Welcome to American English Idioms: Lesson 6. In this lesson you have 3 American English idioms to read, listen to, translate, and pronounce in English. Please focus and do your best so that you can learn and improve your knowledge of American English idioms. Don’t forget to use the comments section below to share your thoughts and what you’ve learned today.
Directions 1: Watch the video 2 or more times, and pay close attention to the audio and text.
Directions 2: Read the following text in English, then translate it using the translator on this page into your language if needed. When you finish, feel free to write a comment in the comments section below and let us know how you feel about what you’ve learned, as well as what you’ve learned.
AT (ONE’S) WITS’ END at a loss about what to do next; in a state of frustration
1. When the woman looked around and couldn’t find her little daughter, she looked up and down every aisle in the store until she was at her wits’ end. She was almost hysterical when another customer in the store suggested that she notify the store’s security officer.
2. We can’t seem to persuade our son to stay in school. We have tried every argument we can think of, but nothing seems to help. We don’t know what to do, and we’re at our wits’ end.
Synonyms: at the end of (one’s) rope
Compare to: keep (one’s) wits about (oneself); use (one’s) wits; scared out of (one’s) wits The word wits means mental abilities.
AT THE DROP OF A HAT on any pretext; without needing an excuse or reason
1. Those workmen look for any reason to stop working. They’ll put down their tools at the drop of a hat.
2. Nancy really doesn’t want to stay in her present job. She’ll leave for another one at the drop of a hat.
AT THE END OF (ONE’S) ROPE no longer able to deal with a bad situation
1. I just don’t know what to do with my son. He has misbehaved all day. I’m at the end of my rope.
2. We can’t tolerate that dog anymore. We’re going to give it away because we’re at the end of our rope. Synonyms: at (one’s) wits’ end