1. to get up to something (何か)をする
- used to enquire about somebody’s leisure time in the hope that they report something interesting.
A: “What did you get up to at the weekend / during your holiday?”
B: [various answers] “We went camping.”
With this meaning, we only use it as an interrogative.
I got up to camping.”
- Used to describe somebody’s mischievous activities 〈いたずらなど〉をする
[a parent saying to the child when everything sounds too quiet] “What are you getting up to?”
[talking about a groom’s stag party] They got up to all sorts of things!
This last example suggests that the party had lots of mischievous goings-on.
2. Has seen better days 昔の方がよかった、古びて使えなくなった
Used to talk about objects that look old and in need of replacement. There is slight hint of humour in the choice of expression.
“This computer has seen better days.”
“Your car has seen better days.”
3. [I]’ve been had だまされた、かつがれた
Used as an alternative to being deceived, usually when not too serious a deception.
A: “I paid £50 for this ticket.”
B: “Really, I got it for £30. You’ve been had!”
4. the be-all and end-all 最も大切なこと
an idiom which means the most important thing. Often used in the negative sense.
“It was unfortunate, but not the be-all and end-all. We’ll survive.”
“Don’t worry. It’s not the be-all and end-all.”
5. No such luck そう甘くはないよ
A phrase typically used as short reply to somebody’s enquiry about a past plan that disappointingly did not happen or work out as expected.
A: “Did you go to Spain?”
B: “No such luck. Work commitments forced me to cancel the trip.”
A: “Did you manage to find that particular brand of coffee?”
B: “No such luck. Nowhere seems to stock it.”
6. Touch-and-go 危機一髪、ひやひやの
An idiom used to describe uncertainty about a situation.
“It’s touch-and-go whether I will be able to make it to the conference. The stormy weather looks really bad.”
“It was touch-and-go right up to the last minute, but eventually everything worked about as planned. “
7. (It)’s not on 許されない
An idiom used to describe an unacceptable situation.
“This is not on. We can’t work in freezing temperatures when the heating is broken.”
A: “We can’t offer a full refund, but we can offer a substitute instead.”
B: “That’s not on. Your terms and conditions say the opposite.”
8. On the go 活発で忙しい、いろいろ動き回る
An idiom used to describe being active and busy, with a strong suggestion of moving from place to place a lot.
“These days I’m on the go a lot. One week Frankfurt; the next week Zurich. So many business trips!”
9. In the same boat 同じ立場にいる
An idiom used to describe a scenario where everyone in is the same unfavourable situation.
“We’re all in the same boat. None of us can predict what will happen next.”
A: “I’m worried about my job. There are rumours that people could be laid off in the coming months. “
B: “Funny; I’m in the same boat at the moment.”
10. To play it by ear 状況に応じて行う、成り行きにまかせて
An idiom used to describe the decision not to make a plan in advance; rather decide things spontaneously as they happen.
A: “Shall we book a table at the restaurant?”
B: “No, let’s play it by ear, in case our plans change earlier in the day.”
“When on holiday, I don’t like to follow a fixed itinerary. I prefer to play it by ear once I arrive.”