laptop computer recently bit the dust so he bought an expensive new one. He wanted a wireless Internet connection for this new computer. However, his attempts to connect to the Internet seemed doomed to failure from the beginning. He tried using the instruction manual but this attempt came to nothing. He tried using the manual once again but he was still not successful. He racked his brains to find a solution to this problem but everything was to no avail and he could not get a connection. In some ways, the man is very good with computers and can do anything that he wants. In this situation, it was as if he has never touched a computer before and knew nothing about them.

Reading Questions

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

1. What happened after the man's laptop computer bit the dust?

2. What was doomed to failure?

3. What came to nothing?

4. What did the man try once again?

5. Did he rack his brains to try to find a solution to the problem?

6. What was to no avail?

7. In some ways what is the man good with?

8. Now, it was as if what was happening?

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 original meaning of to bite the dust was to fall to the ground (dust) and die. What do you think that to bite the dust means if you are talking about your computer or your car?

Our old washing machine recently bit the dust.
a)    began to work again
b)    stopped working
c)    is working very good

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. Our plans for our holidays are doomed to failure.
a)    going rather well
b)    progressing very well
c)    certain to fail

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. The man's attempt to fix his television came to nothing.
a)    failed
b)    was successful
c)    was not finished

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. Once again, the fans were not happy with the sports team.
a)    Unsuccessfully
b)    One more time
c)    In some unspecified way

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. Originally a rack was a device that was used to torture people. Later, rack began to be used for pain or stress. What could to rack one's brains (also rack one's brain) mean?

I racked my brains to try to remember where I had put my keys.
a)    was certain to fail
b)    stopped working
c)    tried very hard

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. My request to change my schedule was to no avail.
a)    very successful
b)    not successful
c)    successful in some unspecified way

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. In some ways, the woman is very clever.
a)    Once more,
b)    It is as if
c)    In some unspecified ways,

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The city is very quiet. It is as if everyone is gone.
a)    certain that
b)    interesting that
c)    like

Your answer is: ___  out of 1



Match the Sentences

Choose the best answer for each sentence:

1. Recently, my television bit the dust.
a)    I will probably buy a new one.
b)    It is now working great.

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. My plan to join the team is doomed to failure this year.
a)    I will not be able to play on the team this year.
b)    I will join the team next week.

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. My cousin's attempt to find a job came to nothing.
a)    She was not able to find a job.
b)    She found a job very easily.

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. I had to do the report once again.
a)    The first time that I did the report, it was not acceptable.
b)    The report was done perfectly the first time.

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. We had to rack our brains to find a solution to the problem.
a)    The problem was very difficult to solve.
b)    It was easy to find a solution to the problem.

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. Our efforts to find a new supplier were to no avail.
a)    We were able to find a new supplier.
b)    We could not find a new supplier.

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. In some ways, I like our new boss but in some ways I do not.
a)   He likes everything about his new boss.
b)   There are some things that he does not like about his new boss.

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The business conditions are terrible. It is as if the recession will never end.
a)   The recession is finally over.
b)   The recession is not ending.

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Grammar Focus

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

1. My phone ______________ and I must buy a new one.
a)    ate the dust
b)    bit the dust
c)    swallowed the dust

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. My efforts to pass the course seem __________________ .
a)    doomed in failure
b)    doomed at failure
c)    doomed to fail

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. I looked everywhere for my wallet but my efforts __________________ .
a)    came to nothing
b)    came up nothing
c)    came over nothing

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. ____________ , I could not find my house keys.
a)    Ones again
b)    One again
c)    Once again

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. I _______________ to try to remember the man's name.
a)    racked over my brains
b)    racked up my brains
c)    racked my brain

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. Trying to change my friend's opinion was ________________ .
a)    to none avail
b)    to no one's avail
c)    to no avail

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. _______________ , I like my new boss but in other ways I do not.
a)   In some ways
b)   For some ways
c)   To some ways

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The building shook _____________ there was an earthquake.
a)   as if
b)   like if
c)   for if

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Discussion Questions

Answer the following questions using the idioms from this section:

1. Do you have any electronic equipment that recently bit the dust?

2. What will you do if your computer suddenly bites the dust?

3. Have any of your recent plans been doomed to failure?

4. Do you know anyone with a plan that is probably doomed to failure?

5. Did your attempts to find a job or enter a university ever come to nothing?

6. Have you had a plan recently that has come to nothing?

7. Is there any place that you would like to visit once again?

8. What place do you think that your parents or grandparents would like to visit once again?

9. Do you ever have to rack your brains to remember something?

10. Do you often have to rack your brains to remember a password for something?

11. Did you ever try to stop an argument between two friends but it was to no avail?

12. Have you ever tried to solve a computer problem but your attempt was to no avail?

13. In some ways, do you ever feel like changing jobs or schools?

14. Have you ever made a big mistake that was in some ways actually a good thing?

15. Do you ever feel as if you are too tired to study or work?

16. Do you ever feel as if you would like to move to a different city?

Role Play

Student A: You recently got a new Internet service. However, you are having problems connecting your computer to the Internet. You do not know much about computers.

Student B: You are trying to help your friend with his or her Internet connection. You know much about computers.

Lesson 50