5 Common Idioms with ‘OUT’

http://www.engvid.com/ What does it mean to be ‘out cold’ or ‘out of commission’? If a person is ‘out to lunch’ or ‘out of gas,’ what’s their condition? In this lesson, I will teach you five very common and easy-to-remember idioms. Missing this lesson is simply ‘out of the question.’ Get ready to improve your vocabulary and conversational ability! And take a quiz on this lesson here: http://www.engvid.com/5-common-idioms-with-out/


Hi guys. I’m Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on idioms with “out”. Today we’re going to look at some of the most common idioms that use “out” in the English language. On the board, we have some sentences. At the bottom, we have some definitions for each of the idioms that we will look at today. So let’s start from the top, and you guys can tell me what is the meaning of this idiom — what is its definition.

The first sentence says, “Dan is out like a light.” And we have an idiom that means something similar and can be used in exactly the same situation or in a different situation as well, and it says, “I was out cold for 20 seconds.” So it is possible to say, “I was out like a light for 20 seconds”, or “Dan is out cold” as well. Now, what do you think these two phrases — these two idioms — mean? Do they mean “broken/not working”, “tired/exhausted”, “not alert/uninformed”, “unconscious/asleep”, “not possible/not permitted”? If we look at the context, and we say, “Dan is out like a light”, or “I was out cold for 20 seconds”, I think the most obvious one would probably be “unconscious/asleep”. So here, we’ll put No. 1. Okay, so if a person is “out like a light” or “out cold”, this can have two meanings. The first meaning can be simply that they are deeply asleep. So if I say, “Wow, Dan is out like a light.” Like, “I can hit him. I can slap him. He’s not waking up”, okay? So a person who is not only asleep but deeply asleep can be “out like a light” or “out cold”. Now, if you think of boxing, and you think of a boxer getting hit in the face and knocked out, he goes unconscious. So you can say that, “Wow, he’s out cold.” If there’s no response, he’s “out cold”. He’s unconscious. You can also say, “He’s out like a light”, okay?

All right, guys. Let’s look at No. 2. It says, “The printer has been out of commission for 2 days.” Okay, so what do you think this means, “out of commission”? Is it, “broken/not working”, “tired/exhausted”, “not alert/uninformed”, or “not possible/permitted”? Well, when you think of a printer, a printer works or it doesn’t work, and if it’s “out of commission” it’s probably “broken/not working”, right? So we often use this idiom when we talk about machines, pieces of technology. It can not — it can be for other things, too. Like, if I said that “the toilet is broken”, I can be a little, you know, exaggerative. I don’t know if “exaggerative” is a word, but I can exaggerate and say, “The toilet is out of commission.” “It’s not working.” “It’s broken”, okay?

The next one says, “He was out of gas after the first half.” So imagine this is a soccer player. You know, in soccer you have the first half, the second half. And after the first half, he’s “out of gas” like a car. So your car can be “out of gas”. So what do you think “out of gas” means in this context if we think about cars? Well, is it “tired/exhausted”, “not alert/uninformed”, “not possible”? Obviously, “tired/exhausted”, right? So this is No. 3. Okay, so if you’re “out of gas”, you have no more energy. You are absolutely exhausted. It can be for a car. It can also be used for a person.

No. 4, “Going on vacation this year is out of the question.” So imagine that this year you don’t have a lot of money. Maybe you don’t have a lot of free time, so you cannot go on vacation. It is “out of the question”. So this means that — you probably figured it out — it’s “not possible/not permitted”. Now, this idiom we often use in an imperative sense. So if you ask your parents if you can go out somewhere or if you can sleep over at a friend’s house, and they say, “That is out of the question.” “That’s out of the question.” They are just stating the fact that it’s not possible. They’re not permitting you to do it. So you can just say, “out of the question”, which means, “not possible”, or, “I’m not allowing you to do it”, okay?

Finally, “I didn’t understand the lesson because I was out to lunch.” Well, there’s only one option left, so “not alert”. It can also mean “uninformed”. So if you are “out to lunch”, you’re not actually out eating lunch somewhere. It kind of means, like, your mind was in a different place, in a different location. Like, you’re on lunch when you’re relaxed, and you just want to sit and chat with your friends. So if you were “out to lunch”, it means that you weren’t paying attention or your mind was in a different place, okay?

So just as a review, guys, if you’re “out like a light” or “out cold”, you are deeply asleep, or you are unconscious.

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