B.E.L.L. Tips – Ides of March

B.E.L.L. Tips – Ides of March

Issue #62

English Tips for:

Business English Language Learners (B.E.L.L.)

The Ides of March

Each week, I will send out some handy tips and useful exercises for adults learning to navigate and use the English language. Please feel free to share this newsletter with friends and colleagues.

The soothsayer warned Julius Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March.” What is that? The Ides of March, or March 15th, was traditionally the day that citizens of Rome must have all of their debts settled (like tax day). It became famous as the day that Julius Caesar was assassinated by 60 conspirators in the Senate. As such, it has become known as a day of doom, or bad luck.

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Grammar Tip

Prepositions of Movement

Watch this video to review some Prepositions of Movement:

video preview

Now fill in the blank for each of the sentences below with a preposition of movement.

Word bank: Around, Over, Into, Out of, Through, Toward, Up, Down, Under, Past.

  1. The bird flew ______ my head.
  2. I took the groceries _______________ the bag.
  3. We walked ___________ the park.
  4. I walked _______ the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
  5. We drove ____________ the bridge and ___________ the tunnel.
  6. Put the candy ___________ the candy jar.
  7. He walked _________ me to shake my hand.
  8. The moon moves ____________ the earth.

Reading Tip

Do you believe in luck, or do you think that you determine your own fate? Do you wear your “lucky jersey” to watch the game? Do you know someone who always seems lucky?

Read more with this article “Is Luck Real and Can You Change Yours?”


Since the Ides of March is a day for bad luck, here are some idioms around luck:

  1. Break a leg! – Phrase said to actors to wish them a good performance.

Example: Break a leg on opening night!

2. Beginner’s Luck – Someone who does well when they are new to the activity.

Example: You’ve never played poker before? But you won the game. It must be beginner’s luck.

3. Down on your luck – Someone who is having a rough time lately.

Example: He’s been down on his luck lately. Right after buying a house, he lost his job and has been struggling to make the payments.

4. No such luck – When a situation did not have the positive result you hoped for.

Example: I was hoping to leave work by 5:00, but no such luck – the meeting ran until 6:30.

5. The luck of the draw – something is completely by chance or random.

Example: You can’t choose who you compete against in the tournament – it’s the luck of the draw.

6. Pushing your luck – When you have good luck or a good situation, but you try too hard to extend it or get an even better situation.

Example: They offered me the job after a very competitive hiring process. I wanted to ask for a higher starting salary, but I felt like that would be pushing my luck.

Weekly Challenge

Rewrite the sentences below, correcting the mistakes:

  1. It is raining when I got home last night.

2. He can speak Japanese because he was born in Canada.

3. I have not ate anything today.

4. If I am a child, I would play outside.

5. Everyone have seen that movie.

6. If we will be late, they will be angry.

7. My father is thinking that I should stop smoking.

8. Look! It be snowing.

9. I fell asleep while I watched TV.

10. I have lived in Portugal since 10 months.

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