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Figurative Expressions: as ___ as a(n) ___ (#6), by Dennis Oliver


The very common fixed figurative expression as ___
___ as a(n) ___ is often used in informal conversation.
Here are two more examples that were not given earlier:

as _____ as a(n) _____ (#6)

as neat as a pin: very neat; very clean and orderly

Lupe must spend a lot of time cleaning
her house. It's always as neat as a pin.

as sharp as a tack: very clever; very intelligent
(used for people). (Note: Sharp, here, means
"quick to understand.")

A:   Sandra's son seems very bright.
B:   Oh, he is. In fact, he's as sharp as a tack!
He gets nothing but A's in school.


a general expression with
as _____ as a(n) _____

In addition to specific, fixed expressions with as ___
as a(n) _____ , there is also a general expression used
with many different adjectives:

as _____ as _____ can be

This expression means "very (adjective)," "unusually
(adjective)," or "totally (adjective)" and is generally
used to describe people. The adjectives show opinions
or judgments of value:

That baby is unusually cute. /
That baby is as cute as cute can be.

Mr. Smith is quite nice. /
Mr. Smith is as nice as nice can be.

She was extremely rude. /
She was as rude as rude can be.

He's unusually patient. /
He's as patient as patient can be.

Kenny is unusually honest. /
Kenny is as honest as honest can be.

Susie's children are exceptionally polite.
Susie's children are as polite as
polite can be.

These strawberries are unusually sweet. /
These strawberries are as sweet as
sweet can be.

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