IDIOM CONNECTION

Lesson 52

Olympic Business and Some Sports Idioms

Introduction

1. Where will the next Summer Olympics be held?

2. Do you know any city or country that bid for the Olympic games but did not win the bid?

Reading

The city wanted to host the Olympic games. They made a ballpark estimate of the cost of the games but they did not produce a detailed plan of those costs. Not having a good plan became a problem when the city kicked off their campaign to try and host the games. They soon learned that they were off base regarding what the total cost of the games would be. Right off the bat, they discovered that the cost of the new stadium had increased dramatically. This made applying for the games a whole new ball game. Many people believed that the odds were against the city from winning the bid to host the games and that the costs were much too high. They thought that the city should withdraw the bid. In the end, these people were right and the city gave up their bid to host the Olympic games.

Reading Questions

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

1. What did the city make a ballpark estimate about?

2. What became a problem when they kicked off the campaign to host the games?

3. What were they off base about?

4. What increased dramatically right off the bat?

5. What became a whole new ball game?

6. What did many people believe that the odds were against the city from doing?

7. In the end, who was right?

8. What did the city give up?

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. Before computers were used, it was difficult to know exactly how many people were in a baseball or other sports stadium. Therefore, the announcer had to make a ballpark estimate of the number of people who were there. What does to make a ballpark estimate of something mean in the following sentence?

The radio announcer made a ballpark estimate of the number of people at the game.
a)    a big mistake when guessing
b)    an approximate guess of
c)    an exact estimate of

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. When you kick off a game you usually begin or start the game. What would to kick off something mean in the following sentence?

The city kicked off a campaign to clean the beaches of the city.
a)    began
b)    finished
c)    canceled

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. When you are off the base in the game of baseball, you are not in the correct place and you may be touched or tagged by another player who has the ball. You will then have to leave the field. What could to be off base mean in the following sentence?

The banker was off base with his estimate for the change in interest rates.
a)    early
b)    correct
c)    wrong

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. Sometimes in baseball you can know immediately if a ball that is hit by a bat is a good hit or not. What does right off the bat mean in the following sentence?

The new manager began to make changes in our department right off the bat.
a)    immediately
b)    very slowly
c)    today

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. Sometimes, in a baseball or other game, something happens that changes the situation completely. Someone can be injured or one team can get many points. Somehow, the situation changes. This makes the game a whole new ball game. What does a whole new ball game mean in the following sentence?

The man did not get the job that he wanted. Now, it is a whole new ball game for him.
a)    a very difficult situation
b)    a new set of circumstances
c)    the same situation

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. Odds are the chances of something happening. What does the odds are against you, mean in the following sentence?

The odds are against our company to get the new sales contract.
a)    chances of success are small for
b)    chances of success are the same for
c)    chances of success are very good for

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. In the end, the company was not able to survive.
a)    Fortunately
b)    Finally
c)    Unfortunately

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The company will give up its plan to enter the foreign market.
a)    abandon
b)    continue
c)    think about

Your answer is: ___  out of 1



Multiple Choice

Choose the correct idiom for each underlined expression:

1. The government made a guess of the cost of the new bridge.
a)    a whole new ball game
b)    a ballpark estimate
c)    a decision right off the bat

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. Immediately, I decided not to buy the television.
a)    Right off the bat
b)    After several days
c)    After I met the salesperson several times

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. It was a new set of circumstances for the planners after the city rejected the plan to build a new subway
a)    a ballpark estimate
b)    a very complicated situation
c)    a whole new ball game

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. The girl was wrong about how much money her holiday would cost.
a)    having a discussion
b)    making a ballpark estimate
c)    off base

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. Finally, after a long discussion, we decided to go to a movie.
a)    In the end
b)    To begin with
c)    Without thinking

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. The chance of success was small when we decided to open the new restaurant.
a)    situation was our last chance
b)    situation was very good
c)    odds were against us

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. My friend abandoned her plan to go to Europe.
a)   kicked off
b)   gave up
c)   was off base about

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. Recently, our school began a campaign to raise money for a new music program.
a)   kicked off
b)   gave up
c)   will discuss

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Grammar Focus

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

1. We made __________________ of the cost of the convention.
a)    ballpark estimates
b)    a ballpark estimate
c)    a ballpark estimates

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. __________________ , we decided to go to a movie yesterday.
a)    In one end
b)    In an end
c)    In the end

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. The charity recently ______________ their campaign to collect money for poor people.
a)    kicked off
b)    kicked on
c)    kicked over

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. The company was ________________ about the cost estimates.
a)    off a base
b)    off base
c)    off the base

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. __________________ , I asked our teacher about yesterday’s homework.
a)    Right over the bat
b)    Right on the bat
c)    Right off the bat

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. It was _________________ so we had to begin the project over.
a)    one whole new ball game
b)    the whole new ball game
c)    a whole new ball game

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. I _____________ my plan to study Spanish.
a)   gived up
b)   gave up
c)   was given up

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The _________________ our team from winning the game tomorrow.
a)   odds are against
b)   odd is against
c)   odds is against

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Discussion Questions

Answer the following questions using the idioms from this section:

1. Do you have a ballpark estimate of how much money you spend each month?

2. Can you give a ballpark estimate of the number of people who go to the average football game?

3. How would you kick off a campaign to raise money for your favorite charity?

4. Do you know any event that is always kicked off with a big ceremony or party?

5. Do you think that the weather forecast is often off base?

6. Do you know any other estimates that are usually off base?

7. What do you do right off the bat when you arrive home each day?

8. What do you usually do right off the bat when you go to a new city?

9. Has anything become a whole new ball game for you recently?

10. What can happen in your favorite sport to make the game a whole new ball game?

11. Do you think that the odds are against you from becoming a professional athlete?

12. Are the odds against anyone who you know from getting a job that he or she wants?

13. Did you change any of your plans last weekend? What did you finally decide to do in the end?

14. Have you recently done something that you did not want to do but in the end you had to do it?

15. Did you ever give up playing a sport that you liked?

16. Do you have a bad habit that you would like to give up?

Role Play

Student A: You are an employee who is asking for more money from your boss but right off the bat your boss says no. You think that you are worth more money.

Student B: You are the employer. You will not consider a wage increase for your employee.

Lesson 52