#IOTW: Idioms with “Line”

Weeks ago, we received a question from @NezarPrakasa: “the use of the word “line” in various English songs.” There are indeed many different uses of the word “line.” So, today we are going to discuss idioms using “line”!

  1. A fine/thin line. Meaning: there is a close similarity (kemiripan sangat) between the two things.
    • Example:
      • “There is a fine line between eccentricity and craziness.”
  2. Along the lines of. Meaning: also means similarity, but used differently to ‘thin/fine line’. More like “kurang lebih seperti/tentang …”
    • Example:
      • A: Did he just tell you to resign?

      • B: I can’t remember the exact words, but it’s something along the lines.

  3. Ass on the line. Meaning: about to be blamed when things go wrong. A very informal idiom, don’t use it in formal settings.
    • Example:
      • “If you do anything wrong, then your parents’ asses are on the line.”
  4. Read between lines. Meaning: seeing what is not seen on the outside, seeing the context; seeing what’s behind it. That also answered @hirena95 ‘s question. “The flaws between lines” mean “the flaws behind it
    • Example:
      • “If you try to read between the lines, you’ll see that she’s not really interested in him at the first place.”
  5. Bottom line. Meaning: the final outcome.
    • Example:
      • “Can you please tell me about the bottom line of the meetings? I had to miss some parts of it.”
  6. Be out of line. Meaning: not suitable; shouldn’t have been done; more than expected.
    • Example:
      • “The way he spoke to her about her boyfriend is out of the line.”
  7. Down the line. Meaning: something that will happen after some time (kemudian hari).
    • Example:
      • “I would love to be married but that’s a few years down the line.”
  8. Draw the line. Meaning: setting a limit to something.
    • Example:
      • “You are free to do whatever you want, but you need to draw the line somewhere.”
  9. Drop a line. Meaning: writing a short letter to someone.
    • Example:
      • “I would love to hear more about your business. Please drop me a line and let me know when we can meet.”

There are so many idioms using the word “line”, and the way it is being used varies. We’ll continue this subject next week!

Compiled and written by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 10 Aug 2014.


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