Idioms 4           

1. HAVE AN ACE UP YOUR SLEEVE: If you have an ace up your sleeve you have something in reserve with which you can gain an advantage.

  • I am ready for the negotiations. I have an ace up my sleeve.
  • The new game show has an ace up its sleeve. It will allow viewers to play from home and win prizes.
  • Karan always has an ace up his sleeve.
  • He has an ace up his sleeve. It would be unwise to go against him.
  • He’s not the only one with an ace up his sleeve. I have some tricks of my own, you know.

2. HOLD ALL THE ACES: A person who holds all the aces is in a very strong position because they have more advantages than anyone else.

  • Given the high unemployment figures in some countries, employers hold all the aces.
  • How can I advance in my career when my competitors hold all the aces?
  • If I hold all the aces, I would be able to do great things.
  • I tried to get my point across, but Sarita held all the aces and the board voted for her plan.
  • In a situation like this, It’s the big companies who hold all the aces.   

3. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER: If you tell someone to get your act together, you mean that they need to organise their affairs more effectively in order to be more successful.

  • You’d better get your act together if you want to find a job.
  • If these people could ever get their act together, they can produce the best wine.
  • I have got to get my act together and start getting my work done.
  • When she gets her act together, she will win the game.
  • You will keep failing until you get your act together.

4. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: When people make much ado about nothing, they make a lot of fuss about something which is not important.

  • There was a meeting to discuss the name of the new playground. “Much ado about nothing” said my dad.
  • All this arguing is much ado about nothing.
  • People have been very upset about the seating arrangements for the Christmas dinner, but as far as I am concerned, it’s much ado about nothing.
  • His opponents have questioned his role in obtaining the contract, but he claimed he did nothing wrong, and that it’s much ado about nothing.
  • Whenever there is a party, my friends always make much ado about nothing.

5. AGAINST ONE’S BETTER JUDGEMENT: If you do something, even though you know that it      is not a sensible thing to do, you do it against your better judgement.

  • I lent him the money against my better judgement.
  • I gave him a job against my better judgement.
  • Yesterday, my father had to go to Agra against his better judgement.
  • Today, I had to cut many plants against my better judgement.
  • Have you ever done anything against your better judgement.                                   

6. ALL ALONG: If something has existed or been somewhere all along, it has been  all the time, from the beginning.

  • After the divorce, he admitted to her that he knew all along she was having an affair.
  • We knew all along that the investment was not profitable, but were powerless to stop it.
  • John has been trying to do a better job all along, but the boss doesn’t see any improvement no matter what John does.
  • I have been trying to tell you all along that I am not feeling well, but you just wouldn’t listen.
  • Do you think he’s been cheating us all along.

7. ALL HANDS ON DECK: When there is a need for all hands on deck, everyone must help, especially when there is a lot of work to be done in a short amount of time.

  • As the opening day approached, it was all hands on deck to have everything ready in time.
  • We’ve got to get all this cleared up before they arrive, so all hand on deck.
  • It was all hands on deck getting breakfast ready.
  • From the captain to the cook all hands on deck for soul-saving.
  • As such, all hands must now be put firmly on deck to ensure that it doesn’t falter.

8. ALL IN YOUR HEAD: If something is all in your head, it is not real. It is in your imagination.
Don’t be silly, nobody is trying to harm you. It’s all in your head.

  • There is nothing to be afraid of it’s all in your head.
  • She likes you it is all in your head.
  • I don’t believe stress, it all in your head.
  • These two guys are not following you, it’s all in your head.

9. ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE: If you say that all hell broke loose, you mean that there was a sudden angry or noisy reaction to something.

  • All hell broke loose when it was announced that the plant was going to close down.
  • I got an urgent call from my mom, all hell broke loose.
  • A policeman drew his gun and then suddenly all hell broke loose.
  • All hell broke loose at home when my sister started crying.
  • I was walking through the station on my way to work when I heard the huge explosion, and all hell broke loose.

10. OF ALL PEOPLE: It emphasizes that the person you mention, more than anyone else, is the one you would expect to do something.

  • As an artist, you, of all people, should support the new art gallery.
  • I thought that you, of all people, would believe me!
  • Rohit, of all people, is last one I would expect to see at a club.
  • You, of all people, should understand the importance of the historical analysis.
  • You, of all people, should know better.