I am all ears 洗耳恭听
One day, we hired a carpenter to repair our house. I dwelt on (详细讲述)all the details that needed repairing to him. then I asked him, "Are you clear? Can you remember all that?" "Yes!" the carpenter replied. "I am all ears!" I felt puzzled and did not know what he meant. Later my eldest son explained to me that he meant, "I am listening attentively!".
I am broke 我没钱了
One day when I was walking in the school corridor, Anna ran over to me and said, "I"m broke. May I ...?" I thought she might have fallen somewhere and was injured, so I hurriedly supported her with my hands and asked her, "Are you OK? Do you want me to send you to the clinic?" She felt a little puzzled, but then she said , "I"m ok. I"m broke. May I borrow some money?"
I assumed that she wanted to borrow money to go to hospital to see a doctor, so I responded quickly, "Let me help you to call an ambulance to the hospital."
Not until then did she realize that I had not understood what she meant. She told me that "I"m broke" meant, "I"m penniless." I suddenly saw the light too.
Have an affair with...与...有暧昧关系
The president was forced to resign, for his having an affair with a film star was like a time-bomb that would sooner or later ruin his fame.
It was reported that President Clinton had an affair with a girl called Monica.
The eyes are extremely precious to us. That is why we say“Mind your eye (当心)!”when we reminding someone to be careful.
Not only human beings and animals have eyes, many things also have“eyes”- the eyes of a ship, the eye of a needle, the eye of a typhoon, and so on.
The ear is the organ of hearing. A piece of light music is easy on the ear. (悦耳动听). We are usually all ears (专心聆听) for bit news.
When they think somebody is overhearing, English people use either of the two proverbs: Walls have ears (隔墙有耳) and Pitchers have ears (壶罐有耳). They also think that little pitchers have big ears(小孩子耳朵尖). Nice boys and girls respect other people. They will not secretly listen to others" private conversations.
The English phrase "face to face (面对面)" and its Chinese counterpart(对应)are exactly the same. But English people, to express the same idea, can say nose to nose instead. There is no such substitute in Chinese.
The word nose appears in many idioms. Here are two which are quite similar to their Chinese equivalents: lead somebody by the nose (牵着某人的鼻子走) and turn up one"s nose at somebody or something (对某人或某物嗤之一鼻).
We have two lips: the upper lip and the lower lip. If one"s two lips are closed, one cannot speak. So it goes without saying that "don"t open your lips (不要开口)" means "don"t speak".
His lips are sealed. Are his lips really stuck together by wax or glue? No, his lips are sealed when asked about something that he must keep secret. Sometimes a top secret is betrayed because it has escaped someone"s lips (脱口而出). Then the incident may become a piece of news that is on everybody"s lips (众口相传).
We all know we cannot speak without the tongue. So the tongue is closely related to speech. To hold one"s tongue (保持沉默) means "to keep silent". A person who has too much tongue (太多嘴) is disliked by all, for he is too talkative. Mother tongue is not the tongue of a mother: it is a person"s native language.
"Don"t you have a moth below your nose (你鼻子底下不是有张嘴吗)?" The Chinese say so to blame a person who did not say what he should have said. But this not the right way to express the idea in English. English people would say, "You have a tongue in your head, haven"t you?"
aim high 胸怀大志
Frank aimed high, but achieved little
Sue: You seem to be worried about something these days
Bob: Yeah. I"m running around in circles (忙得团团转)without achieving anything.
Sue: Running in circles? Maybe you aim too high and you"ve taken more than you can chew.
Bob: Maybe. but I can"t tolerate doing nothing.
Sue: You may take a break before buckling down on (开始认真地干)your targets.