Level 3 idioms – Unit 07


Hank: My history professor really spelled it out for us this morning.  She told us that apart from having chapter quizzes every week, mid-term and final exams, and a 3000-word research paper, there may also be some other marked assignments in store but she didn’t give us any details.

John: It sounds like your prof wants everyone to toe the line. You’d better get down to work right away.

Hank: I will. Also, she keeps after us to make sure we’ve done the reading assignment for that day. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. She told us she could decide to give a quiz on the spur of the moment.

John: I hate pop quizzes.  It sounds like you’re going to be busy this term.

Hank: You can say that again. But you know, as a rule I respond well to teachers like her. She makes me want to work hard and even go the extra mile.
John: Well, good luck. I hope you’re not in over your head.
Hank: I doubt it. I think I’ll make out just fine.


apart from:  in addition to
marked assignments:  work that the teacher will give a mark for
details:  complete information
’d better (had better):  must
pop quizzes:  tests that students can’t prepare for
doubt it:  don’t think so


spell it out (for someone)                         explain something (to someone)
in store                                                             planned for the future
toe the line                                                        follow the rules, do what’s expected
get down to                                                       start (an activity)
keep after (someone)                                 remind (someone) constantly
the tip of the iceberg                                   a small piece of the whole
on the spur of the moment                     impulsively, suddenly
you can say that again                               what you said is true
as a rule                                                             generally, usually
go the extra mile                                           do more than is necessary
in over one’s head                                        have more than one can handle
make out                                                            have a result / see clearly


Make out has 2 meanings.  The other one is “see clearly.”  Example:  Can you make out that sign in the distance?


© 2004 Ambien Malecot

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© 2013 Ambien Malecot


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