Monthly Archives: March 2017


LIKE phrasal verbs- there are many idiomatic phrases in English that can be quite difficult for non-native speakers.

For example what does this phrase mean and what sport does it refer to?


The run-up to the election was neck and neck.  It was very close. 

Image result for neck and neck


Guessed it?

Neck and neck means to have an equal chance in winning  a race or a competition.  It comes from horse racing!

Synonyms are: equal, tied, level, side by side


ALOT OF IDIOMS in English are based around SPORTS.

Match the following idioms with the sport it originates from ( you will use one sport twice)

tennis                      boxing

hunting                       cards

  1. She´s always had the upper hand in the relationship.
  2. His career was on the ropes once he was embroiled in the scandal.
  3. ¨You´re barking up the wrong tree , mate.  I´m not interested!¨
  4. ¨I´ve done everything I could- the ball is in your court now.  It´s up to you.¨
  5.  Your comment was a bit below the belt.  Not only is it irrelevant to what we are talking about, but it also hurt my feelings!

  1. cards
  2. boxing
  3. hunting (is it a sport these days or just cruel?!)
  4. tennis
  5. boxing


NOW match the meanings to the idioms:

  1. to have the upper hand
  2. to be on the ropes
  3. to bark up the wrong tree
  4. the ball is in your court
  5. to hit below the belt

a.  to do or say something that is unfair or cruel, and usually irrelevant

b. to have a better chance at winning

c. it´s your responsibility to do something

d. on the verge of defeat or collapse

e. you´ve got the wrong person or idea


  1. to hit below the belt
  2. to have the upper hand
  3. the ball is in your court
  4. to be on the ropes
  5. to bark up the wrong tree