Improve your Idioms with ‘Modern Family’

Have you heard of the successful American series ‘Modern Family’? If you haven’t, you should definitely check it out. You can watch it on Netflix, for example. In this blog post we will look exactly at why you should watch ‘Modern Family’

What is ‘Modern Family’ about?

Modern Family features 3 families, who are all related to each other. They all have problems to face. These problems are all different from each other. Nevertheless, they are still similar. The series just finished it’s 11th (and final) season.

You will meet 3 totally different types of families (nuclear family, step family and same-sex family).

As we can see from the above trailer, this series shows 3 typical modern families. Everything, even a simple football (in American English: soccer), seems to end up with something happening.

Which skills can I best improve while watching Modern Family?

With ‘Modern Family’ you can learn lots of new vocabulary and idioms you can use in your everyday life. As the series features 3 different types of families and their lives, there is something for everyone to identify themselves with.

Let me give you a few examples:

Idioms

Idioms are part of the English language. Without them, it is not possible to become more like a native. Here are some examples and their meanings:

  • Put one’s foot down – have a firm opinion about something, even if people oppose it. Here is an example sentence, “I’m going to put my foot down, because I believe this is right”.
  • Have someone over – to invite someone over for a meal or drink. “Let’s have some our friends over for dinner tomorrow”.
  • Rub the wrong way – to irritate / annoy someone. “You really rub me up the wrong way when you behave like this”.
  • Clip someone’s wings – to restrain someone. Normally, we talk about clipping birds’ wings so that they can’t fly away. “I’m going to clip your wings a bit. You need to be taught a lesson”.

As we can see from the above examples, they are relatively easy things to use in everyday.

Other things you can learn

Like all families, they celebrate special events like birthdays, Halloween and Christmas. In these episodes, you can learn specific vocabulary to do with the situation. Here are a few examples from a Halloween episode:

  • gargoyle
  • house of horrors
  • to dress up
  • fangs
  • trick or treat

If you don’t know the meaning of these words, you should look them up in an English-English dictionary. This way you’ll be able to find synonyms for these words.

For British English idioms download my guide ‘How to sound like a Brit’

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