Chủ Nhật, 29 tháng 1, 2017


all along: ngay từ đầu đến cuối. Tom’s co-workers have known that he was innocent of the theft all along. Yet, he is still in police custody.

all but: gần như, cứ coi như. What a relief, we have all but completed our lengthy class project on language learning!  [all but = almost = practically].

all ears: lắng tai nghe. Hey Jack, please tell us why Lisa and Bob were at each other’s throats in the supervisor’s office yesterday. We are all ears. [at each other’s throats = arguing angrily = như muốn bóp cổ, chặn họng nhau]. 

all eyes: nhìn chằm chằm. When the drop-dead gorgeous actress appeared on the stage, the audience was all eyes. [Nhóm chữ “drop-dead gorgeous” có nghĩa là “lộng lẫy đến nỗi người nhìn thấy sẽ phải chết lăn quay!” Nhóm chữ này thuộc loại ngôn từ thậm xưng (hyperbole)].

all in all: trong mọi phương diện. Our parents’ trip to Hawaii last summer was just perfect, all in all. We were so happy for them.

all joking aside: không dỡn đâu, thật mà.  All joking aside, I am going to propose to a wealthy widow ten years my senior. [ten years my senior = ten years older than I].

all of a sudden: bất thần, đột ngột.  All of a sudden, the lights went out in the middle of our dancing party. What a bust! [all of a sudden = suddenly].

all out:  hết sức mình. The fund-raising committee has pledged to go all out to reach the goal of one million dollars by the end of this year. [all out = full blast = all the way].

all set: sẵn sàng. We are all set to start a fund-raising to prevent our cash-strapped charitable organization from going belly up.

all shook up:  tê tái cõi lòng, giận run lên.  The juicy gossip about her husband’s womanizing left Lisa all shook up. [Thành ngữ này dùng “shook” thay cho “shaken” và thêm “all” để nhấn mạnh].

all the rage: “mốt” đương thời, với hàm ý nó sẽ chóng hết thời.  Flare pants were all the rage in the 1960s. Today very few people wear them. [“Mốt” là lối phát âm kiểu Việt của chữ “mode”  mượn của tiếng Pháp. Thành  ngữ “à la mode” tiếng  Pháp = tĩnh  từ “fashionable” tiếng Anh].

all things to all people: thỏa lòng tất cả mọi người. The trouble with political campaigns nowadays is that candidates are trying to be all things to all people.

all thumbs: vụng về với hai bàn tay, như thể mọi ngón đều là ngón cái. When it comes to knitting, my sister Mary is all thumbs and she readily admits it.

also-ran: người bị thua trong một cuộc bầu cử. State representative John Jones, a boring speaker, ended up as an also-ran in the last gubernatorial election.

ambulance chaser: luật sư kém khả năng cho nên chỉ kiếm cách đòi tiền bồi thường thiệt hại cho những thân chủ bị tai nạn, đặc biệt là trong những vụ đụng xe. A competent lawyer would not not join a law firm that includes ambulance chasers.

a must: một điều tối cần, không có không được. This newly published book is a must for serious students of English grammar.

an arm and a leg: món tiền kếch xù. Sending your children to Harvard will cost you an arm and a leg these days, but I know you have deep pockets, Mr. Jones. [Thành ngữ này là một thí dụ của ngôn từ thậm xưng (hyperbole). To have deep pockets = To be rich].

and then some: và còn thêm nữa chứ. The long-winded keynoter went on for an hour and then some! We were bored to tears during his speech.

answer for: lãnh trách nhiệm. The police force answers for the security and safety of the citizenry.

answer to: biện minh (justify) một điều gì. If Susan does not help us complete this project before its deadline, she will have to answer to our boss.

ants in one’s pants: bứt rứt khó chịu, nhảy nhổm như có kiến bò trong quần. This child just can’t sit still; he must have ants in his pants!

any day now: sắp rồi mà, chỉ nay mai thôi. Be patient, I am sure your package will arrive any day now.

anyone’s guess: điều gì mà không ai biết chắc. Will it snow on Christmas day? -- That’s anyone’s guess!

anything goes: ra sao cũng được, thế nào cũng xong. You’re wearing shorts and flip-flops to the church? – Why not? Anything goes these days, you know.

apple of one’s eye: người được ai cưng chiều nhất.  My siblings were jealous of me, simply because I happened to be the apple of our father’s eye.

apples and oranges: không cách nào so sánh với nhau  được. Comparing Vietnamese grammar and English grammar is like comparing apples and oranges, because these two grammars show incredible differences.

armed to the teeth: được trang bị rất kỹ càng.  The hated dictator of that country is protected by bodyguards who are armed to the teeth. 

around the corner: sắp tới rồi. Aren’t you glad that your graduation day from college is just around the corner?

as best one can: hết sức mình, cật lực. While in Africa, visitors will have to get along without air-conditioning as best they can.

as follows: như sau đây. Things that I enjoy doing are as follows:
Brushing up my skills in foreign languages
Reading and writing about world poetry
Eating Vietnamese food in Little Saigon
Watching world news on CNN
Helping my wife cook at home
[Theo sau “as follows” ở ngay bên dưới là một list với vài items khác nhau].

[To be continued]