★☆☆Nose and Ear Expressions

2014年05月20日 ★☆☆, VOA, Words and Their Stories.

Read and understand the article. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.

*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


*Read the words carefully.

  1. hard-nosed /ˈhɑɚdˈnoʊzd/ (adj.) very tough
  2. grindstone /ˈgraɪnˌstoʊn/ (n.) a stone disc that can be turned like a wheel and that is used for sharpening tools, smoothing rough edges, etc.
  3. spite /ˈspaɪt/ (n.)a desire to harm, anger, or defeat another person especially because you feel that you have been treated wrongly in some way
  4. worthless ˈwɚθləs/ (adj.)having no financial value
  5. detailed /ˈdiːˌteɪld/(adj.) including many details : including a lot of information


Nose and Ear Expressions

* Read the text below

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 (1)A person’s nose is important for breathing and smelling. The nose is also used in many popular expressions.

(2) Some people are able to “lead other people by the nose.” For example, if a wife “leads her husband by the nose,” she makes him do whatever she wants him to do.

(3) Some people are said to be “hard-nosed.” They will not change their opinions or positions on anything. If someone is “hard-nosed,” chances are he will never “pay through the nose,” or pay too much money, for an object or service.

(4) It is always helpful when people “keep their nose out of other people’s business” — they do not interfere. The opposite of this is someone who “noses around all the time.” This kind of person is interested in other people’s private matters. He is considered “nosey.”

(5) Someone who “keeps his nose to the grindstone” works very hard. This can help a worker “keep his nose clean,” or stay out of trouble.

(6) Someone who “keeps his nose to the grindstone” works very hard. This can help a worker “keep his nose clean,” or stay out of trouble.

(7) One unusual expression is “that is no skin off my nose.” This means that a situation does not affect or concern me. We also say that sometimes a person “cuts off his nose to spite his face.” That is, he makes a situation worse for himself by doing something foolish because he is angry.

(8) More problems can develop if a person “looks down his nose” at someone or something. The person acts like something is unimportant or worthless. This person might also “turn up his nose” at something that he considers not good enough. This person thinks he is better than everyone else. He “has his nose in the air.”

(9) In school, some students “thumb their nose” at their teacher — they refuse to obey orders or do any work. Maybe these students do not know the correct answers. My mother always told me, if you study hard, the answers should be “right under your nose,” or easily seen.

(10) I think we have explained the nose expressions. What about ears? Well, I hope you are “all ears,” or very interested in hearing more expressions. We might even “put a bug in your ear,” or give you an idea about something. We also advise you to “keep your ear to the ground.” This means to be interested in what is happening around you and what people are thinking.

(11) If you are a good person, you will “lend an ear” to your friends. You will listen to them when they have a problem they need to talk about. Our last expression is “to play it by ear.” This has two meanings. One is to play a song on a musical instrument by remembering the tune and not by reading the music. “Play it by ear” also means to decide what to do at the last minute instead of making detailed plans.


*Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

  1. What is the most important function of the nose and the ears?
  2. Do you consider a person who ‘lends an ear’ a good friend? Why or why not?
  3. When was the last time you keep your nose to the grindstone?

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