Fun English Conversation Practice Exercise
Over time Adept English has published tens of idioms with their meaning and sentences. They are usually fun and handy for everyday English conversation. This idiom is especially useful if you are watching something on TV which makes you 'tense.'
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English Does Have An Awful Lot Of Idiomatic Expressions
An English idiom for you today – and a little discussion about it too. The idiom today is ‘On the edge of your seat’. So I might say ‘I was on the edge of my seat’ - or you might say of someone else ‘Oh, he was on the edge of his seat, all the way through’. So what does this phrase mean? Let’s look at the words.
Well a seat – that’s easy – that’s something that you sit on. It might be a chair in your house or your flat, that you sit in to watch TV. Or it might be a seat on a plane, or in a cinema or in a stadium where you watch some sport. And the edge of your seat? Well an edge is where something ends. You might talk about the edge of a ruler, or the edge of a knife. Or you might talk about the edge of a roof, or the edge of a piece of paper.
You might fall off the edge of a roof! So if you’re sitting in a way that could be described as ‘on the edge of your seat’, it means that you’re not sitting back, you’re not relaxed in the chair. No, if you’re ‘on the edge of your seat’, it means that there’s not much of your bottom actually on the chair! You’re sitting forward, quite tense, not relaxed.
A Little Idiom Can Be Super Efficient In Explaining An Awful Lot About What's Happening
So when do we say this phrase? Well, the meaning of being ‘on the edge of your seat’, is that you’re tense, you’re not relaxed, you’re probably watching intently to see what is going to happen.
Last week I watched the England Columbia football match – the World Cup, of course. And when the match goes to penalty shoot outs – it’s horrible! It’s too tense, it’s too much. I want to hide and not look. Well, that is an extreme feeling of being ‘on the edge of your seat’.
It happens to us sometimes when we’re watching a film or watching something on Netflix. In fact, like many other people,
I find I really love films which have me ‘on the edge of my seat’. It’s very strange, but most of the times when we would use this phrase, we’re watching something – whether it’s a film or a football match or some other sport – for pleasure!
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Adept English Is Not An Idiom Dictionary
So why do we seek out tension? Why do we like to watch horror movies – where someone is creeping up behind the main character – and we want to shout ‘Look out, behind you!’? Your heart goes faster and you may have all sorts of chemicals flowing through your body, which are associated with stress.
This Audio & Transcript Designed To Help you Practice Listening To English Conversation
I think the penalty shoot out is perhaps too much stress for many people – it’s hard to watch when the stress is at that level. But we seem to seek out, to search out, to want a certain amount of stress in our entertainment, in the things we watch for fun.
Perhaps we enjoy it because it’s not really our stress – we feel it for someone else, and we also know that it’s not real to us.
Perhaps we get to experience ‘danger’, and all the chemicals in our body respond, but at the same time, we can be comfortable in the knowledge that it’s not us that’s in danger and it’s not real danger. It’s just entertainment!
So - ‘On the edge of your seat’ is a really good idiom. I hope that whatever you do in the next week, you find time to watch something which has you ‘on the edge of your seat’ and you have some enjoyable stress!
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye!
We hope you enjoyed that, given that the England football team progressed further in FIFA 2018 than we have for years, a lot of England supporters were on the edge of our seats last night. If you want you can search the website for other idiom examples for students by typing 'idiom' into the search box or click here.
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