Level 1 idioms – Unit 02


Peter:         Hey George.  Let’s take a break.  I’m starting to get tired.

George:     Me too.  It’s not an easy job fixing up this old car.

Peter:         It sure isn’t.  My advice is to get rid of it and buy a nice used one.

George:     But I love this car.  It was my first.  Let’s keep on working till dinnertime.  Then we can eat out somewhere and finish the job afterwards.

Peter:         Okay.  What about that new Mexican restaurant on West Broadway?  I hear the food is really good.

George:      I don’t care for Mexican food.  It gives me heartburn.

Peter:          Then let’s go pick up some Chinese food and eat it here.

George:       In the meantime, could you give me a hand with this jack?

Peter:           Sure.  Let me turn off the engine first.

George:       I’ll be glad when this is done.  I’m sure looking forward to having a car that works.

Pronunciation Exercise:  Listen and repeat the vocabulary on the audio file below.


•  heartburn:  a burning feeling in the chest
•  in the meantime:  while waiting to do something else
•  jack:  a tool that lifts part of a car so you can change a tire

Pronunciation Exercise:  Listen and repeat the idioms on the audio file below.


take a break (from)         stop working for a short time
fix up                                       repair, make better
get rid of                                not keep
keep on                                   continue without stopping
eat out                                     eat at a restaurant
don’t care for                      don’t like
pick up                                   go and get (someone or something) / lift
give (someone) a hand  help / clap hands to show approval
turn off                                   stop the operation (of a machine, lights, water, etc.)
look forward to                  await with excitement


Take a break is followed by from if there is an object.
Example:  Let’s take a break from studying and go get some coffee.

Keep on and go on are similar, but keep on means continue without stopping and
must be followed by an -ing verb.  Go on means continue after stopping and can be used alone without anything following.

Eat out is at a restaurant, but eat in is at home.
Example:  I’m a little tired tonight so let’s eat in.

Pick up has two meanings.  The other meaning is “to lift.”
Example:  Please pick up the garbage you dropped on the floor.

Give (someone) a hand has two meanings.  The other meaning is “clap hands to show approval.”  Example:  Let’s all give him a hand for a job well done.

Turn off and shut off have the same meaning.

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© 2004 Ambien Malecot


Comment (3)

  • Eriko| January 5, 2013

    Hello Ambien,

    I have a question how different between” don’t care for” and “don’t care about”?


    • Ambien Malecot| January 5, 2013

      Hi Eriko,
      “Care for” means “like.” For example, I don’t care for cold winters. She doesn’t care for his kind of jokes.
      “Care about” means “think something is important.” For example, I care about your feelings. He doesn’t care about school.

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