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ESL forum > Ask for help > expressions    



Hi there! Hope you īre all fine. I need your help with some expressions that my students asked me about in class. My student wanted to convey this idea: a bully is insulting a student and a possible answer for the bullied to make the bully shut up. I thought about : Your words run off me like water off a duck īs back. Yet my student told me he had heard another expression on a TV series but he couldn īt remember it. He wanted me to give him some other similar expressions but I couldn īt. Could you think about similar ones? The second one is another answer. I told my students I was going to have one of my wisdom teeth removed and one student asked me how to say in English the equivalent for a Spanish expression which somehow means "I know it will hurt you but hope not a lot" I have checked the net and found "Hope it is not too serious". Would it be a natural answer for the given context? And a last expression for which my student had heard another version but couldn īt remember it. A mum is always telling her son to stop going out with a bunch of boys because they are not a good influence. And the son replies: Stop grating on me / Stop nagging me / you īre talking my head off. These are the equivalent expressions I could think of for the Spanish expression my student wanted to translate but he told me he had heard another one. Thanks for your help.  

19 Apr 2017      


Idk...for the first anwser maybe:
-People who live in glass houses shouldn īt throw stones. (Meaning don īt criticize if you have the same faults.)
-Pot calling the kettle black. (Same as above. Pointing someones fault when you have it too.)
-Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me. (This is a children īs rhyme though.)
Hope this is of some use to you. If I remember more I īll let you know.  I īm sure someone will come up with more of them. :)

19 Apr 2017     

United States

I searched for snappy comebacks and a few links came up. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/603529/posts has some but you will have to pick and choose, as not all are appropriate for students. Same here http://thoughtcatalog.com/melanie-berliet/2016/02/50-hilarious-comebacks-that-will-shut-everyone-up-and-make-you-look-like-a-genius/
I don īt know how effective these are, but they were common back in the day:
"What you say is what you are."
"I īm water, you īre glue. Whatever you say runs off me and sticks to you."

19 Apr 2017     

United States

1) "I know you are, but what am I?" (very child like to say) or "Yo Mama." (heavy street slang, offensive--youīre directing the bullyīs insults to his mother)
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--BslU44vWU (another option :) )
2) I wouldn īt use "serious" for a wisdom tooth (I would for an operation though).  For wisdom tooth I might say "I hope itīs not too painful."
3) "You īre talking my ear off." Could be used here, it implies the person is talking (to you)  too much.  "She was  talking her head off." is also a phrase indicating she was talking a lot, but not necesarily to me.

21 Apr 2017     


1) I agree with using the rhyme "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me" in this context. I don īt think it īs true, though! I actually think that a more normal response would be something like shut up, as if, yeah right, go away - something short and sarcastic.
2) "I hope it īs not too bad" would be my natural choice.
3) Stop going on at me (about it); you īre driving me up the wall; stop bothering me (about it); it īs none of your business; take a chill pill.

21 Apr 2017