09.11.2017 |

Episode #1 of the course English idioms (B2) by Kasia Sielicka, PhD



Susan was holding the phone, waiting impatiently for someone to pick up.


How long could it take for the health clinic to answer?


She was about to hang up, when she finally heard a voice.

“City Clinic, how can I help you?” said a kind woman.

“Hi, this is Susan Smith,” said Susan impatiently. “I need urgent medical attention. I’m coming down with something!”

“Of course, madam,” said the kind voice. “What exactly seems to be the problem?

“Where should I start?” Susan was annoyed. “My back is killing me, that’s the first thing. Also, I have a splitting headache. And I feel very rundown.”

“I see,” said the woman on the other end of the line. “Well, there is something going around, that’s true, but your symptoms seem to suggest that you’re just a bit off-color. I suggest a day’s rest and you’ll be back on your feet,” she explained patiently.

“Well, no!” shouted Susan angrily. “I know my body! Usually, I am the picture of health. In fact, I had a checkup last month, and I was given a clean bill of health. I don’t often complain, no way! But now I can clearly see something is wrong!”

“I understand,” said the woman, kind and patient as ever. “I’m sure if you drink plenty of liquids and relax, you’ll be as right as rain in no time.”

“Will you stop treating me as if I was a hypochondriac?” shouted Susan into the phone. If this was a traditional phone, she would have slammed down the receiver. But as she didn’t want to ruin her smartphone, she just hung up.


Idioms Explained

When you’re coming down with something, you are becoming ill. For instance, you can come down with the flu.

If a body part is killing you, it hurts very badly. This often refers to the back.

If you have a splitting headache, you have a bad pain in your head.

When you feel rundown, you are so tired, you don’t feel well.

If there is something going around, many people are becoming ill at the same time. This often refers to the common cold or the stomach flu.

When you’re off-color, you feel slightly ill.

When you’re back on your feet, you’ve recovered after an illness.

When you’re the picture of health, you’re perfectly healthy.

If you’re given a clean bill of health, the doctor says you are perfectly healthy.

When you’re as right as rain, you feel perfectly healthy.


Will Susan’s best friend be more sympathetic? Find out tomorrow!


Recommended book

Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis


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