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ESL English School Chicago area



Ivy welcomes ESL students who want to improve English skills.

Here are some useful English expressions that Ivy students learned recently.

"freeze tail off"

What do you think this idiom means? Here's a hint, pay attention to the word freeze.
To freeze one's tail off means, it's VERY cold. In a literal sense, if something becomes so cold it can break off easily
. People often use this expression to complain or comment when it is very cold. There are times when the expression changes a slight bit as "tail" gets substituted with other limbs or parts of the body.

Ben: Coming to work was something else. I nearly froze my tail off!
Stacy: You didn't drive to work?
 It's 4°F (-15.5°C) today. No wonder why you're shivering.
Ben: I only live like 2 minutes away from work though.


-- Provided by Kelly, Ivy’s ESL Teacher --


Here are some phrases that Ivy students learned in Lisa’s Business English class.


 Back to square one - to start over or go back to the beginning


If our plan doesn't work we are back to square one.

After failing the course she is back to square one.


 An arm and a leg - when something is extremely expensive 


The sports car cost an arm and a leg.

My plans to travel next year are going to cost an arm and a leg, I better start saving.


On the same page - to agree or think alike

We work well together because we are on the same page.

I'm happy we are on the same page and can reach an agreement.


Call it a day- to end something such as a meeting, class etc.

I'm getting tired, let's call it a day.

Let's call it a day and continue tomorrow.


Play it by ear- to not plan, to do something as it happens

Mike : " what time do you want to go to dinner?"

Sarah: I'm not sure what time I will be home so let's play it by ear.


-- Provided by Lisa, Ivy’s Business English teacher --

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List of Articles
No. Subject Date
31 School Status Apr 02, 2018
30 Updated Ivy Office Hours Mar 05, 2018
29 SEVP Notice Mar 05, 2018
28 Thursday (Feb. 8) Evening Classes are Cancelled Feb 08, 2018
27 Monthly Tuition Payment Jan 01, 2018
26 Good standing enrollment Jan 01, 2018
25 Ivy Office Hours during Winter Break 2017-2018 Dec 16, 2017
24 Monthly Tuition Payment Jun 07, 2017
23 Business English Class Field Trip file Jun 07, 2017
22 Ivy Office Hours during Winter Break Dec 14, 2016
21 Transfer-into Ivy Tuition Discount Feb 24, 2016
20 Driving safely on icy roads Feb 24, 2016
19 Chicago Filed Museum - fun field trip to ESL students file Feb 22, 2016
18 Field trip to The Field Museum of Natural Science file Feb 22, 2016
17 English idiomatic expressions Mar 15, 2015
» useful English expressions Mar 15, 2015
15 Monday AM classes are canceled Feb 01, 2015
14 International Travel Tips for F-1 Students Dec 08, 2014
13 Ivy Office Hours during Winter Break Dec 08, 2014
12 Field Trip to Christkindlmarket, Saturday Nov. 22 Nov 20, 2014