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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


from:   'the ball is in your court'   to:  'give the game away'

  • (the) ball is in your court
    • If the ball is in your court, it is your turn to speak or act next.
      "We gave the manager a list of complaints, so the ball is in his court now."

  • have a ball
    • If you have a ball  you enjoy yourself immensely.
      "The party was great. We all had a ball."

  • (be) on the ball
    • If you are on the ball, you are aware of what is happening and are able to deal with things quickly and intelligently.
      "We need someone who is really on the ball to head the fund-raising campaign."

  • start the ball rolling
    • If you start the ball rolling, you begin an activity in which other people will join.
      "Let's start the ball rolling by calling on our first speaker."

  • that's the way the ball bounces
    • Things don't always work out as planned, and there's nothing we can do about it - that's life.
      "He didn't get the prize he expected, but never mind - that's the way the ball bounces."

  • (a) whole new ball game
    • To refer to something as a whole new ball game means that it is a completely different situation due to a new set of circumstances.
      "Email and text messaging have made communication a whole new ball game."

  • dive in headfirst
    • If you begin something enthusiastically, without thinking about the possible consequences, you dive in headfirst.
      "Tony accepted the project without calculating the time it would take; he always dives in headfirst!"

  • fishing expedition
    • If someone is on a fishing expedition, they are trying to obtain information in any way possible, often using secretive or improper methods.
      "The lunch invitation was clearly a fishing expedition to obtain information about his private life."

  • fishing for compliments
    • When someone is obviously waiting for you to say something nice, they are fishing for compliments.
      "I know why she invited us to her new house - she's just fishing for compliments."

  • at this stage of the game
    • The expression 'at this stage of the game' refers to the current point reached in a process, activity or developing situation.
      "I think any further intervention would be unwise at this stage of the game.  Let's wait and see how things develop."

  • give the game away
    • If you give the game away, you reveal a secret or a plan, often unintentionally.
      "He hoped nobody in the hotel would recognize him, but an employee gave the game away."

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