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F4 English Useful expressions 80 (social issues / argumentative) APR 2014

Describing a situation
1.
to stand in the way of e.g. Suspicion and mistrust stand in the way of normal cooperation between them.
2.
no one is immune to e.g. No one is immune to the negative impact of global warming.
3.
be under the impression that + S V O e.g. I am under the impression that you hate my lessons.
4.
to struggle to find ways to combat the problem
5.
to back down on - e.g. In the face of heavy criticism, the government backed down on his plan to expand the landfills.
6.
to stem from e.g. Discrimination stems from ignorance.
7.
to come to a halt e.g. The new plans have come to a halt during to insufficient funding.
8.
be hard hit - e.g. Hong Kong was hard hit during the financial tsunami.
9.
to put the blame of sth on sb / sth
10. be at the crossroads - e.g. Michael found himself at the crossroads not knowing what to do with his life.
11. The issue ofis in serious disarray. - e.g. The political reform is in serious disarray.
12. be in the forefront / be in the vanguard - e.g. He is always in the forefront when it comes to fighting for workers rights.
13. to stir up much controversy
14. to exert tremendous stress / pressure on - e.g. The US exerts pressure on the Chinese government over human
rights issues.
15. to spark off an outcry - e.g. The mass layoff has sparked off an outcry against the authorities.
16. to strive to excel themselves - e.g. Students are striving to excel themselves in the HKDSE.
17. There is growing consensus that
18. to voice / express / air ones views
19. be left in the dark - e.g. Regarding the change of syllabus, the teachers were left in the dark.
20. to come under fire - e.g. The new policy has come under fire for not taking care of the needs of the underpriviledged.
21. to come to light - e.g. He never thought his scandal would come to light.
22. in breach of - e.g. His act is in breach of the law.
23. to face the dilemma of - e.g. I face the dilemma of whether I should study overseas or stay in Hong Kong.
24. to pose a great challenge / danger to
25. be apathetic / indifferent to
26. be prone to (diseases) - e.g. Fat people are prone to heart diseases.
27. to follow suit - e.g. Entertainers should be aware they are role models as their fans will follow suit whatever they do.
28. to blow the whistle- e.g. The media always find ways to blow the whistle on governments misdeeds.
29. whistle-blower
30. be on the brink of / on the verge of - e.g. He was on the brink of breaking down when he broke up with his girlfriend.
31. to get the message across - e.g. This is the message that we want to get across to the public.
32. to trigger a crisis
33. to cast doubt on - e.g. Given his poor record, I cannot help but cast doubt on his ability to finish the job on time.
34. to lead somebody astray / go astray - e.g. Youngsters go astray easily as they are susceptible to peer pressure.
35. be stunned by - e.g. I was stunned by how irresponsible he can be.
36. be second to none - e.g. Hong Kong is second to none when it comes to donations.
37. be an uphill battle - e.g. It is an uphill battle to improve the environment while pursuing economic progress.
38. to turn a blind eye / a deaf ear to - e.g. The government is turning a blind eye to the plight of the low income groups
39. to adhere to (a decision) - e.g. The president adheres to his decision to sign the agreement with China.
Useful connectives
40. in (the) light of
42. in a bid to = in order to
41. in view of = Considering
43. on the grounds that = based on the fact that
Consequences
44. to bear the brunt of e.g. The middle class bears the brunt of the increase in tax.
45. be at the mercy of - e.g. We will be at the mercy of the criminals if we dont stand up against crime.
46. be locked in a vicious circle
47. to attract fierce criticisms
48. to bow to community pressure - e.g. The government bowed to community pressure over the expansion of landfills.
49. to run the risk of - e.g. Alex ran the risk of being expelled when he smoked in the school library.
50. be doomed to - e.g. This plan to install cameras in classroom is doomed to invite strong resistance from students.
51. to resort to violence - e.g. We should never resort to violence even when we cannot compromise on an issue.
52. If, the condition will only worsen. / Unless things change for the better,
Providing solutions / Giving comments
53. to adopt an ostrich policy
54. to allay / alleviate the stress of
55. to put into practice - e.g. Promises are only promises if you do not put them into practice.
56. to base a decision on - e.g. We shoud base our decision on facts, not our guesses.
57. to spare no pains to e.g. We will spare no pains to support whatever you do.
58. to achieve a breakthrough in a deadlock
59. to address the problem of / to address a problem at its roots
60. be beneficial to / be detrimental to e.g. Swimming is beneficial to health, while smoking is detrimental to health.
61. to shoulder the responsibility for - e.g. You should shoulder the responsibility for this mistake.
62. to adopt a positive attitude towards
63. be the only way out = the only solution
64. to call for - e.g. A lot of teachers and parents call for education reform.
65. to do away with (infml) = to get rid of
66. be out of the question (impossible) - e.g. Helping you with your homework is out of the question.
67. to bring something under control - e.g. We must do something to bring the increasing crime rate under control.
68. be tantamount to = be equivalent to - e.g. Your request is tantamount to asking me to lie.
69. the pros outweigh the cons

70.
71.
72.
73.
74.
75.
76.
77.
78.
79.

80.

to tighten laws
to overcome all hurdles / obstacles
sth deserves our full attention
to keep abreast with / of times - e.g. We have to learn new things every day to keep abreast with times.
to broaden ones horizons - e.g. Both reading and travelling can help broaden our horizons.
to give priority to
to come to terms with / reach a consensus / agreement // compromise
to do something before it is too late
for the sake of something - e.g. We ban mobile phones in the school for the sake of students / preventing students
being distracted.
to bridge the gap between - e.g. We need to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.
to inculcate correct messages into young minds

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