It’s true that my car looks old and worn out. It’s eleven years olds and it has a lot of wear and tear. But I’m tired of my friends telling me to get a new car. By and large, my car still runs okay. It takes me where I want to go. I use it to go back and forth to work every day, and it doesn’t break down very often.
When it does break down, I take it to my mechanics. They know the ins and outs of my car. They don’t give me a song and dance. They tell me exactly what’s wrong with the car and how much it will cost to fix it. I know that I the car and how much it will cost to fix it. I know that I can trust them. So I feel confident that when I drive my car, it will get me safe and sound to where I’m going.


wear and tear: Damage that happens as something get old and used

by all large: Mostly, most often

ins and outs: All the details

odds and ends: A variety of small items, the pieces left over

safe and sound: With no damage or injury

a song and dance: A long explanation, a long excuse that is often not use

a cock-and-bull story: An untrue story

spick-and-span: Very clean (spic-and-span)

back and forth: From one place to another and back to the first place

fair and square: Honestly, without cheating

right and left: In large numbers, from every side


1. Kotaro rode the same bus route for years. Every week he went back and forth from Saigon to Dalat.

2. By and large, Americans eat a light breakfast. They usually don’t eat a lot of food in the morning.

3. George and I had a date for Saturday, but he never came to get me. Now he just told a cock-and-bull story about thinking that our date was on Sunday.

4. I won the checkers game fair and square, but Alex argued that I hadn’t followed the rules.

5. If you know the ins and outs of computer, you should be able to get a good job.

6. I want to buy some clothes at the big sale, but by the time I got there, there were only odds and ends left.

7.We had a lot of business last. The orders were coming in right and left.

8. I was worried when I first heard my brother had been in a car accident. But no one got hurt. Every one was safe and sound.

9. I wish we didn’t have to listen to such a long song and dance every time we want to get insurance.

10. John always cleans the house well before his mother visits so that everything is spick-and-span.

11. The carpet near the door gets a lot of wear and tear because we all walk on it as we come into the house.

Exercises: Answer each question with YES or NO. Explain your answer

1. Students who work hard usually succeed. Do students who work hard by and large succeed?

2. The witness told the truth, and everybody believed him. Is it a cock-and-bull story?

3.All Lisa does it clean her house. It is so clean, you feel uncomfortable. Is her house spick-and-span?

4. When we opened the package, the vase was broken in a thousand pieces. Did the vase arrive safe and sound?

5. Every time I ask Nam for the money he owes me, he tells me the many difficulties he is having with his job. Does Name go through a song and dance every time?

6. We got to the store on the last day of the sale. There was nothing special left to buy. Were there only odds and ends left?

7. We put an ad in the paper, but only one person called. Did we get calls from right and left?

8. Every weekday I go from house to school, then back again. Do I go back and forth to school during the week?

9. The rug looked brand new. I didn’t even know it had been used. Did the rug show evidence of wear and tear?

10. Linh has been working in that office for twenty-six years. He knows everybody and everything in it. Does Linh know the ins and outs of the office?

11. The referee makes sure that all the players follow the rules. Does the referee see that the game is played fair and squared?

Have fun !!

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