A show of hands

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 November, 2011, 12:00am


'It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities' - JK Rowling, British author

Show me around!

'To show' means 'to demonstrate' or 'to illustrate'. But adding a small word, such as 'off', changes the meaning. What do these phrasal verbs and phrases mean?

1 to show somebody up

a to embarrass someone

b to be very generous to someone who doesn't deserve it

2 to show off

a to behave in a childish way

b to boast about your abilities or what you own

3 to run the show

a to be in charge of an event

b to perform in front of an audience

4 to put on a good show

a to organise something very well

b to plan something that is a disaster

5 to show somebody around

a to chase someone

b to take someone around a place where they have not been before

Show nouns

What is ...?

1 a show of hands

a a vote in which people raise a hand to demonstrate their support

b the noise people make with their hands at the end of a concert

2 a show flat

a a new apartment that has been decorated and filled with furniture to show possible buyers how nice it can be

b the top flat in a block

3 a chat show

a a film that has subtitles

b a TV or radio show where famous people are interviewed about what they do

4 a trade show

a a TV show that is very popular

b an event in which companies show off their products

Which show?

Complete these sentences by choosing the correct words in brackets.

1 Now that you've heard all the facts, may we have (a trade show/a show of hands) for the first option?

2 She bought that expensive car only (to show around/to show off) to the rest of us.

3 There was a lot of interest from potential car buyers at last week's (chat show/trade show).

4 When will the (chat show/show flat) be open for viewing?

5 We will (put on a good show/show and tell) for Dad's party.

6 Don't ask me! I haven't a clue! I'm not (running the show/showing someone around).

Show phrases

Match each phrase to its definition, and complete the definition by choosing the correct word in brackets.

1 The show must go on.

2 He stole the show.

3 That will show you.

4 I have nothing to show for it.

5 Can you show me the ropes?

6 What he did shows him in his true colours.

a I put in (a lot of effort/no effort at all), but finished with nothing.

b He was the (worst/best) part of the event.

c We have to (continue/stop) what we are doing even though we don't want to.

d Can you show me how (to avoid/to do) this new activity?

e That was not (an expensive/a pleasant) experience, but you will have learned something from it.

f What he did to his brother shows (what he is really like/how much he earns).


Show me around: 1. a, 2. b, 3. a, 4. a, 5. b

Show nouns: 1. a, 2. a, 3. b, 4. b

Which show: 1. a show of hands, 2. to show off, 3. trade show, 4. show flat, 5. put on a good show, 6. running the show

Show phrases: 1. c (continue), 2. b (best), 3. e (pleasant), 4. a (a lot of effort ), 5. d (to do), 6. f (what he is really like)