Frequency of Use: High
As you are riding the train home from work, you run into an old friend from high school. In your conversation, you friend opens up and explains that he is going through a divorce, his father died of cancer two weeks before, and he just lost his job. He then bursts into tears and sobs.
You then tell him that you understand how he feels because you are in the same boat: You have had problems, too. In response to this, your friend looks at you sternly and exclaims that you have you have no idea how he feels. “Your problems are nothing like mine.” Now, you feel terrible that you had said anything.
So, how can we validate the struggles of others better and understand them better?
“I know you like poetry and grammar, but most college students are more interested in pop music and culture. Why not take down the grammar posters and put up a poster of a band that our roommates like?”
Sometimes, learners know the meaning of an idiom, but they don’t know how to use it correctly in conversation or writing. Thus, this activity checks your grammatical accuracy with the idiom so you become more confident in using it.