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16 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
to be in a position of control or advantage.
to have/get the upper hand
'The team got the upper hand when they scored a goal in the final minute.'
to get out of control.
to get/be out of hand
'The game was a bit rough, but it really got out of hand when the players started fighting.'
when you have so much to do that you can not take on any extra tasks or responsibilities.
to have your hands full (with sth)
'Sorry, I can't help you with your homework. I've got my hands full with this essay.'
when something is stopping you from taking action.
to have your hands tied
'I got a parking fine today. I begged the policeman to forgive me, but he said that since he had already written the ticket, his hands were tied.'
to refuse to have any more involvement in a situation and you will not accept further responsibility for anything that happens in this situation.
to wash your hands of something
'I warned him not to take the money, but he ignored my advice and now he's in trouble with the police. This is the third time it has happened, so I have washed my hands of him.'
These expressions refer to a strict and controlling way of doing things.
with a heavy hand
'He has a heavy-handed approach to management. He often upsets people with his direct and critical style.'
to help
to give someone a hand
'Hey Tim, could you give me a hand to move this box? It's too heavy for me to lift on my own.'
This proverb means that if a lot of people help with a task, it will be completed quickly and easily.
many hands make light work
'We can get this furniture moved very quickly if everybody helps – many hands make light work!'
to be being looked after very well.
to be in safe hands
'Don't worry about your cats while you are on holiday. I will feed them every day and make sure they are ok. They will be in safe hands !'
To become involved with something difficult, dangerous or corrupt which you would rather not do.
to get your hands dirty
'The boss asked me to tell the workers that they were sacked. He doesn't want to get his hands dirty by telling them himself.'
This proverb means that if people do not have anything to do with their time, they are more likely to get involved with trouble and criminality
the devil finds/makes work for idle hands
'I believe in the saying "The devil finds work for idle hands", so when my kids were on their school holidays I made sure they kept out of trouble by giving them jobs to do around the house.'
when you do not become involved in illegal or immoral activity
to keep your hands clean
'He wanted me to help him change the financial records, but I said no. I want to keep my hands clean.'
an informal phrase which means 'the tea's ready'
tea's up
something good will happen soon – in this case, Tim will find a new job.
something will turn up soon
short for 'do you fancy…?' meaning 'would you like…?'
really messy and untidy
a complete tip