Stephen Wade Thomson
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a curated selection of
What personal anecdotes you think of when you read these phrases? Is there a spanish equivalent for the phrase? Make notes of any questions you have regarding these phrases.
A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P


face the music = accept the unpleasant consequences of your actions
face value = what it appears to be
poker face = a straight face = not showing any signs
The fact of the matter is… = the reality is…
the facts speak for themselves = the facts are self-evident, no further explanation necessary.
to win fair and square = to win honestly, without cheating
fair hearing = an opportunity to defend oneself in court
fair-weather friend = a friend who is only there for you in good times
fall by the wayside = remain unfinished, to be abandoned (a project, for example)
fall flat = receive no laughter or applause (a joke, for example)
fall from grace = lose your good reputation by doing something wrong
fall into one’s lap = comes to you without any effort
fall into place = come together and fit correctly in sequence
fall on your sword = to sacrifice yourself for a something or someone else
false move = a wrong move
false pretences = an inaccurate understanding of the reality of a situation, usually as a result of deliberate deception
fast talker = someone who talks fast, and maybe cannot be trusted to tell the truth
fat cat = a rich and powerful person who abuses his status and wealth
fat chance = improbable
to a fault = in abundance, almost to excess
feast your eyes on something = look at something
feather in your cap = an achievement
feel the pinch = begin to suffer from lack of money
keep your feet on the ground = stay sensible, act reasonably
sweep you off your feet = encantarte, hacerte enamorar
two left feet = bad at dancing
think on your feet = improvise, be ready for anything
on the fence = undecided
fender-bender = a car crash, usually minor
fever pitch = when a situation becomes very intense or exciting
few and far between = scarce
to have a field day = to have a period of great excitement and activity
fifth wheel = unnecessary accompaniment
to fight tooth and nail = fighting with everything you have, determined
a figment of your imagination = something that is not real, imaginary
fine tuning = tweaks = small changes to perfect something
“I can’t put my finger on it” = I can’t quite figure out what it is
to slip through your fingers = you lose a good opportunity
to have your finger on the pulse of something = to be aware of how it’s going
to work your fingers to the bone = to work a lot
five finger discount = shoplifting
fire away = begin asking questions
first and foremost = principalmente
getting to first base = starting to have success, completing a step
first come first served = people will be served in the order they arrive
first hand = directly
in the first place = en primer lugar
other fish to fry = other more important problems to pay attention to
big fish in a small pond = an important and highly-ranked person in a small group
plenty of fish in the sea = there are other options
fish out of water = feeling of discomfort in unfamiliar environment
fits the bill = is perfect for a particular situation
fit like a glove = fits perfectly
in fits and starts = starting, stopping, starting, stopping…
five o’clock shadow = the stubble on a man’s face who hasn’t shaved for at least a day
he’s fixed in his ways = he will not change
get flak for something = to be criticized for something
fly by the seat of your pants = do something without any knowledge, using only instinct
fly in the face of = runs opposite to what is expected
on the fly = quickly, improvisationally
fly off the handle = get angry, go crazy
it will never fly = it will never work
with flying colors = very successfully
foaming at the mouth = extremely angry
food for thought = just an idea to think about
follow suit = to do the same as another person has done
a fool’s errand = an objective that is futile or will not be successful
to get your foot in the door = to have a small but successful start with a project
one foot in the grave = old and close to death
to put your foot in your mouth = to say something upsetting to someone else that you regret
to get off on the wrong foot = to start off badly or wrongly
to get a foothold = to secure a position
for the time being= for now
force of habit = automatic through frequent repetition
force someon’s hand = make someone do something unwillingly or sooner than preferred
on all fours = on your hands and knees
a free-for-all = chaos, without rules
there’s no free lunch = nothing is free
of your own free will = voluntarily, without having been pressured
Freudian slip = when you say something by mistake but it reveals your true feelings.
friends in high places = you know important and influential people (in government, for example)
front runner = the person who is winning a race or competition
out of the frying pan, into the fire = doing from a bad situation to worse
full of hot air = doesn’t say anything real or useful
full of piss and vinegar = lively, full of youthful vitality
in full swing = at highest operational level