- August 13, 2020
- Category: Duolingo English Test, General Interest, GRE, IELTS, PTE, SAT, TOEFL
The phone buzzed. It was picked up. I picked it up, and I saw a message from one of the many, ordinary, routine, right-handed dudely telling me today is the day we celebrate left-handedness. Well, I did not know if it is a tongue-in-cheek thing. But, I decided that it did not matter. Though people call me left-handed, I do have two hands. And only one of them is my left-hand.
The last time I checked (which was just now), I used both hands equally. Yes, equally. I might do more things with one than with the other, but they are used equally. And both of them are hanging from my shoulders and I would love to keep them that way.
I am sure it is the same with all of you.
So, while ignoring the day, we should not ignore the possibility of learning something. Since we were talking about hands, I thought we could read a little about idioms and expressions about hands. Idioms are important for you to score well in English tests.
But before we go to idioms that you could use in you IELTS Speaking, or IELTS writing, or for that matter, in any test, like the PTE, or the OET, remember that idioms should not be ‘shoved’ in for the sake of using them. They should be a natural part of the sentence.
When someone asks, if you liked working out, saying, No, working out is not my cup of tea, would sound mighty awkward. And even if it didn’t it would not fetch you any more marks than you would otherwise get.
Now that the warning is out of the way, let us look at some idioms, starting from the left 😉
1. Left handed compliment
An insult disguised as a compliment. If you have a smart left-handed friend, he/she might say, you are very good for a right-hander. This is a left-handed compliment.
2 – 3. Get out of hand | Hands down
The debate about who is more intelligent is getting out of hand. Left-handed people are hands down better!
4 – 6. Firsthand | Secondhand | Change hands
We are not talking about cars, or your hands. Firsthand usually refers to something that you personally know, felt, or experienced.
Ex. I have first hand experience of being left-handed, because I am one.
Ex. Righthanded people only have secondhand knowledge about being left-handed, because they only hear it from others.
Ex. Information changes hands between right and left handed gentry.
7. To have one’s hands full.
I have my hands full trying to write example sentences, you should ask someone else for help.
8. wash your hands of (this one is interesting)
Washing ones hands of something means, stop being responsible for something)
Ex. We are in times of covid-19, we cannot wash our hands of maintaining social distancing.
10. Know something like the back of your hand.
I have lived in Londonderry for 8 years – I know it like the back of my hand.
11. Take matters into ones own hands.
If you are thinking what I am thinking you are thinking, then you are wrong. This idiom simply means taking control of the situation. Usually because others have not been able to control/succeed.
Ex. After waiting for 2 days for the son help her learn how to drive, the mother took matters into her own hands and took the car out of the driveway.
12. a hand-me-down
Very close to secondhand, but this usually refers to something that has been used by an older sibling or a family member and then has been passed on to you.
Ex. I am tired of wearing handmedowns, I want to buy new clothes for the Covid-19 pandemic! 🤣