Light is what we see by, and a light is what gives off light.
Light is also an adjective describing a shade of a color, light blue for example.
Light also has another word meaning; not heavy, easy pick up and carry. Both meanings are used quite often in idiomatic English.
If you change a strongly held opinion about something important, or have a religious experience that convinces you to change your life, you might say, „I saw the light!“
One of the pleasures of being a teacher is when a student finally understands something after a great effort. It’s a pleasure to see their eyes light up. As a teacher, you quickly learn to tell who is a bright (intelligent) student. You can tell if the lights are on just by looking at them sometimes. But with some students you just have to say, „The lights are on, but nobody’s home.“
Does that explain a few things? The purpose of this book is to shed some light on the subject of English idioms.
Light also means that something or someone doesn’t weigh much. A lightweight, for instance is a weight class in boxing. However if you don’t think much of a person’s intellectual abilities or competence you might refer to him as a lightweight.
If someone is criticizing someone more than is necessary or justified, or is simply working too hard, you can tell him, „Hey, lighten up.“
Did you remember to have lunch today? If you don’t eat well, or you have a few drinks on an empty stomach you may not get drunk but you will probably feel a bit light headed. Great joy can also make you feel this way.
It can be fun to feel light headed and a dancer or boxer should be light on his feet, but you shouldn’t have light fingers. A light fingered gentleman is a thief.
Ok, did you understand all that? If so, you get the green light to go ahead.
by Stephen Browne