Lo que sigue son algunos modismos con sus significados en español y un breve cuento para demostrar situaciones en que se puede usarlos. No te olvides que para usar un modismo correctamente, hay que cambiar el verbo para que esté de acuerdo con el sujeto y el tiempo adecuado.

by a whisker – por un pelo.

to throw in the towel – tirar la toalla.

by leaps and bounds – a pasos agigantados.

to turn on the heat – aumentar la presión.

to lose heart – descorazonarse, desanimarse.

John had never been a very good student even though his parents enouraged him to do well in school. He didn’t fail many tests, but he would usually pass by a whisker. Going to school was not fun for John so he decided to throw in the towel and quit school. The reason he lost heart was because he felt that he did not meet his own expectations. After two months of staying home, his older brother really turned on the heat and encouraged John to go back to school. With the help and support of his brother, John went back to school and his grades improved by leaps and bounds.

to get the hang of something – cogerle el tranquillo a algo.

to come under fire – ser muy criticado.

like a fish out of water – como pez fuera del agua.

to go back to the drawing board – volver a empezar de cero.

easy come, easy go – así como viene se va.

To become proficient at something you usually have to put in a lot of time and hard work. I can remember when I was a fireman, but felt like a fish out of water because I had absolutely no mechanical ability. Every time I had to do something mechanical, I failed. I just couldn’t get the hang of it. It was so bad that I started to come under fire from my boss. I wanted to improve so every time I made a mistake I went back to the drawing board to figure out the correct solution. After a lot of time and hard work trying to become a more skillful fireman, I thought it would be best to leave and try something else. My attitude was that it was only a job and I could get another, just like everything else in life, easy come, easy go.

to be the talk of the town – ser la comidilla de todos.

to have what it takes – tener lo que hay que tener.

to keep a low profile – intentar pasar desapercibido.

to live it up – pasárselo bomba.

to make ends meet – llegar a fin de mes.

Would you like to become a professional athlete? Very few people have what it takes. But, if you make it, you will become the talk of the town. It will be very difficult to keep a low profile. A big advantage of being a professional athlete is that you can earn a lot of money. You can live it up and not have to worry about making ends meet.