Purple Level

Lesson Six — extended practice with idioms


give / gave / given / giving

The verb "give" is often used with nouns to create idiomatic expressions.

give a blank check = to give a large amount, sometimes without conditions or limits on the amount.

Sandra thought she was given a blank check to buy food for the party, but when she spent over $1000, the other members of the club got mad at her.

give a hand = to applaud; clap

What a great performance. Let’s give them a hand! (everyone claps.)

give a hard time = to make someone feel uncomfortable with questions or comments.

My boss gave me a hard time for being late to work this morning.

give (something) a shot = to try; to work hard at achieving a goal.

Natasha wasn’t sure if she was ready for the Olympics, but she gave it a shot anyway and became a successful competitor.

give away = to give things to people for free.

The grocery store is giving away free ice cream bars in order to get more customers.

give (one) five = to raise one’s hand and slap another person’s palm.

Hey, that was a great speech. Give me five!

give in = to submit to the will of another person; to allow something to happen.

Bill tried as hard as he could to resist the temptation of another piece of pizza, but finally he gave in.

give it to (someone) = to hurt someone physically or verbally; to punish.

Huong’s parents really gave it to her when she came home with a bad report card.

give the evil eye = to look at someone with anger or the intention to cause harm.

It felt to Jose as though the whole team was giving him the evil eye when he failed to block a kick at the goal.

give the finger = to show one’s middle finger at someone out of anger.

When the guy in the car behind me gave me the finger, I slammed on the break and he hit me from behind.

give the nod = to permit someone to do something; to say okay; to grant permission.

Everyone expected the coach would choose Daryl to be quarterback, but instead the nod was given to Tom.

give (one) the shaft = to reject someone; to fail to meet another person at an agreed upon time and place.

I was supposed to go out with Terry tonight, but she gave me the shaft.

give the shirt off (one’s) back = to be generous.

Sid is the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back if you asked him to.

give up = quit.

Have you ever tried to give up smoking? If not, you should.

Next: Lesson Seven