What is Sleep on It?

One of the ways to learn English for working people is through Idioms. Read 6 common idioms at work with webgiaidap.com if you want to use English in your life!

Learning English for working people – idioms (Source: dreamstime)

Similar to Vietnamese, English also has similes and witty sayings with nuances and metaphorical meanings. English idioms are very rich and diverse, some have similar expressions, some have the same meaning but the style is said in a completely different way. Let’s explore these interesting idioms with webgiaidap.com and apply them when learning English for working people!

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Bite off more than one can chew

This phrase means that you are trying to do something more than possible or trying to do something that is too difficult. Presenting as someone who is too busy.

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Bite off more than you can chew (Source: idioms with izz)

“Bite off more than one can chew” began to be used in America in the late 1800s. That was when chewing tobacco was in vogue. When offered cigarettes, some people took a bite larger than they could chew. Others believe that the phrase was created when people saw children filling their mouths with food and unable to swallow.

For example:

Don’t bite off more than you can chew – you have so many things to do at the moment, why don’t you ask someone else to organize the party? (Don’t push yourself too hard. You have so much to do right now, why not ask someone to host the party?)

Fred is stressed. I think he has bitten off more than he can chew. (= he has taken more responsibilities than he can handle): Fred is stressed. I think he was too busy with his work.

Another idiom equivalent to the one above is have a lot/too much on your plate. This idiom is meant to mean having too much to deal with.

Fill in for someone

“Fill in for someone” means to temporarily replace someone’s work or responsibilities.


Fill in for someone (Source: Thesaurus)

For example:

She will fill in for him while he’s at the conference. (She will take his place (during) while he is at the conference.)

I’m not his regular secretary. I’m just filling in for her. (I’m not his regular secretary. I’m just working for her temporarily.)

Mrs. Smith, the regular Spanish teacher has called in sick. Can you fill in for her today? (Mrs. Smith, the Spanish teacher called to say she was sick. Could you teach her today?)

Can you please fill in for me tonight? (Can you take my place tonight?)

While I was attending the training session, Phil filled in for me. (= do my work/take over my job and responsibilities): While I am attending the training, Phil will take my place. (= do my job/take on my duties).

In the black

This is a pretty good sentence in English. It originates from the old accounting practice: Positive numbers will appear black when entered into the machine. Otherwise, the numbers will become a red color if the numbers are negative. So “in the black” is often used in business and business. It refers to a favorable, profitable business.

In the black – idiom (Source: Youtube)

For example:

Yeah, i’m in the black! (Yeah, I’m living in a pile of money!)

We are happy that our business is finally in the black. (We are happy that the business is finally profitable.)

I wish my accounts were in the black. (I wish my account had a lot of money)

Now that the company is in the black. We’re going to have a vacation next month. (Currently the company is doing well. We will have a vacation next month).

See more: What is Acne – How to effectively treat acne at home

When we’ve paid off our loans and we’re in the black again. (When we pay off our debts, we’ll have our money back.)

In the red

If “in the black” means good business, “in the red” means the opposite. It means loss, loss of money.

In the red – idiom (Source: Youtube)

For example:

I’ve paid off all my loans, but i’m still in the red. (I’ve paid off all my debts, but I’m still in dire straits.)

Our company is in the red, we can’t take new employees on. (Our company is at a loss, we cannot hire more employees).

After 2 months open, the shop had to close down because it was in the red. (After 2 months of opening, the store had to close because of a loss of business).

John is now in the red! His business is failing and he’s losing money. (John is currently at a loss! His business is going down and he is losing a lot of money.)

If you continue, you will be in the red! (If you continue, you will lose!)

Sleep on it

When we want to advise someone to think about something before making a decision, we can say “Sleep on it”.

For example:

Stop arguing! Let’s sleep on it. (Stop arguing. Let’s think about it.)

It sounds like a good deal, but I’d like to sleep on it before I give you my final decision. (It seems like a good workaround, but I’d rather think about it before making a final decision.)

Sleep on it – idiom (Source: Qlanguage)

Don’t give me your answer now- Sleep on it and we can talk some more later. (Don’t give me an answer right now – Think it over and we can talk more later.)

You don’t have to give me your decision now. Sleep on it, and let me know tomorrow. (You don’t have to make a decision right away. Just think about it, and let me know tomorrow.)

To get the ball rolling

“To get the ball rolling” means “to start”, “to begin”, which means to start something, especially important things, big plans.

See also: What is a Noun – Nouns in English

For example:

We need to get this project started as soon as possible. I’m hoping you will help me to get the ball rolling. (We’ll start this project as soon as we can. I’m hoping you’ll help me get it started.)

If I could just get the ball rolling, then other people would help. (If I can get started, then someone will help.)

Who else would get the ball rolling? (Who’s going to start this?)

To get the ball rolling – idiom (Source: Cambridge English)

We’ve been trying to get the ball rolling on construction of a new playground. (We are trying to start the construction of the new playground.)

She was hoping that a meeting with senior managers would get the ball rolling. (She had hoped that a meeting with senior leaders would be started.)

One of the most effective ways to learn vocabulary in English is through phrases and idioms. Above are 6 phrases and idioms among the most common expressions that people in the workplace often use when speaking English. webgiaidap.com hopes that with the examples provided in this article, it will help you understand and apply these idioms in your life.

Thanh Tung (General)

Source: internet

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