Idioms with “face” 1
written by Lilian Ndongmo. ESL Teacher
Isn’t it interesting how the English language is able to manipulate words into beautiful – or not so beautiful – expressions? This is the case with idioms and idiomatic expressions related to parts of the human body.
Note: Where idioms are concerned what you see is not always what you get. Many times, you would have to find the underlying meaning of the idiom to be able to understand what it means.
Let’s look at the following idiom: catch someone’s eye
Example: Mary, the girl in the red dress, caught Paul’s eye.
This doesn’t mean that Paul pulled out his eye and threw it at Mary and she caught it. Can you imagine that? A stranger comes up to you and says, “Hey, here’s my eye; catch it!” I don’t know about you, but if that happened to me I’d be mortified.
This sentence simply means to be interested in what you see. So, when Paul saw the girl in the red dress, he was interested in her; he liked what he was seeing.
Today, we will be looking at two idioms that use the word “face”.
1. To fall flat on one’s face
Meaning 1: Literally speaking, this idiom means just what it says: you fall on your stomach, usually with your arms and legs stretched out.
In French, it means “tomber à plat ventre”
Example: Paul slipped on a banana peel and fell flat on his face.
Note: “one’s” is exchanged for any pronoun or noun of your choice depending on your sentence.
Meaning 2: To fail woefully.
Example: The manager needs at least one week to prepare his presentation, if not, he will fall flat on his face in the meeting.
2. To take something at face value
Meaning: Believe everything you are told. / Consider what you hear as absolutely true.
Example: Paul has a habit of making empty promises. So, I advise you not to take what he says at face value.
Now, make your own sentences with these idioms. Two sentences each is a good way to start. Write your sentences, comments or questions in the comment section below if you have any.