Useful Idioms – part 21

Off-the-cuff =without preparation.

  • I hadn’t prepared a speech so I just said a few words off-the-cuff.
  • It was just an off-the-cuff remark.
  • I am not very good at making speeches off-the-cuff.

Small talk = polite conversation about unimportant or uncontroversial matters ,especially as engaged in on social occasions.

  • It was just small talk really.
  • I don’t enjoy parties where I have to make small talk with complete strangers.

In the same breath = more or less at the same time, or at once.

  • You say he treats you badly but in the same breath you tell me how much you love him.
  • She says the treatment is safe , and then in the same breath says that patients should be warned about the possible side-effects.

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