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The Borneo Post - Good English - - Conversations -

keep one’s/some­one’s nose to the grind­stone to work very hard with­out stop­ping or make (some­one) work very hard with­out stop­ping: I’ll have to keep my nose to the grind­stone if I’m go­ing to fin­ish paint­ing this room this evening.

pull one’s weight to do one’s share of a task: We have to get all these books packed up by tonight and so we’ll all have to pull our weight.

for noth­ing with­out pay­ment: We did all that gar­den­ing for noth­ing - the old man didn’t give us a sen.

pay (some­one) peanuts to pay (some­one) very lit­tle money: Adam has a job wash­ing dishes in a coffee shop and he’s be­ing paid peanuts.

look a gift horse in the mouth to com­plain about some­thing that one has been given: You shouldn’t com­plain about the job which your un­cle found you in his fac­tory - jobs are scarce and you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

not to do a stroke to do no work what­so­ever: Dad’s pay­ing my brother to look af­ter the gar­den but so far he hasn’t done a stroke.

play havoc with (some­thing) to cause a great deal of dam­age to (some­thing), to ruin (some­thing): Heavy rain played havoc with the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal this year.

pull strings to use per­sonal in­flu­ence or power to gain some kind of ad­van­tage: Dick’s fa­ther might have pulled a few strings to get him a job in the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Cham­bers – he’s a judge.

give (some­one/some­thing) a wide berth to avoid hav­ing con­tact with (some­one or some­thing): The Wongs ad­vised their son to give the boy next door a wide berth – he had a pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion for us­ing drugs.

a bed of roses (usu­ally found in neg­a­tive con­struc­tions) a very easy and pleas­ant sit­u­a­tion: I know Sally had a tragic child­hood, but mine wasn’t ex­actly a bed of roses.

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