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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


from:   'drive a hard bargain'   to:  'turn on the heat'

  • drive a hard bargain
    • A person who drives a hard bargain always makes sure they gain advantage in a business deal.
      "Be prepared for tough negotiations with Dan. He drives a hard bargain."

  • keep someone posted
    • If someone asks you to keep them posted, they want you to keep them informed about a situation.
      "Our agent promised to keep us posted on developments in the negotiations."

  • leave the door open
    • If you leave the door open, you behave in such a way as to allow the possibility of further action.
      "Both parties left the door open for further negotiations."

  • leave no stone unturned
    • If you try everything possible in order to achieve something, you leave no stone unturned.
      "The management left no stone unturned in their efforts to reach an agreement."

  • meet half-way
    • If you meet someone half way, you accept to make a compromise and give them part of what they are trying to obtain.
      "We can't agree to all your conditions but we could perhaps agree to meet half-way."

  • (get down to) nitty-gritty
    • When people get down to the nitty-gritty, they begin to discuss the most important points or the practical details.
      "I was interested in the project, but we didn't get down to the nitty-gritty until his partner arrived."

  • play your cards right
    • If you play your cards right, you do all that is necessary in order to succeed or to obtain what you want.
      "If we play our cards right, we'll get the contract."

  • play for time
    • If you play for time, you try to delay or prevent something from happening in order to gain an advantage.
      "He decided to play for time in the hope that the price would decrease."

  • prepare the ground
    • When you prepare the ground, you try to make it easier for a future event or action to happen or be accepted.
      "The two foreign ministers prepared the ground for negotiations."

  • sell ice to Eskimos
    • This expression is used to describe a person who has the ability
      to persuade someone to accept something totally unnecessary or useless.
      "It's not surprising he was named 'salesman of the year'. He could sell ice to Eskimos!"

  • sign on the dotted line
    • If you sign on the dotted line, you formally give your consent to something by signing an official document.
      "I consulted a lawyer before signing on the dotted line."

  • signed, sealed, and delivered
    • When an agreement, contract or treaty is signed, sealed and delivered, all the legal documents are in order.
      "It is hoped that the agreement will be signed, sealed and delivered before the end of the week."

  • skating on thin ice
    • If you are skating on thin ice, you are doing or saying something that could cause disagreement or trouble.
      "Don't mention that subject during the negotiations or you could be skating on thin ice."

  • sticking point
    • A sticking point is a controversial issue that causes an interruption or blocks progress in discussions or negotiations.
      "The choice of distributor was a sticking point in the negotiations."

  • take stock of the situation
    • If you take stock of a situation you assess all the aspects in order to form an opinion.
      "He took time to take stock of the situation before making a suggestion."

  • turn on/up the heat
    • If you turn on or up the heat on someone, you put pressure on them in order to obtain what you want.
      "If the goods are not delivered this week, we'll have to turn up the heat."

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