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Hi!Emotion: big smile

Are the following 2 verbs idioms:

1. He took a long walk later that night. (to take a walk?)

2. Is ”to come to a conclusion” an idiom? My sentence reads: “They came to the conclusion that they already had a telephone network.”

What infinitive forms should I bracket in the following examples, given that my student are not familiar with the passive voice and the sentences below appear in some jokes (I insist on practising tenses – here, the past tense- in “friendlier” contexts, and jokes have proved to be an appealing alternative – my kids simply love them!)

3. The sidewalk was sheeted with ice. (to be sheeted or to be?)

4. The doctor was completely overwhelmed with embarrassment. (to be overwhelmed or to be?)

5. Willie was astounded (to be astounded or to be?)

What does “as it is” mean in:

6. As it is, he naturally takes us for old friends. (“the way things stand’?)

7. I was down to my last nickel. (is the verb a phrasal one or an idiom “to be down to” and what exactly does it mean – I haven’t found it in any dictionary…)

Thank you for your time,

A teacher of English “lost in translation” ,

Angela
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Hello Angela-- and welcome to English Forums. I see that you have brought your question over from [url=http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/ask-teacher/29399-idioms-phrasal-verbs-meanings.html]UsingEnglish[/url]. Since Mike may well answer your question there, I will be brief:

I don't think #1 and 2 are idioms.

#3-5 should just bracket to be, as a linking verb, because the other words are predicate adjectives; they represent conditions, not receipt of actions.

#6-- Look here for [url=http://www.onelook.com/?w=as+it+is&ls=a ]As it is[/url].

#7-- To be down to = to have reached (the [extreme] condition/situation of).
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Mister Micawber.
Hello Angela-- and welcome to English Forums. I see that you have brought your question over from [url=http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/ask-teacher/29399-idioms-phrasal-verbs-meanings.html]UsingEnglish[/url]. Since Mike may well answer your question there, I will be brief:

I don't think #1 and 2 are idioms.

#3-5 should just bracket to be, as a linking verb, because the other words are predicate adjectives; they represent conditions, not receipt of actions.

#6-- Look here for [url=http://www.onelook.com/?w=as+it+is&ls=a ]As it is[/url].

#7-- To be down to = to have reached (the [extreme] condition/situation of).

Hi!

Thank you for your help.

There are still some things I don't understand:with reference to examples 3-5 you say I should only bracket "to be" since it is a linking verb followed by predicative adjectives; and yet, I haven't found them as adjectives proper in the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary ("overwhelming" and "astounding" are the only ones to be found). For "to astound" thre is an indication ("usu. pass.").I might be wrong but aren't they past participles in my examples? (There's been a hot debate on this subject among my colleagues - no one knows for sure what infinitive form should be given in brackets...)

What about "... they took a walk" and "... came to the conclusion..." - how would you bracket the infinitive forms:"to take" and "to come"?

Hope I'm not a pain in the neckEmotion: embarrassed,

Angela
Most past participle (-ed) forms can serve as adjectives, and they won't be listed in the dictionaries as such unless there is a peculiarity about them, as with crooked or sunken. It is sometimes not easy to judge whether you are confronted with a passive form (She was astounded by the passing scenery) or a predicate adjective (She stood astounded as I juggled 7 balls). I recommend my earlier suggestion as a test: does the sentence present a condition or a receipt of action on the part of the subject? In many cases, the difference between the participle and the adjective is unclear (and can be argued about for hours); in the absence of any textual information (Willie was astounded), there is no way of determing whether the verb is passive or linking.

I would bracket just take and come. But I don't really know why we are bracketing them; could you set down an example?
Dear Mr. Micawber,

The task I want to set my students is to fill in the blanks with the corresponding past tense form of the verbs in brackets (the sentences in question are taken from some jokes and the underlined words are to be taken out and replaced with blanks). Therefore, my problem is: what infinitives should I give them for the underlined words:

1. They came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network.(to come or to come to a conclusion?)

2. He took a walk later that night.(to take or to take a walk?)

Hope I made myself understood and, last but not least, thank you,

Angela
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Yes, I get it. Bracket just the verbs-- and standard practice is to omit the to: (come) (take).