162.- Binomials and collocations with at. C1. C2.

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At Last

Meaning: we use this expression when we’ve been waiting a long, long time

We can use this in quite a few ways.

I got that job at last.

I got that promotion at last.

At last, the bus has finally come.

Ha-ha, at last! I thought you’d lost it. I thought I’d never see it again.

He got round to writing his resignation letter at last. He had been thinking about it for a long, long time.





At A Loss

Meaning: we can’t find the words that we want to say because we’re very sad or shocked at the news

Oh, I’m at a loss to know what to say. I really don’t know how I can express my sympathy and my sadness.

Or it could be in a good situation where you get a surprise.

Wow, guys, I really didn’t expect this. I’m at a loss to know what to say. All I can say is thank you. You’re so kind, you’re so generous.

Or we can be at a loss to know what to do with something.

Oh, I’m at a loss to know what to do. I haven’t come across this particular problem before, what are we going to do? How can we get out of this? 




At Times

At times, you really frustrate me.

At times, I think you’re a little bit crazy.

So in this sentence, we’re using it to indicate that sometimes we feel everything is okay, but occasionally, we think the person is mad.

At times, you just drive me crazy.

At times, I could really just get up and walk out.

So we can express certain frustration.

At times, it doesn’t appear to us that the government know what they’re doing.





At Odds With

We can be at odds with somebody, or we can be at odds with something.

Meaning: when we are at odds with somebody, we are not in full agreement with them

He’s at odds with his boss. His boss wants to go in this direction, but he really thinks he can do it differently and better.

Meaning: when you’re at odds with something, it means you’re struggling to deal with it

He is at odds with his thesis, he just isn’t sure where to begin, how to finish it. He needs a little bit of help.




At A Standstill

Meaning: not moving in any direction

Lots of things can be at a standstill, particularly traffic.

It’s at a complete standstill. There’s been a breakdown somewhere.

There’s been heavy snowfall, the city is at a complete standstill.

A business can be at a standstill.

The business isn’t growing. It’s not getting worse, but it’s not getting any better. So things are at a bit of a standstill.

A relationship can be at a standstill.

I’m not sure where this relationship is going. At the moment, the relationship is in a bit of a standstill.





At A Glance

Meaning: when we look at something at a glance, we have a quick look; first impression

At a glance, the proposal looks quite okay, but I think I’m going to have to read it in a little bit more detail.

At a glance, everything looks okay, but let me have a look at it for a day or two and I’ll come back to you later. 




At A Loose End

Meaning: you have nothing really to do there.

My friends have all gone away for the weekend. So I’m at a loose end.

What are you doing this evening? I’m at a loose end. The wife and the kids are away visiting the in-laws. 




At All Costs

Meaning: no matter what it takes

We have to get these products in their warehouse by close of business tomorrow at all costs. Otherwise, they’re going to cancel the deal.

Governments in the last two years have been trying to tell us that they will fight this pandemic at all costs.

At all costs. I will get those exams. I need to get the points, I need to get to the university. 




At First Sight

Meaning: the first time we look at something or somebody

Oh, I knew as soon as I met your mother, it was love at first sight.

At first sight, the property looks exactly what I’m looking for. That location looks good.

At first sight, I don’t see anything glaringly obvious that we should worry about. Let’s get the legal advisors to look at it.




At Someone Service

Meaning: you’re available for someone, you’re there to help

Madam, just call us, we are at your service.

If you don’t see your size, just shout, I’ll come over and we can get the size from the storeroom. So we are at your service.

I’m at your service, as always, in my English learning podcast.

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