http://www.engvid.com/ Learn five idioms with the preposition “DOWN”. Are you “down-to-earth”? What does it mean to be “down in the dumps”? What happens if your work goes “down the drain”? If you feel “down and out”, are you motivated? And what does it mean if a sports game goes “down to the wire”? Learn these common expressions, and get ready to improve your vocabulary!
Hi, guys. I’m Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on five “down” idioms. In this lesson, we’re going to look at five idioms that use the word, “down” in them. So how it’s going to work is I’m going to explain the idiom, then I’m going to look at a sentence, and then you’re going to tell me if you can figure out the meaning of this idiom based on the sentence. So, again, idioms are used in every single language. English, just like any other language, has tons of expressions that are used colloquially and, you know, you have to know these expressions to understand parts of conversation. So let’s look at them.
First one: “Down in the dumps”. So the sentence says:
“Since her cat died, she’s been down in the dumps.”
So you think about the experience of a person’s cat dying or losing a pet, and how would that person feel? Probably not very good, not very well, not healthy. So, “down in the dumps” actually means sad or depressed. Right? So this actually comes from… Sad and depressed, let’s see… This comes from the word “dumps” which kind of means garbage, so you’re kind of like rolling in sadness, and filth, and depression. So think about it that way. So you always use the verb, “to be” with this. So: “I am down in the dumps.”, “I have been down in the dumps.”, “He is down in the dumps.” Etcetera.
Let’s look at the second one. This one says: “Down the drain”. If we look at the sentence which says:
“All my money went down the drain.”
If you understand the word, “drain”, you can probably understand this sentence and the meaning of this idiom. So the drain is that part, you know, when you wash your hands either in the kitchen or in the bathroom, you have a sink, and the drain is where all the water goes. So when the water goes down the drain, it’s basically lost forever. So this is the meaning of this idiom. If something goes down the drain, it means it’s lost forever; never to be gotten back again. All right? So, almost wasted, in a way. So imagine if you do a lot of work on a project and then for some reason, the project is cancelled. All you can say: “All my work went down the drain. It was wasted. It’s lost forever. I can’t get it back.” Okay?
Next one: “Down-to-earth”. This is basically an adjective expression that we use to describe a person. So:
“I want a girl who’s down-to-earth.”
If you’re looking for a partner, or a boyfriend, or a girlfriend – a down-to-earth person is someone who is practical. Okay? Someone who… Here we go, practical. Okay. I apologize for the letter “p” there. Someone who does not believe in supernatural things, someone who likes to get things done and who is very practical, nice, humble, polite. So this is a down-to-earth person; they’re not up in the sky. Okay? They’re down-to-earth.
“Down and out”. So let’s look at the sentence:
“She gambled all her money away.” So she went to the casino, she spent all her money. “She’s down and out!”
So if you’re down and out, it means that you have no support and no money. Right? So having no support or money. So this can refer to a couple of different situations. This one specifically says, you know: “I’m down and out, I have nothing left.” Maybe… Maybe I’m homeless, maybe I’m without a family or something like this. You can also be, for example, unconscious and this also means you’re down and out. So if you’re walking… Walking, I apologize. Watching a boxing match and one of the boxers gets knocked out, you can say: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. He’s down and out.” Like he’s not going to get back up and no one is going to help him up, so he basically will have no support in getting up as well I guess. So, yeah, down and out, you have no support and no money.