LEARNING ENGLISH

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Idiom 'Dark Horse' - Common Idioms In English

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Introduction

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In this lesson, you will learn about the idiom ‘dark horse’ and how to use it in your conversations.

Explanation

Jeff: Let’s learn about the idiom ‘dark horse’. A ‘dark horse’ is someone who has hidden talents.

Keith: Correct Jeff. A ‘dark horse’ is a person of little prominence or who has little chance to be successful, but who surprises you at the end by succeeding. For example: in the recent marathon, the runner from Idaho turned out to be the dark horse. It was his first marathon!

Jeff: His abilities and potential were not very well known, but he managed to succeed and beat other competitors who were more popular. Here’s another example: nobody thought Edison would become a scientist as he was poor in studies, but he proved to be a dark horse.

Keith: In politics, the idiom is used to speak of a candidate who seems less popular or has little chance of winning, but comes out victorious or gains power unexpectedly.

Jeff: Yes, a ‘dark horse’ is like a mysterious person whose abilities, plans and thoughts are not known!

Keith: Yes, they are often difficult to judge. Let’s listen to some conversations with examples of how to use this idiom?

Jeff: Good idea!

Irene Sings Beautifully.

Ben: Wow Irene! I didn’t know you could sing so well!

Irene: Thank you, Ben!

Ben: You’re actually advancing to the finals in the competition.

Irene: Yes. In fact, I was in a band.

Ben: Aha! So you’re the dark horse in this competition! What was the band’s name?!

Irene: Ever heard of Blue Velvet?

Ben: Sure! There was a time when I used to listen to ‘Goodnight friend’ all day long!

Irene: Really?! Well..that was us!

Irene Is Blue Velvet!

Toby: The talk shows are saying that the former High Court judge is the dark horse to be the new governor.

Ben: Yeah, he came from nowhere and achieved prominence in polls. He’s very intelligent and a visionary!

Toby: He may win. Some people have hidden talents.

Ben: We have a dark horse among us, too.

Toby: Another politician?

Ben: No. I was talking to Irene and found out that she was one of the Blue Velvet members!

Toby: Really? I love their songs!

Chess Mastermind.

Keith: It’s surprising that Isaac has won the local chess championship!

Toby: He’s a dark horse. We never knew he was such a good player!

Keith: Yeah. He hardly talks to anyone.

Toby: I think he can even win the state finals.


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