– Prepositional Adjectival Phrases – Letter A –
- (to be) A Cut Above The Rest – this is an Idiomatic, Adjectival and Prepositional Phrasal-Noun which is used to express that: Someone or something is significantly better than “the rest”. The noun “cut” could be referring to a “cut” of meat, or it could be referring to the “cut” of a fine suit. This phrase is an “old” one (meaning that it is older than me) 😀 and – as such – the origin is not clear. However, the use is clear…
“GiveMeSomeEnglish!!! is clearly unique among the English language websites. In fact the others don’t even compare. You could say that GiveMeSomeEnglish!!! is a cut above the rest.” 😉
- (to be) At A Loss For Words – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Adjectival Phrase that we use in either one of two situations.
1. In a situation, where-in, a person is having trouble finding the correct words to express what he or she wants to say.
“I have done the presentation a hundred times before but for some reason, today, I was at a total loss for words.”
2. In a situation where-in a person does not even know how to react (and usually there is another person or group is expecting some sort of response.)
“When the police presented the evidence against him, and it was clear that his story was a lie – suddenly the criminal was at a complete loss for words“
(Notice also that the phrase is separable)
- (to be) At A Standstill – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Prepositional-Phrase which describes a situation where-in one is not able to perform some action because of a condition which is preventing it. This phrase is often used in a work situation when – for example – a person is not able to perform their part of some task because they must wait for someone else to finish his or her part of the task first…
“The construction of the new office is at a standstill until we are able to get all the proper building permits.”
- (to be) At Ease – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Prepositional-Phrase which means: “To be comfortable, calm and relaxed”. Generally, the opposite to being “stressed”…
“Having all my work done early and knowing that I was prepared for the meeting really put me at ease.”
- (a) Free-For-All – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival and Prepositional Noun Phrase which is used to describe a situation where-in there is no perceivable rules or organization, and one can do whatever he or she pleases. This Phrase is also used to describe something which has gotten out of control.
“Both times that there was a Woodstock concert, they turned into a complete free-for-all. However, the first one was such, just because so many people showed up that it was clear that there was no way to keep all the people from coming in. The second time it became another kind of free-for-all. Because un-like the hippies at the first concert who just wanted to be free and love each other – the kids at the second concert just wanted to tear shit up and cause total fʌkɪŋ mayhem… stupid kids.”
- (to be) Head And Shoulders Above (another/others/the rest) – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Phrase which is used to mean that someone is much better at something than another or others. Imagine two people standing next to each other. If one person is so much shorter than the other, that the top of that person’s head does not even com up to the shoulders of the other, then that person’s head and shoulders are above them… This does not mean that the taller person is better, but most people would agree that the taller person is significantly taller (not just a little bit.) So this phrase is used figuratively to mean that someone is significantly better than another…
“Tony Hawk was such an incredibly good skateboarder that, when he was still competing, he was head and shoulders above everyone else.”
- (to be) One Step Ahead – See: Phrasal Adjectives – Letter “S”, for “Step”