BITTER/HARD PILL TO SWALLOW, BLACK AND BLUE, and BLACK MARKET: American English Idioms #18

Welcome to American English Idioms: Lesson 18. 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.

BITTER/HARD PILL TO SWALLOW — a difficult or unpleasant reality to deal with

1. John discovered the hard truth about responsibility. He didn’t get his college application in on time and the school won’t reconsider. It was a hard pill to swallow, but he had to learn the hard way.

2. Jill thought she was a good singer. When her brother told her she was tone-deaf, it was a bitter pill to swallow.

The expression suggests something that, like a pill, is unpleasant but cannot be avoided.

BLACK AND BLUE — discolored from a bruise; injured in a fight either physically or verbally

1. The girl fell out of the tree but didn’t break any bones. She just had a black and blue knee.

2. James came out of the meeting black and blue, since he had made so many mistakes preparing the report without consulting his boss.

BLACK MARKET — a system of buying and selling illegal goods or goods at illegal prices or quantities

1. During the war each household was allotted a small amount of sugar and butter each month. If you wanted more, you had to buy it on the black market.

2. There is a growing black market for consumer goods that are difficult or impossible to find here.

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