Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special Segment – TOEFL Idioms Part VII

We’re back again with TOEFL idioms! Excited about this because now I’ve been teaching a lot of TOEFL iTP, so it’s time to start catering to my TOEFLers, too. Get ready!

Today’s Idioms

Come back – (1) return.

Dr Bradford may not be able to come back to the office before  his surgery this afternoon.

(2) remember, recall.

Even events that people consider long forgotten can come back to them in the right circumstances.

(3) return to popularity.

Have you noticed that platform shoes are coming back for the fall?

Come to / come down to – (1) grow to, gradually achieve enough familiarity to do something.

While some linguists disdain statistics as a mere manipulation of members, others may come to appreciate it as a powerful means to prove one’s point.

(2) amount to.

The more we learn about human behaviour; the more it comes down to heredity being a predominant factor.

Cut down on – reduce, decrease, lessen.

Cutting down on high calorie foods may lead to a substantial weight loss over an extended period of time.

Do over – do again.

His essay was so poorly written that he had to do it over.

Do with

(1) profit/benefit from, use to advantage.

I am cold and hungry; I could do with a cup of hot soup.

(2) be familiar with, associate with, work with.

How should I know where the computer manual? I don’t have anything to do with it.

Do without – manage without having.

The structure of American cities is such that urban dwellers cannot do without private transportation.

Drop by / in – visit informally, for a short period of time.

Whenever you are in town, please feel free to drop by anytime.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: IELTS Speaking III with Nattagan

I loved bringing one of my ex-students on. I first started teaching her at a not-going-to-mention-place (lol) just north of Bangkok, but because she was so driven, I stayed in touch with her and decided to bring her on for some IELTS Speaking! Here are some things we covered and questions — plus show notes!


  • What’s the climate like in your country?
  • What effects will the climate have in the future?
  • Has the climate changed in the last 10 years?

Things we discussed:

  • Nattagan’s introduction.
  • Sharing the guest’s experience about IELTS examination. How did she improve herself in the IELTS speaking test?
  • How does she identify her weaknesses in her IELTS speaking?
  • How does she feel about the IELTS part 3 speaking test?
  • What accents were most difficult?
  • Debunking the myth that you can’t ask the Examiner to repeat the question.
  • What is the Thailand’s climate?
  • How has the climate changed over the years?
  • Feedback.
  • Three ways to protect the environment.
  • Feedback.
  • How would climate change people’s lives in the future? The host shared his tips on how to construct ideas and present those ideas.
  • How does climate change affect people how they eat?
  • Different ways to construct ideas for difficult IELTS speaking.
  • How does climate change affect people how they communicate? The host is sharing additional ideas on how climate change affect people how they communicate.
  • Addressing the host’s concerns about being unable to give 3 ideas.


Thank you for listening!


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