13 BOOK Expressions in English

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Hi there. My name is Emma and in
today’s lesson we are going to look at common expressions that use the word “book”.
So here’s my little picture of a book with a smiley face. I love
to read, so I’m very excited to do this lesson because I love books. So
let’s look at the first expression. In total we’re going to
look at 13 expressions. So the first expression: “bookworm”.
I don’t know if you can see it here, but I’ve drawn a little worm with
glasses and a book. This sort of gives you a hint, maybe, as to what a bookworm
is; a bookworm isn’t actually a worm. It’s a person who loves to read.
Okay, so I am a bookworm. Here’s my example sentence: “Einstein was a bookworm.
He loved to read.” How many of you out there are bookworms? So let’s look at a second expression,
a common expression: “hit the books”. So what do I mean when I say “hit the books”?
I don’t mean physically hit a book. I mean study, okay? So even
though the verb is “to hit” we’re talking about “to study”. So let’s look at an example sentence.
Now of course, I use “gotta” which isn’t grammatically correct. You
never write this. This is more for speech. I might say to a friend, “I
gotta hit the books tonight.” So what does this mean? I have to study tonight.
I have to spend time studying tonight. So “hit the books” means to study. Our third expression: “Don’t judge a
book by its cover.” This is a common idiom we use in the English language.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” So what does it mean? Well, first
of all, “judge” means to criticize something. And cover just in case you’re
not familiar with this word, this is the cover of a book. So if I judge a “book by its cover”
it means I look at the front of the book and I say, “Oh, I don’t like
the look of this cover, even though there’s a smiley face, I’m not going
to read this book.” So we often say in English, “don’t judge a book by
its cover” meaning, just because the cover might be nice or ugly, it doesn’t
mean the book is a good book or a bad book. So we don’t just use this expression with books.
We use it when we’re talking about food, when we’re talking
about people, when we’re talking about pretty much anything. So for
example, snails… which is a type of slug, look too gross (ick!) to eat.
So in a lot of countries people eat snails. When I look at a snail I think,
“Euuagh, I don’t want to eat a snail. That looks disgusting.” But somebody might say to me, “Emma,
don’t judge a book by its cover.” Meaning, even though the snail might
look disgusting, don’t judge it based on the fact it looks disgusting. Maybe
it tastes really, really good. I don’t know. I’ve never had snail before.
If any of you have, please leave a comment, and let me know if snails
taste good or not. Okay, so now let’s look at some more expressions. So our fourth expression is “to be in
someone’s good books.” So what does this mean? Well, you’ll notice I drew
a smiley face here. If you’re “in someone’s good books” it means
they’re very happy with you. They’re pleased with you. So here’s an
example sentence: “Mulan is in the teacher’s good books.” Meaning,
Mulan has done something good. The teacher is really happy with her. Our fifth expression, “by the book”.
This means to follow the rules closely or to follow instructions closely.
So let me give you an example. Okay police officers, I’ve written “Police
officers should do things by the book.” What does this mean? Well, in
Canada and in the United States, and in some other countries as well, if a
police officer wants to search your house they need something
called a “warrant”. So they need to talk to a judge. They
need to get a piece of paper called a warrant. They can’t search your
house without a warrant. Now maybe there are some bad police officers, I
don’t know, but maybe there are, who search your house without a warrant.
These police officers are not doing things “by the book.” They’re
not following the rules. Police officers should do things “by
the book”, and get a warrant before they search your house. Okay just an
example, another example with soccer. Maybe when you play soccer you should
“play by the book.” Meaning you shouldn’t cheat. You shouldn’t break the rules.
You should follow the rules of the game. Okay, so “by the
book” — follow the rules closely. Okay number six: “to book”. So this
is a verb we use commonly in English, especially for doctors’ appointments,
dentist appointments. And so it can mean to make an appointment, or also
to reserve something, so to make some sort of reservation. So for example,
“I booked the meeting room for 3 pm.” What does this mean? It means I have
reserved the meeting room for 3 pm. At 3 pm, only I, or whoever is in
my group ,can use the meeting room. “I booked an appointment with the doctor
for Thursday.” So we use “book” a lot for appointments or to reserve something.
“I booked the TV for next week, for my classroom.” Okay, so now let’s look
at some more expressions. So our next expression, expression number seven: “to read
someone like a book”. “To read someone like a book.” Can you guess what that means?
Well, if you can “read someone like a book”, it means it’s
easy to tell what they are thinking and feeling, so you have no trouble, very
easy to see what someone is thinking or feeling. So for example, “My students know I’m
angry, because I’m an open book.” So maybe my face when I’m angry it looks
really angry. Maybe my voice, I can’t hide how I feel in my voice. So
some of you might “read like a book”. Meaning, it’s easy to tell
what you are thinking. This is similar to expression number
eight, “an open book”. So for example, “Your thoughts are an open
book,” meaning people can easily tell what you are thinking. “It’s easy to
read you” is another expression. So what’s the opposite of this? What if
it’s not easy to tell what you are thinking? Well, you would be a “closed book” then.
So an “open book” — you’re easy to understand, easy to know what you are thinking.
“A closed book” — nobody can tell what you’re thinking. So I could
say, “My boss is a very closed book. I can never tell what he’s thinking.” Okay, expression number nine, this
is actually one of my favorite expressions because it just seems
so dramatic, “to throw the book at someone”. So you have a book, you throw
it at someone; not literally. What this expression means, it’s a legal term.
So we use it when we’re talking about the law, when we’re
talking about going to court. If you break the law and you have to
go see a judge, if the judge doesn’t like you and thinks you’re guilty,
and they want to punish you for the crime you did they “throw the book at you”.
So usually judges are the people who do the throwing of the book. So, for example, there’s a TV show, on
I think it’s on FOX, called “Judge Judy”. And in this TV show there’s
an angry judge who always — well, not always — but often punishes the people
in her court. So if somebody is there, maybe they stole money, they
didn’t pay back a loan, Judge Judy will throw the book at them. Okay, so
again it’s used with legal situations. Okay so here is our tenth expression:
“every trick in the book”. So what does this mean? It means if you try
“every trick in the book” it means you do everything possible to achieve
something, to achieve some goal. So I’m a teacher, my goal is to get my
students to do their homework. “I’ve tried every trick in the book
to get my students to do their homework.” I’ve offered them candy.
I’ve threatened to fail them, if they don’t do their homework. I’ve given
them high marks if they do it, low marks if they don’t. I’ve tried
everything to get them to do their homework. I’ve tried
“every trick in the book”. Okay, number 11, similar to number 10:
instead of having “every trick in the book” we’re using “the oldest
trick in the book”. Okay? So let me give you an example, to give you sort
of an understanding of this. I don’t know if you’ve ever had an exam or a
test, and you were really nervous about it, and maybe you tried to cheat. What a lot of students do is they lift
up their sleeve and they write the answers on their arm or they write notes
on their arm. Writing the answers on your arm before a test is “the
oldest trick in the book”. So what does this mean? It means so many people
have done it before. So a lot of people have done it, and they’ve been
doing it for a very, very long time. So if you do “the oldest trick in the
book” it means it’s very obvious what you’re doing. Everyone’s done it before,
or most people have done it, and it’s done too often. So you probably
won’t be successful if you try “the oldest trick in the book”. And I hope
none of you have done this, although when I was a kid I did that. So don’t
do this one, because it’s the oldest trick in the book. Okay, number 12: “in my book”. So what’s
“in my book”? It just means in my opinion. So, for example, “She’s very
kind, in my book”. So this means she’s very kind, in my opinion. Okay
so I said that there were going to be 13 expressions, we did reach 13. I know it says 12 here, but “closed
book” was actually the thirteenth expression, okay? So in my book, you
are all great students, and I look forward to teaching you in these videos.
If you want to be in my good books, come visit us at our website,
at We have a quiz there. I advise you to hit the books
in order to do the quiz, so study before you do the quiz, study this video.
And until next time, take care. Learn English for free

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