The magic touch
The Midas Touch
The gods gave the ancient Greek King Midas a wonderful gift: the power to turn everything he touched into gold.
But the king had to be very careful about what he touched.
One day he was a bit careless and hugged his daughter. She turned into a golden statue. There was nothing the poor king could do to turn her back into a human.
The Midas touch had become a curse.
What do these touch nouns mean?
1 a soft touch
a. a long, emotional kiss
b. someone who is easily persuaded to do things
2 the personal touch
a. something special added to a service to make it unique for an individual
b. a person employed to look after an elderly person
3 the magic touch
a. the ability to do something very well
b. a show that involves a lot of magicians
4 the human touch
a. a method of looking after a new-born baby
b. a way of dealing with people that makes them feel comfortable
5 the Midas touch
a. the ability to make money out of everything you do
b. deceiving people to get money from them
6 the finishing touch
a. the final details needed to complete a project
b. a farewell speech when someone leaves
Fill in the gaps
Complete these sentences using a noun from the previous exercise.
1 My brother's tiny business made thousands of dollars in profit last year. He really has the _________________.
2 I never understood maths until we got a new teacher at the start of this term. He's certainly got the _________________ when it comes to making students understand difficult equations.
3 I think the ribbon will add the _________________to Sally's cake.
4 My mother is such a _________________ when my little sister asks her for money.
5 You need the _________________ to be a good nurse.
Touch and go
What is the meaning of these 'touch' phrases?
1 to lose touch
a. to fail to keep in contact with someone
b. to lose feeling in your hand
2 to touch a raw nerve
a. to cause physical pain to someone
b. to upset someone by saying something insensitive
3 to touch base
a. to talk briefly to someone after a long time
b. to arrive at an air force or naval base
4 I wouldn't touch [something] with a barge pole!
a. I wouldn't get involved under any circumstances
b. I would never stay near you
5 Keep in touch!
a. stay where I can see you
b. Don't lose contact
6 Touch wood!
a. what you say when you need good luck
b. what you say before going into a thick jungle
a. a move used in rugby to score points
b. describes an uncertain outcome
Complete these bits of dialogue using the correct words from the previous exercise.
1 I think my interview went quite well, _________________
a. keep in touch
b. touch wood!
2 You will be risking your money if you buy those shares. I _________________.
a. wouldn't touch them with a barge pole
b. wouldn't touch base
3 I didn't mean to upset her when I asked how her ex-boyfriend was getting along. I think I _________________.
a. lost touch
b. touched a raw nerve
4 It was _________________ as to whether Amy would make the flight.
a. touching base
Touch nouns: 1. b, 2. a, 3. a, 4. b, 5. a, 6. a
Fill in the gaps: 1. Midas touch, 2. magic touch, 3. personal touch, 4. soft touch, 5. human touch
Touch and go: 1. a, 2. b, 3. a, 4. a, 5. b, 6. a, 7. b
Finishing touches: 1. b, 2. a, 3. b, 4. b