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Friday, February 3, 2012


- pulling your leg – making a joke by tricking another person
- It cost an arm and a leg – it cost a lot of money
- You haven´t got a leg to stand on – you’re in a situation where you can’t prove something / you have no chance of success

* People from different parts of the world wrote sentences using these three idioms. As they are learners of English, we can notice spelling and grammar mistakes in some of them.

Thu Ha, vietnam
I told my parents that I'll study abroad, they were surprised: "That can't be. It cost an arm and a leg. We cannot afford it." They were even more surprised when I said " I am not pulling your leg. I've got a scholarship. I have got a leg to stand on."

Vallin, Brazil
When my daughter was born, everything I
ve bought to look after her, it cost an arm and leg.

Lenka, the Czech republic
I bought a Swiss watch yesterday. It cost me an arm and a leg. Now, I've just found out it's a knock-off. Oh boy, I was ripped off then! Did it really happen? No, I am only pulling your leg.

Su Kyung, Korea
Last week, I told my friend that I got the first place in my class and my friend told me to buy her a meal as I got the first place. I quickly told her that I was just pulling her leg as I knew that it would cost me an arm and a leg to buy a meal for her. However, as my friend wanted to eat something delicious, she told me that I didn't have a leg to stand on.

Shah, Pakistan
Yesterday, I told my friend on phone I have fallen seriously ill and treatment will cost me an arm and a leg and when he asked in which hospital I am I told him I was just pulling his leg.

Asifa, Pakistan
Yesterday I told my friend that I will buy a precious necklace for her but it will really cost an arm and leg for me.

Luis, Colombia (Studying in London)
The London life cost me an arm and a leg.

Maher, Syria
My Dear Father support me buying a new home, so I have to return his money back to him, so that will cost me arm and a leg

Sandra, Hong Kong
My darling bought me a diamond ring. It cost an arm and a leg.

Annistein, China
What shall I say, that it cost me an arm and a leg just to buy a birthday present for my sister? But it's true, as you can see, I have emptied my purse to buy her a Teddy Bear.

Marlen, Cuba
I tell everybody that I am on a diet. That’s a lie, because I eat a lot. I`ve never paid an arm and a leg for nothing. sometimes my son tell me lies, but I can`t punish him because I haven`t had a leg to stand on.

Ferial, USA
most of the time I pull my friends leg because I have a big sense of humor

Rajesch, Germany
My boss told me that the repair of his car cost him an arm and a leg. But he didn't show me the bill. I understand, he's just pulling my leg.

Silva, Albania
I did pull my sister’s leg when I told her I was going to marry and give up my school. I've paid an arm and a leg for my vacation house by the sea.

Neda, Iran
Today in Iran new couples can easily buy a new should be so naive to believe it. I was just pulling your cost an arm and a leg for new couples to buy a house.

Niraj Pandey, Nepal
Last year when I decided to finance my studies selling the gold medals, which I acheived for my remarkable academic performance over the five years in my college.That was the moment i think i had paid an arm and leg for my higher studies.

Ama Helal, Egypt
When I was young, I fooled my friend into believing that I was part of the scouts team, but I was just trying to pull her leg. Two years ago, I had to undergo some serious surgery and it was too expensive that it cost my parents an arm and a leg. These days I try to convince the court of my plea. Yet, I haven't got a leg to stand on and my solicitor advises me to collect more evidence.

Liang, China
Sometimes, I try to pull someone's leg because I think I can bring laugh to him or her.

Fatiha, Algeria
Last year I made a journey with my friends to a seaside town. In that time I didn't imagine that it will cost me an arm and a leg. Thank god i had money for that i borrow my friend money to go with us but she didn't give it back to me. She told me that i haven't got a land to stand on but then she laughed and said I am pulling your leg sweety.

Polina, Russia
I paied an arm and a leg for my first mobile phone. It kosted 40 000 rubles.

Paola, Italy
I really don't think he is going to Costa Smeralda on holiday. In my opinion, he is pulling our legs as usual. It will cost him an arm and a leg to spend his holidays there and I'm not sure he can afford that... And how about his wife? I saw her yesterday evening and she didn't say nothing about it... What is more she is bound to give birth to their baby one of these days, so he hasn't a leg to stand on. He just loves telling lies to make other people jealous.....

Anna, Poland
hello,I paid an arm and a leg for my first guitar. Actually I couldn't play guitar well but I bought myself very expensive one. Once I told my friends how much I spent on it, they thougt I was pulling their legs.

                                                                          Adapted from


Text 1: Johnny Depp the Pirate
Johnny Depp is a wonderfully versatile actor. He can play serious roles, but his comic talent is particularly evident in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. He is Jack Sparrow, a character whose mannerisms and style of speech are based on those of the Rolling Stones guitarist, Keith Richards. Depp is American, but his British accent is perfect!
Such is the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise that a fourth film, On Stranger Tides, was released. But Depp admits that initially he had reservations about the idea of doing a fourth Pirates movie.
                                                                                             Speak Up magazine - Issue 288, August 2011.

1. According to the text, Johnny Depp’s character in the film is:
a) a pirate who is finishing his second film.
b) a Rolling Stone guitarist playing a comic role.
c) a pirate with a lot of comic mannerisms.
d) a versatile actor playing a serious role.
e) Keith Richards, an American guitarist.

2. In line 6, the pronoun he refers to:
a) the Pirates of the Caribbean.
b) Stranger Tides.
c) the fourth film.
d) Depp.
e) the success.

3. In the sentence “he can play serious roles” (line 1). The modal verb can expresses the idea of:
a) suggestion.
b) permission.
c) obligation.
d) prohibition.
e) ability.

Text 2: Interview with David Crystal by Jack Scholes
JS: Why has English become a global language?
DC: A language becomes international or global for one reason only – the power of the people who speak it. But of course ‘power’ means different things at different times. In the case of English, the language has spread as a result of a combination of political/military power (the British Empire), scientific/ technological power (the Industrial Revolution), economic power (pounds, and later dollars), and cultural power (broadcasting, travel, films, pop songs, internet…).

JS: What are some of the most important consequences of the fact that English is now a
global language with more non-native speakers than native speakers using it?
DC: Language has no existence apart from the people who speak it. It exists to express their world and their vision of it. Any language which comes to be used globally has to adapt to allow this to happen, in the form of new words, idioms, patterns of discourse, pronunciations and so on. New varieties of English (‘new Englishes’) is the inevitable result.

                               SCHOLES, Jack. Interview with David Crystal. In: New Routes, São Paulo: Disal

4. According to David Crystal, English has become a global language because of:
a) a combination of political, scientific, economic and cultural power.
b) different things at different times.
c) a combination of international languages.
d) the spread of English courses.
e) the British Empire and the American money.

5. Match the words in column 1 according to their meanings in column 2, then choose the CORRECT alternative:
I. reason (line 2)                                  (  ) permit
II. allow (line 12)                                 (  ) occur
III. spread (line 4)                               (  ) motive
IV. happen (line 12)                             (  ) disseminate

a) II, IV, I, III
b) IV, I, III, II
c) I, II, III, IV
d) II, IV, III, I
e) III, IV, II, I

6. By reading the interview we can infer all the following statements, EXCEPT:
a) a language expresses the world and the vision of the people who speak it.
b) a language adapts itself to different speakers.
c) songs, films, internet are some of the reasons English has become globally used.
d) there are more non-native speakers than native speakers using English.
e) people and language are separated in their existence.


Anderson Silva (nicknamed The Spider) was born on April 14, 1975 in Curitiba, Brazil.
According to an article in Fight! Magazine, Anderson’s poor mother left him and his older brother with her sister’s family in Curitiba, Brazil when he was only four years old. Silva’s aunt and uncle, therefore, found themselves supporting five children on a police officer’s salary.
His family was unable to afford expensive lessons in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at that time. “When I started out, Jiu-Jitsu was really an elite thing in Brazil, and there was some prejudice towards poorer kids, so I had to learn things on my own,” he told Fight! Magazine. “Some of my neighbors started doing Jiu-Jitsu, so I started watching it, and then started rolling with them. It wasn’t organized training, but it was better than nothing.”
Despite this, Anderson's supportive family did find the money to pay for Tae Kwon Do lessons (age 12). He then moved onto Capoeira before settling on Muay Thai by the age of 16.
Though Anderson Silva indicates that he lost his first bout to Fabricio Marango, this fight does not appear on his official record. Officially, Silva lost his first bout to Luiz Azeredo in a Meca World Vale Tudo event by decision. In his next fight within the same organization, he knocked out Jose Barreto after only 1:06 had gone by in the initial round.
Anderson joined Brazil’s famed Chute Box Academy, the training camp that Wanderlei Silva, amongst many others, had once been a part of. Chute Box had simply been impressed with his raw talent. Along with this, he developed a reasonable ground game while with them and continued on the course to becoming one of the most feared strikers in the game.
Anderson´s MMA career took a nice turn when he won nine straight fights between 2000-03. Along the way, he defeated the well-respected Hayato Sakurai by decision to become the Shooto Middleweight Champion.

He went a mediocre 3-2 while fighting for the PRIDE Fighting Championships. Along the way in 2003, he and Chute Box parted ways over a bitter money argument. Later, Silva heard that Chute Box ordered PRIDE to refrain from giving him any fights or they would pull superstar Wanderlei Silva from their roster. That’s when Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira offered a friendly hand to train with him.

To say that a new and improved Anderson Silva came to the UFC on June 28, 2006, is an understatement. Anderson Silva simply destroyed Chris Leben, a tough fighter, in his UFC debut after only 49 seconds by way of knockout. Then he blew former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin out of the water with his dangerous Muay Thai clinch after only 2:59 had gone by. Next up, he fought his way back from near defeat against Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ace Travis Lutter, only to end up submitting him. An MMA star was born.