BLP A-Z of Learning English: «L» for «Like»

BLP A-Z of Learning English: «L» for «Like»

Karen Thorley


The word “like,” in its different forms, has many meanings:

Other forms, collocations and idiomatic expressions….

Adjective: Like-minded – people who think in similar ways.
“I prefer to go on holiday with like-minded people, as that way we all enjoy doing the same things.”

Verbs: To look/sound/feel like/taste/feel… = appear, seem with the different senses…
It looks like it has rained here overnight
It sounded like there was a fight outside last night
feel like I’m catching a cold
It tasted like a pear but it was a mango
This dress feels like cotton, but I’m not sure, it could be silk

Binomial:  “Like it or lump it” = Even if you don’t like something, you can learn to put up with it, tolerate it, get used to it.
«I really hate this new working timetable, I hate working 2 evenings a week, I’d rather come in early.
Me too, but it’s not going to change until the building works finish next year. The boss told me “you can like it or lump it” – so I suppose we’ll have to start getting used to it.»


  1. A memory like a sieve – a bad memory
    “Please send me the directions, I’ve been there before, but I have a memory like a sieve
  1. Like a bull in a china shop –  not very delicate
    “He was so angry, he stormed into the shop like a bull in a china shop
  1. Like a fish out of water – to feel out of place, awkward, like you don’t belong
    “I went to the opera once, the music was great, but I felt really uncomfortable, like a fish out of water… it’s not my natural environment. I’m much more at home at rock concerts.”
  1. Like father like son – when a child follows his/her parents’ way of doing something.
    “Have you seen how John plays cricket? Just like his father! It’s amazing.
    Yes, as they say “like father, like son” – It’s a good job he didn’t inherit his father’s drinking habits as well!”


It’s like trying to get blood out of a stone – impossible to get information
“My husband won’t tell me anything about my birthday present , it’s like getting blood out of a stone

It’s like talking to a brick wall – The other person doesn’t listen or pay attention at all.  
“I told him not to drive so fast, but it’s like talking to a brick wall”



  1. A) What _____ your new house _________________?
    B) It’s big and spacious, not ___________________my old flat. It’s much better.
  1. A) What ________________________________________ tomorrow?
    B) I hope it’s going to be hot and sunny _______________ today, so cold and rainy.
  1. She is so ____________________ her mother, the similarity is amazing (we say “it’s uncanny” when people are so similar it feels strange).
  1. It’s ______________________ Peter to be late. Do you thing something has happened?
  1. You and your sister both _________________________ your mother, but your brother _____________________your uncle.
  1. Do you ________________________________ going out for a meal this weekend?
  1. I had to go to a really posh dinner that weekend with my boss…I felt quite uncomfortable, a bit __________________________________________.
  1. A) I hate this office !!                                                                      
    B) Well I’m afraid you have no choice but to  ___________________________ for at least a year, until your old one is redecorated.
  1. I don’t know what the new song ________________________, have you heard it yet?
  1. My sister never pays any attention to the advice I give her – it’s ___________________________________ ___________________________________.
  1. A) How did Tom react when you told him you were leaving?
    B) He was ___________________ “NO!! I can’t believe it!” and I was ____________ “Come on, you know it’s a great opportunity!”
  1. A) Who do you think ___________________________to win the cup?
    B) Unfortunately, I think our new team is _____________________win, they’re very weak.
  1. A) What’s the _________________________ of getting a pay rise soon?
    B) I think it’s highly __________________- the company is making cuts, so I’m sure there’ll be no money for pay rises!!
  1. I keep asking my boss about the plans for the Christmas party, but he won’t give me any information – really,  it’s __________________________ ________________________.
  1. A) I’ll have the fish soup and vegetable lasagne please.
    B) Good idea, I think I’ll do ___________________.
  1. A) Oh no, I’ve forgotten my keys again!
    B) You really do have a memory________________________!!

  2. A) Have you tried those new bread rolls?
    B) No I haven’t, what do they _________________________?

  3. My husband and I are very different in the way we think about politics, but very _____________ about religion.

Leave a Comment