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The very common fixed figurative expression as ______ as a(n) ___ is often used in informal conversation.Here are more examples, comments on meanings, andnotes on how the examples might be used:

as _____ as a(n) _____ (#5)

as tight as the bark on a tree: very conservative inspending money; stingy; miserly. (Bark is the "skin"of a tree; it's connected very tightly to the wood ofthe tree. Tight is slang for "stingy" or "miserly.")

Don't expect Uncle Jim to lend you anymoney. He's as tight as the bark on a tree.

as tough as nails: strong and hardy; able to managedifficult situations with no problems; the opposite offrail or delicate. (used to describe people)

Yes, Juan has had some problems, but youshouldn't worry about him. He'll manageeverything very well because he's as toughas nails.

as tough as shoe leather: very difficult to chew(used to describe food). Note: Shoe leather is thevery strong animal skin used to make leather shoes.



A: How's your steak?   B: Terrible! It's as tough as shoe leatherI can barely cut it and I can't chew it at all!

as ugly as sin: very ugly; very unattractive; homely(used to describe people or things).

Pierre thinks his girlfriend is the mostbeautiful woman in the world. Personally,I think she's as ugly as sin.

You don't reallylike that painting, do you?I think it's as ugly as sin!

as white as a ghost / as white as a sheet: very pale(describes the way people look when they are veryfrightened or shocked).

What happened, Mimi? You're as whiteas a ghost!

Something terrible has happened to Chuck.He's as white as a sheet!

Special Notes



1. Notice that in "as tight as the bark on a tree,"the is used before bark, not a. ("A bark"refers to the sound of a dog.)   2. As tough as nails is unusual because it usesplural noun after as.   3. In as tough as shoe leather and as ugly assin, no article is used before leather or sinbecause they're both uncountable nouns.



to be continued . . . . .

 

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