Each month, Let’s Talk will focus on sayings that might sound funny or confusing to a new language learner. So if you have ever thought “What did they mean by that?” or “What are they trying to say?” this column is for you.

Fall is here. The air is crisp. Front porches are decorated with pumpkins for Halloween and the beautiful colors of the changing leaves are everywhere. So get out and enjoy nature’s most colorful time of year.

Here are four idioms – expressions in which the meanings of the words are not the meaning of the saying – that use autumn and fall season vocabulary.

Turn over a new leaf — To begin again; to make a new start with different behavior.
“Hodan wanted to turn over a new leaf by eating healthier foods and exercising more.”

The apple never falls far from the tree — When someone looks or acts like their parents or relatives.
“Amir received an athletic scholarship to a prestigious university, just like his father. The apple does not fall far from the tree.”

To fall behind — To be behind schedule or be late at completing something.
“Hannah did not want to fall behind in saving for her retirement, so she always put a small amount of money from each of her paychecks into a savings account.”

Apple of my eye — To find someone very special
“Jacques loved his daughter very much. She was the apple of his eye.”

If you have questions about sayings you have heard Americans use that you don’t understand, or questions about American culture, please email your questions to Claudia at [email protected] and “Let’s Talk” will be happy to help.

Claudia Jakubowski has her Masters Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).