Saffle Says --- Lessons for English Learners

Here you can find out all the information you need about the Michael's ESL podcast and blog. Post questions and comments as you wish. I value listener and reader comments so don't be shy! The questions you ask me more than likely will be questions others want to know the answers to!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Who doesn't like cake?


It's birthday season here in the Saffle household (we have three in a one-month period) and I have been thinking about one of my favorite parts of any birthday. Cake! Sure, presents are nice but it's the cake I don't get to eat very often that I look forward to the most. (Side note, did you know that on your birthday, cake doesn't have any calories? That's a fact! )

So I was thinking about cake when I sat down to add more idioms to the site. So here are a few idioms that have something to do with cake. Enjoy!

Have your cake and eat it
To say that someone wants to have their cake and eat it means that they want the advantages of two alternative situations when only one is possible.
"Satoshi enjoys his comfort but is always complaining about the cost of things. He can't have his cake and eat it." So in this example, either Satoshi lives in comfort, thus will have to pay for such luxuries like a nice apartment or home, or he saves his money and lives like a monk.
This idiom is one of the most misunderstood and misused in the English language. People don't always understand that the basic idea is impossible. Having your cake (holding it let's say in your hands) and eating your cake are two different things You CAN'T have it both ways. That's the point of the idiom. But nonetheless, I see people misuse this idiom all the time.

Piece of cake
To refer to something as a piece of cake means that you consider it to be very easy, not at all difficult.
"The driver's test was a piece of cake!" 
You will sometimes hear "Easy as pie" which is a similar idiom, but today we are taking about cake. I do love pie though. Where some people get mixed up, they will say "piece of pie" or "easy as cake." Watch out for that!

Sell like hot cakes
Things that sell like hot cakes sell quickly or in large quantities.
"She's a very successful phone saleswoman. Her phones always sell like hot cakes."
Now, hotcakes are not real cakes, they are pancakes. Pancakes are fantastic and I might love them more than actual cakes, but don't be confused. In Japan, pancakes are a dessert, but in the U.S. they are a breakfast food.

Labels: ,