English Phraseology: Household SOS

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Just when I thought I’d be getting through the week without any drama, my toilet bowl overflowed. How did that happen? Well, one of my kids flushed a toy down the tube and it got stuck . In this case, I had to urgently call the plummer. Most of the time, we can learn how to fix minor household catastrophes on our own. I am proud to say that I have become a DIY enthusiast! The hardware store clerk, Gennaro, has become my chaos consultant. I hope the expressions below help you in times of need or at least for story telling time!

Vocabulary Boost:

  • To overflow: to have excess water that flows out of a container
  • A plunger: a bell-shaped tool used to unblock a toilet or drain
  • Unclog: to unblock
  • Flooded: inundated
  • Basement: underground room of the house where you store things
  • Squeegee: a tool with a long rubber blade used to remove liquid from a flat surface.
  • Mop up: to absorb and clean water from the floor
  • Mold: fungus or germs that create due to humidity
  • Grease Fire: a fire that is created by hot oil
  • Lid: a pot’s cover
  • Power Outage: period without electricity
  • Power Surge:  flow of power that returns
  • Rolling shutters: window security that also serves as shades
  • Got stuck: when something does not go forward or backward
  • Slats: a board of wood

Key Phraseology:

  • My toilet was overflowing so I took out the plunger and tried to unclog it.
  • Yesterday’s heavy rains flooded my basement. I used a squeegee and a bucket to mop up the water & then turned on a dehumidifier to avoid mold.
  • I was making apple fritters and a grease fire ignited. I turned off the stove and placed a lid over the pot.
  • We had a long power outage. We tried not to open the fridge too often and I unplugged all the electrical devices to protect them from a power surge.
  • My rolling shutters got stuck. I had to change one of the slats.

Household Idioms

We get on like a house on fire. (i.e. have a good relationship)
Can I get you a drink on the house? (i.e. for free)
The company is throwing money down the drain.(i.e. wasting money)

Fluency Builder: Discuss the following with a teacher or friend. Speak a little English today.
1. Who takes care of minor repairs at your house?
2. Have you got a Jack of All Trades you can count on for more complicated issues? Where did you find this person?
3. When your Internet service is suspended, do you consider that a household emergency?
4. When facing a crisis, do you lose it or do you stay calm?


4 thoughts on “English Phraseology: Household SOS

  1. This a great lesson, as are all your lessons! i don’t want to be looking at the “button off the vest”, but just a little note on your spelling: “plummer” is really spelled “plumber”.
    I love these lessons! Keep ’em coming!

  2. There are a handful of new or forgotten words of the common language different from the office one, please provide other pills! Thank you

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