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Schoolchildren a bad-tempered person or dog the bell on a cat's collar a bored child a fire a church bell

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A bicycle chain someone with asthma a steam train

crackles tinkles clanks whistles giggle growls clangs wheezes wriggles

7. Find other examples of words beginning with gr-, cl-, sp- or wh- with the association described above.

gr-: sp-:

cl-: wh-:

8. Match the words (1-11) with the nouns (a-k) they collocate most closely with.

Example: 5 – a

1. clashing a. cows
2. creaking b. propellers
3. drizzling c. car horn
4. grunting d. horses
5. mooing e. fountain
6. neighing f. bicycle bell
7. peeping g. cymbals
8. sizzling h. stairs
9. spurting i. bacon
10. tinkling j. rain
11. whirring k. pigs


9. Circle the most appropriate word for each sentence.

Example: The dog always whistles/clashes/(growls) when it sees the postman.

1. Please can you help me smash/mash/crash the potatoes?

2. Children love spraying/sputtering/splashing through puddles.

3. She heard a click/clank/clink at the end of the phone as he hung up.

4. The wounded soldier grunted/growled/groaned in pain.

5. Do you hear those church bells clinking/clanging/tinkling?

6. She sprayed/splashed/sprinkled herbs on the fish and called the family to eat.

7. Sorry, I can’t stop now. I’ve got to whirr/dash/trickle.

8. Can you whistle/giggle/grumble this song?

9. They clanked/clinked/clashed glasses and drank to the success of their project.

10. When she asked him to do the washing-up, he just splashed/ grunted/trickled.

10. Match these combinations of letters to their usual associations in English and give two examples of words for each letter combination.

1 gr- movement of water …………..

2 cl- fast, violent movement ……………

3 sp- something light and repeated ……………

4 wh- something unpleasant or miserable growl, grumpy

5 -ash a sharp metallic sound …………….

6. -ckle movement of air ……………..

11. Choose the verb from the box that best fits each gap.

clink gargle gash growl moo rustle spit whack wheeze whip whirr

Example: Camcorders ..whirr as the bridal couple emerge from the church.

1. The autumn leaves.............. as I walk through them.

2. I with salt water if I have a sore throat.

3. Don't................ the ball so hard.

4. I hate it when fierce dogs...............

5. The attack left a............... in her arm.

6. Let's................ glasses and drink their health.

7. It's rude to................ in public places.

8. Horse-riders carry a.............

9. People usually.............. back when cows make a noise.

10. People with bronchitis tend to.............



Task 12.

1. Match the following idioms with the correct definition.

1. a night owl 2. a fly-by-night 3. a lame duck 4. a dark horse 5. a cold fish 6. an early bird 7. a couch potato 8. a live wire 9. the apple of one's eye 10. the life and soul of the party a. someone who says very little about themselves b. someone who likes to get up early c. someone who spends all their free time in front of the TV d. someone who is lively and energetic e. someone who you are extremely fond of f. someone who prefers to do things at night g. someone who is weak and depends on others for help h. someone who is unreliable i. someone who is lively and entertaining at parties j. someone who is unfriendly and unemotional

2. Match the following idioms with the correct definition, then complete the sentences with an appropriate idiom from the list.

1. dead beat a. snobbish

2. big-headed b. excited

3. loud-mouthed c. stubborn

4. stuck-up d. comfortably rich

5. cheesed off e. exhausted

6. pigheaded f. short of money

7. well off g. talking too much

8. hard up h. annoyed

9. full of beans i. honest

10. above board j. arrogant

1. The business entrepreneur assured us that the deal was ................ .

2. It's no good trying to persuade her to change her mind. She's too ........ .

3. Alan was extremely ................. when Barbara cancelled their date.

4. She must be quite .......... . She's just bought an expensive new car.

5. You're ........... this morning. You must really be looking forward to the school trip.

6. Her husband is an unpleasant, ............. man who always thinks he knows best.

7. At the end of the marking weekend all of the examiners were ......... .

8. On a Saturday night the pub is always full of ill-mannered, ........... rugby players. I find them really offensive.

9. I find Pat very difficult to get on with. She's ............ and thinks she's too good for the likes of us.

10. Kevin always seems to be .......... . He's forever asking if he can borrow money.


3. Complete the sentences below using an appropriate idiom from the list, then explain the idioms.

At a loose end from scratch for donkey's years

On all fours on the house out of the blue

Over the moon under the thumb for a song

Down the drain


1. When the model fell to pieces Mary had to build it again ……. .

2. That's the second bad film we've seen in two weeks. Another £5 ………... .

3. He bought the house ....... ten years ago before property prices started to rise.

4. Please get what you want from the bar. Drinks are ......tonight.

5. I haven't heard from Diane .......... I wonder where she may be.

6. The news of the wedding came quite ...... . Everyone thought they had split up.

7. When Pauline finally retired she felt ......... as she didn't know what to do all day.

8. Ann was ........ when her team won the championship.

9. Charlie is really ......... of his wife. He does whatever she says.

10. I entered the room to find my husband ........ searching for his wedding ring.


4. Complete the idioms below using an appropriate word from the box, then explain the meaning of the idioms.

dogs cows goat bear pig elephant cat rat horse fish


1. I felt like a ... in the middle caught between the two rivals.

2. My uncle drinks like a ... . He got through two bottles of wine last night.

3. The extension turned out to be a white ...as nobody needed the extra space.

4. You're flogging a dead ... trying to persuade me to come with you. You'll never get me to change my mind.

5. I wouldn't mind lending him money but what gets my ... is that he never pays me back.

6. Karen is like a ... with a sore head this morning. What has made her so bad tempered?

7. The man told me he had come to mend the photocopier but I began to smell a ... when I found him in the director's office.

8. The deal was supposed to be secret. Who let the ... out of the bag?

9. Since the new manager took over the business is really going to the ... . The service is not up to standard and the staff are inexperienced.

10. I could stay and talk to you till the ... come home, but I really must leave now.

5. Complete the sentences below with a suitable word from the list below.

a bell a fox a cucumber a lamb a pancake

a picture a bee a peacock a sheet the grave


1. The bride looked as pretty as ...... in her white silk wedding gown.

2. Mr Bayer looks a rather rough type but he is really as gentle as ............. .

3. Her voice rang out as clear as ................. .

4. When Jenny came top of the class she was as proud as ............ .

5. The land around town is as flat as ........ . There isn’t a hill in sight.

6. When Mr Jenkins heard the news he went as white as ................. .

7. Her mother has been as busy as .......... all day making all the last minute preparations for the wedding

8. John remained as silent as ............ as he listened to my plans for the future.

9. Mary stayed as cool as ........... and gave not even the slightest sign that she had met him before.

10. You can be sure he has an ulterior motive for inviting us to dinner; he is as cunning as ……….. .


6. Complete the sentences below with a suitable word or words from the box, then explain the idioms.

a brush brass a bat a feather a church mouse clockwork life gold a fiddle two peas in a pod


1. Old Mr Higgins is as fit as ..... . He still jogs ten miles every morning.

2. She gets up at six every morning as regular as …….. .

3. My suitcase feels as light as .... . I must have forgotten to pack something.

4. I wouldn't take any notice of anything he says. He's as daft as.... .

5. My dad is as blind as ......... without his glasses.

6. I thought John was abroad, but he turned up at the meeting as large as ... .

7. The twins are as alike as…….. . Nobody can tell them apart.

8. She marched to the front of the queue as bold as .... and demanded to be served at once.

9. The children were as good as ... . I didn't hear a peep out of them all night.

10. Even though Mrs Kelly is as poor as......she still gives money to charity regularly.


7. Explain the idioms in bold.

1. I'm surprised he wasn't killed - it was a really close shave.

2. We have to pay for a new roof. That's a thousand pounds down the drain.

3. I'm afraid we'll have to give him the sack - his missing the meeting was the last straw.

4. That man thinks too much of himself - he is always blowing his own trumpet.

5. I must have offended her somehow - she is looking daggers at me.

6. As she said, he's a total idiot - that's his character in a nutshell.

7. ­Since you have no proof to show us, I'm afraid your theory just doesn't hold water.

8. He's so sensitive to criticism that if you even make a suggestion he flies off the handle.

9. He's obsessed with environmental problems; where they are concerned he has got a real bee in his bonnet.

10. I've never seen two people make friends so quickly - from the first day they got on like a house on fire.

11. I'm very suspicious about his making that offer - in fact, I smell a rat.

12. It's impossible to ignore him in a meeting - he really knows how to make his presence felt.

13. I wouldn't book a holiday with that company - they'll make you pay through the nose.

14. She is head and shoulders above her colleagues, which is why she is soon to be made a com­pany director.

15. Even with five children and two dogs to take care of, Margaret's house is always spic and span.

16. She was very embarrassed when she realized she had gone to the party with her pullover on inside out.

17. The new house has its problems, but by and large it's an improvement on the old one.

18. Even though the carpet was well made, after ten years it was unable to stand up to the wear and tear of continual use.

19. I'm sick and tired of listening to his excuses.

20. After falling off her horse Laura was black and blueall over.

21. The nervous customer paced back and forth outside the bank manager's office.

22. The student was only pretending to read - he was holding his book upside down.

23. The footballer was covered in mud from head to foot.



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