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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Numbers - Quantities - Amounts

(page 4 :  second fiddle  →  takes two to tango)

play second fiddle If you play second fiddle to another person, you accept to be second in importance to that person, or have a lower position.
John resented having to play second fiddle to the sales manager when the company was restructured.
second a motion During a meeting, if you second a motion, you formally agree with a proposal.
She seconded the motion to introduce flexible working hours.
second nature If something you do is second nature to you, it is something that you do easily or automatically because you have done it so often or for so long.
Skiing is second nature to Harry. He grew up in a ski resort.
second to none Something that is second to none is excellent or much better than any other.
The service was perfect and the food was second to none.
on second thoughts 'On second thoughts' means that after giving the matter more thought, you have changed your mind.
My idea was to move to an apartment, but on second thoughts, I'd rather have a garden.
in seventh heaven If you are in seventh heaven, you are extremely happy.
Every time she wins a match, she's in seventh heaven!
six of one and half a dozen of the other This expression means that there is no real difference between two choices; both are equally good or equally bad.
I didn't know who to vote for. It was six of one and half a dozen of the other!
at sixes and sevens If someone is at sixes and sevens, they are in a state of confusion or not very well organised.
The managers were at sixes and sevens when they were informed of the Chairman's visit.
a thousand times This expresses exasperation at having constantly to repeat the same thing.
I've told you a thousand times to wipe your feet before coming in!
catch twenty two A catch 22 situation refers to a frustrating situation where you cannot do one thing without doing a second, and you cannot do the second before doing the first.
I can't get a job without a work permit, and I can't get a work permit without a job.  It's a catch 22 situation!
twenty-four-seven This term refers to something which is available or happens twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
The tourist office provided a list of 24-7 supermarkets in the area.
two of a kind People who are two of a kind are similar in character, attitude or tastes.
Pete and Ben are two of a kind; they enjoy sports and are very competitive.
two can play at that game You say this to tell someone that you can behave towards them in the same unpleasant way that they have behaved towards you.
He refuses to take my call?  Tell him two can play at that game!
two-faced Someone who is two-faced is deceitful or insincere;  they will say one thing to your face and something else when you are not there.
I don't trust Billy.  I find him two-faced.
two left feet If you have two left feet, you are clumsy or awkward in your movements.
I'm afraid I'm a bad dancer.  I've got two left feet!
in two minds If you are in two minds about something, you have difficulty deciding what to do.
I'm in two minds about whether or not to accept the offer.
takes two to tango You say this when you think that a difficult situation cannot be the fault of one person alone.
We've heard Fred's side of the story - but it takes two to tango!
   
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