Hot under the collar

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 February, 2012, 12:00am


'There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of things we don't know'

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) - American writer

Six feet under

Here are some useful expressions using the preposition 'under'. What do they mean?

1 How do you feel if you are 'hot under the collar'?

a. angry or irritated

b. happy and relaxed

2 In what state is someone if they are 'six feet under'?

a. very busy with their social life

b. dead

3 What is something if it is 'under lock and key'?

a. secure and very safe

b. in danger

4 How do you feel if you are 'under the weather'?

a. in a lazy mood

b. not very well

5 How do you do something if you do it 'under your own steam'?

a. by yourself with nobody's help

b. with a great deal of effort

Say it!

Complete these sentences using the correct phrases.

1 I don't think I can go to school today. I feel a little under ...

a. my own steam

b. the weather

2 I don't need any help from you, thank you! I can do it under ...

a. lock and key

b. my own steam

3 These are very important documents. You must keep them under ...

a. the weather

b. lock and key

4 I can't believe he spoke to you like that! No wonder you are ...

a. hot under the collar

b. six feet under

5 I'll be ... by the end of the week if my boss gives me any more paperwork to do.

a. under my own steam

b. six feet under

Under your nose

Here are some more 'under' expressions. Decide what each one means, and then use each one to complete the questions that follow.

1 Where is something if it is 'under your nose'?

a. right in front of you

b. a long way away from you

2 How do you say something if you say it 'under your breath'?

a. loudly so everyone can hear

b. quietly so nobody hears

3 What is someone doing if they are getting 'under your skin'?

a. pleasing you

b. annoying you

4 If you are 'snowed under' with something, what are you?

a. very busy with something

b. not worried about something

5 If you 'pull the rug out from under someone', what do you do?

a. stop someone from being successful at the last minute

b. help someone who has asked for your advice

Snowed under

Complete these sentences with the correct phrases.

1 I can't see you during the week. I'm (snowed under / under your nose) with work at the moment.

2 I've found my keys. They were right (under my nose / under my skin) on my desk.

3 Did you make a comment (under your nose / under your breath)? Tell me what you said, please!

4 I didn't get that new job because my present boss (pulled the rug from under my feet / spoke under his breath) just before I went for the interview.

5 Please stop complaining! You are really getting under (my nose / my skin).

6 You don't look well. Are you feeling a bit under (my nose / the weather)?

7 Thanks for offering to help, but I prefer to do it under (my nose / my own steam).


Six feet under

1. a, 2. b, 3. a, 4. b, 5. a

Say it

1. b, 2. b, 3. b, 4. a, 5. b

Under your nose

1. a, 2. b, 3. b, 4. a, 5. a

Snowed under

1. snowed under, 2. under my nose, 3. under your breath, 4. pulled the rug from under my feet, 5. my skin, 6. under the weather, 7. my own steam