16/3/14

Preparing for the 'oposiciones': idioms with names of fruit and veg (exercises)

There are lots of idioms both in English and in Spanish with names of fruit and vegetables. Here are a couple of exercises to review them:

EXERCISE -1

Complete the following sentences with the adequate English idiom, then translate into Spanish:

1.- Lucy is the ........ of her father's eye.
2.- It's no longer a secret - your sister spilled the ........
3.- He says he doen't want the post, but I think it's a case of sour ..........
4.- So he has come two days too soon, hasn't he? That ..........the applecart.
5.- While Paul and I were exhausted after such a long journey, our children were ........of beans.
6.- He failed the first time, but he's lucky - they let him have another ...... at the cherry.
7.- The question of pensions is a hot ..... for both the unions and the government.
8.- Mum, don't count on me to accompany them. I don't like ........gooseberry.
9.- The old man must have ....bananas to marry such a young girl.
10.- At the press conference, the journalists bombarded the President with questions, but he kept as cool as a .........

EXERCISE-2

Find an equivalent in English for the following Spanish idioms, then give an example of each:

11.- Estar en el ajo.
12.- Estar a partir un piñón.
13.- Dar calabazas.
14.- La media naranja de alguien.
15.- Pedir peras al olmo.
16.- Más sano que una pera.

KEY

EXERCISE -1

1.- apple - Lucy es el ojito derecho de su padre.
2.- beans - Ya no es ningún secreto - tu hermana se fue de la lengua.
3.- grapes - Dide que no quiere el puesto, pero yo creo que lo que pasa es que no puede conseguirlo.
4.- upsets -De modo que ha venido dos días antes de tiempo. Eso lo echa todo a rodar.
5.- full - Mientras que Paul y yo estabamos exhaustos tras tan largo viaje, nuestros hijos estaban llenos de energía.
6.- bite - Falló la primera vez, pero tiene suerte - le dieron otra oportunidad.
7.- potato - La cuestión de las pensiones es una patata caliente tanto para los sindicatos como para el gobierno.
8.- to play/playing - Mamá, co cuentes conmigo para acomparles. No me gusta hacer de carabina.
9.- gone - El viejo debe de haberse vuelto majareta para casarse con una chica tan joven.
10.- cucumber - En la rueda de prensa, los periodistas acribillaron al Presidente a preguntas, pero éste no perdió la calma/se mantuvo relajado.

EXERCISE-2

11.- to be in the know: You can talk in front of him - he is in the know.
12.- to be as thick as thieves: They are as thick as thieves, those two.
13.- to turn someone down: "Pam has turned me down." "Cheer up, she's not the only girl in the world."
14.- someone's better half: My better half is having some beers with her old classmates.
15.- to be like getting blood out of a stone: Getting a loan from him is like getting blood out of a stone.
16.- to be as sound as a bell, to be the picture of health, to be as fit as a fiddle: Yes, my grandfather has been ill, but now he's as sound as a bell/the picture of health/fit as a fiddle.

I have taken the examples from my book Diccionario Bilingüe de Modismos, Vérticebooks, 2012 (now out of print).

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