10 “AT” Idioms & Phrases – English Vocabulary Lesson

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Welcome to another idiom lesson! For today’s English lesson we are going to look at some idioms and phrases which use the preposition at. Idioms are fun to learn, They make your English conversation more natural, plus they give you an edge On exams like the TOEIC and TOEFL. Are you ready? Let’s check them out!

When something is moving at a good clip, it is moving very quickly.

  • The ship was moving at a good clip and reach its destination 30 minutes earlier than scheduled.
  • Jack’s car was moving at a good clip when the police stopped him for speeding.

When you are at a loss for words, you are not sure what to say because you have just heard something very surprising.

  • Everyone was at a loss for words when the boss said that the company was going to move to Texas.
  • You want to leave me? I am at a loss for words

When something moves or does something at a snail’s pace, it goes very slowly.

  • Please hurry up and finish your report Jack. You are working at a snails pace.
  • The traffic on the highway was moving at a snails pace this morning.

The phrase at all is used in a negative sentence to show emphasis.

  • I don’t like raisins at all. (This is a stronger way of saying I don’t like raisins.)
  • I have no time at all this week to go to the gym.

When something is at fault it is the thing that causes the trouble or the problems.

  • When the mechanic checked the noise in my car he realized that the brakes were at fault.
  • When the company look at the problems between labor and management, it realized that both parties were at fault.

When something happens at first it happens in the beginning of some event or situation.

  • When I get off this airplane I need to use the restroom at first and then we can pick up our luggage.
  • When you start your own business, at first you need to think about a business plan and goals for the company.

When something happens at last, it happens after a long time of trying or waiting or doing. At last has the same nuance as finally; it shows some relief after along.

  • After waiting for 15 minutes in the rain, the bus arrived at last.
  • At last the pizza delivery guy came. I wonder what took him so long.

We use the phrase at least to show the good point or good thing that happens in a bad situation.

  • Jack was very upset about the car accident but at least nobody was injured.
  • We may not have a lot of money sweetheart, but at least we have each other.

When you are at your wits end you are very upset and can’t think of any solution to your problem or bad situation.

  • Tommy said he was at his wits end regarding his noisy neighbor. He tried talking to him and writing him letters but nothing has helped. He said if it happens again he’ll have to call the police.
  • Excel is so confusing for me. I am at my wits end trying to figure out the errors in this spreadsheet.

When you ask someone or someone asks you to do something at once, it needs to be done immediately.

  • A man fainted in the reception area. Call 911 at once.
  • If you need any help with your computers just let me know and I will come at once.

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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