Words and Their Stories: Hold Your Horses!

2013年09月30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. compete /kəmˈpi:t/ (v.) to try to get or win something (such as a prize or reward) that someone else is also trying to win : to try to be better or more successful than someone or something else
  2. dark horse /ˈdɑɚk ˈhoɚs/ (n.)a person (such as a politician), animal, or thing that competes in a race or other contest and is not expected to win
  3. drag /ˈdræg/ (v.)to pull (someone or something that is heavy or difficult to move)
  4. force /ˈfoɚs/ (v.)to make (someone) do something that he or she does not want to do
  5. midstream /ˈmɪdˈstri:m/(n.) in the middle of a river or stream


Words and Their Stories: Hold Your Horses!

* Read the text below

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 (1)Today, we tell about “horse” expressions. In the past, many people depended on horses for transportation, farming and other kinds of work. A lot of people still like to ride horses. And, horse racing is also popular. So it is not surprising that Americans still use expressions about the animals.

(2) Long ago, people who were rich or important rode horses that were very tall. Today, if a girl acts like she is better than everyone else, you might say she should get off her high horse.

(3) Yesterday my children wanted me to take them to the playground. But I had to finish my work, so I told them to hold your horses. Wait until I finish what I am doing. My two boys like to compete against each other and play in a violent way. I always tell them to stop horsing around or someone could get hurt.

(4) We live in a small town. It does not have any exciting activities to offer visitors. My children call it a one-horse town.

(5) Last night, I got a telephone call while I was watching my favorite television show. I decided not to answer it because wild horses could not drag me away from the television. There was nothing that could stop me from doing what I wanted to do.

(6) Sometimes you get information straight from the horse’s mouth. It comes directly from the person who knows most about the subject and is the best source. Let us say your teacher tells you there is going to be a test tomorrow. You could say you got the information straight from the horse’s mouth. However, you would not want to call your teacher a horse!

(7) You may have heard this expression: You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. That means you can give someone advice but you cannot force him to do something he does not want to do.

(8) Sometimes a person fights a battle that has been decided or keeps arguing a question that has been settled. We say this is like beating a dead horse.

(9) In politics, a dark-horse candidate is someone who is not well known to the public. Sometimes, a dark horse unexpectedly wins an election.

(9) Another piece of advice is, do not change horses in midstream. You would not want to get off one horse and on to another in the middle of a river. Or make major changes in an activity that has already begun. In the past, this expression was used as an argument to re-elect a president, especially during a time when the country was at war.


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

  1. Do you think it is alright to use animals in sports? Why or why not ?
  2. What was the best advice given to you? Did you ever follow it?
  3. What can people learn from animals?

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