Posted by: Idioma Extra | December 7, 2011

Thursday Tidbits — Idioms with Luck


Thursday Tidbits – Idioms with Luck

Idioms are one of the hardest things to understand and learn in a non-native language, but they are also what help speakers sound more natural. Check out just a few of the English idioms that use the word luck.

Definition of luck: noun; having good fortune

Luck out: to have had good fortune come upon someone unexpectedly

Example: Lena was late for her flight and almost missed it, but she lucked out when she found out it was delayed.

Similar idiom: in luck (Lena was in luck when she found out her flight was delayed.)

Down on one’s luck: to have a lot of bad luck in a short period of time

Example: James lost his job, crashed his car, and broke up with his girlfriend in the same week. He was definitely down on his luck!

Similar idiom: tough luck (used as an exclamation, as in: Tough luck, James!)

Lucky streak: the opposite of down on one’s luck, to have a lot of good luck in a short period of time

Example: Allan was having a lucky streak: he won the lottery and met the love of his life last month.

Push one’s luck: after already being lucky, trying the same thing again to see if one will be lucky again

Example: After winning the lottery, I decided to push my luck and buy another lottery ticket.

Note: Push one’s luck is often used in the negative. Don’t push your luck! would mean to not be greedy with what you are asking.

Check yourself

Fill in the story below using the correct forms of the idioms (luck out, in luck, down on one’s luck, tough luck, lucky streak, push one’s luck).

When walking home from work, Diana saw a man sitting on the side of the street. He looked tired, beaten, and like he was (1)____________. Diana had recently had a (2)______________, because she had had a lot of good fortune. She decided that today, the man was (3)____________ because she wanted to give him some of her money, to help him. But the man decided to (4) ____________ and ask for food and a place to live as well. Diana told the man, “(5)____________! You (6)_______________ once, but don’t get greedy!”

 Answers to last week’s Check Yourself

  1. Last night I (heard/listened to) the sirens on Paseo Colon.
  2. If I can’t go to a soccer game, I like to (hear/listen to) it on the radio.
  3. Jane and John broke up because neither (heard/listened) when the other spoke.
  4. Alvin didn’t (hear/listen to) his phone ring because he had his headphones in.
  5. When I go to the mountains, I shut my eyes and concentrate, just to see what noises I can (hear/listen to).
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