“GET AN IDEA ACROSS”: STEP 1
- Teach the cognitive motivation behind the figurative expression worded in accessible terms:
–Sometimes we talk about ideas as if they could be seen, touched, and handled. They are like objects. They can also move or we can make them move. If an idea reaches me, I can handle it and create a picture in my mind of what it is like. That is why we say that ideas get across or that we get ideas across to someone, as if ideas could move (in contact with a surface) from where they are to where we are so we can deal with them.
“GET AN IDEA ACROSS”: STEP 2
Illustrate the use of “get an idea across” on the basis of an ample selection of real examples:
1.The demonstrations and dynamic diagrams really get the ideas across effectively.
2.We don’t need to rely on my presentation skills to get the ideas across to the client.
3.Do the pictures help get the ideas across?
4.Quite often, parents and teachers rely on lectures and discussions to get the ideas across.
5.He was a terrible lecturer, but he got the ideas across and I liked him.
6.The fridge didn’t work, and I couldn’t get the idea across to the staff with limited English to come and fix it.
7.I probably won’t get the idea across.
8.With some individual help, we managed to get the idea across to all of them.
9.If you can’t get the idea across in just a couple of sentences, you have some more work to do.
“GET AN IDEA ACROSS”: STEP 3
- Make emphasis on usage constraints and their connection with the cognitive motivation in STEP 1.
- For example:
–1) Most corpus examples use “get an idea across” in the context of skills and efficacy; so the expression collocates well with inherent modality markers expressing ability like “manage to”, “be able to”;
–2) the figurative destination of motion is often omitted when it represents any possible recipient, as in (1), (3), (4), (7), and (9), or when the recipient is straightforwardly retrievable from context, as in (5).