Dec 1

Idioms with clothes

Complete the sentences with an item of clothing:

1. Unfortunately, as my partner has just lost her job, our income has been practically cut in half. We’re going to have to tighten our ______. I think we might start by cutting down on some little luxuries like going to the cinema and eating out.

2. My school grades have been quite poor recently. The teacher thinks that I need to make more effort. She told me to pull my ______ up.

3. I’ve been working my ______ off recently because I need to finish two assignments by Friday. I’ve been spending about sixteen hours a day in the library and I’m absolutely exhausted, but at least I’ve finally finished.

4. The Prime Minister is heavily criticized in the media and even by her so-called friends. I wouldn’t want to be in her ______. It seems like a horrible job.


1. To tighten my/your/his/her/our/their BELT/BELTS
2. To pull my/your/his/her/our/their SOCKS up
3. To work my/your/his/her/our/their SOCKS off
4. To be in my/your/his/her/our/their SHOES


• To tighten your belt = to economize; to cut your costs or to cut how much money you spend because the amount of money you have is falling

• To pull your socks up = to work harder; to make more effort

• To work your socks off = to work very hard; to use a lot of time and energy to do a job or complete a task

• To be in somebody’s shoes = to have the position, situation or life of another person. If you say: ‘I wish I was in your shoes’, you indicate that you are jealous or envious; you show that you think the other person has a better situation than you. If you say: ‘I’m glad I’m not in your shoes’ you indicate that the person you are talking to has a very difficult situation and that you are happy that you do not have to deal with tis situation.
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