Yesterday I posted a story about my students' writing this sentence:
"Stop eating your granny."
It was not their fault. The list is more to blame than the students.
That idiom should be eat away at somebody, not eating somebody
It means the thing that has been bothering someone is a constant worry to them. (So even if you got the idiom right, the definition provided to my students is misleading as it doesn't contain enough information about the type of 'bothering' or 'worrying' which applies.)
I couldn't get my mistake out of my mind. It was eating away at me so much I couldn't even sleep.
The fact that he failed the test was eating away at him.
What her teacher said was really eating away at her.
Extra care is needed with it, as the same idiom also means 'to destroy, erode or break down gradually':
The sea has been eating away at the cliff-face for years.
The bank fees eat away at my balance every month.
So the original sentence on the test - At last stop bothering your granny. -was wrong and should be removed altogether.
I am not planning to reduce my students' scores because of this sentence.
Moreover, I will say sorry when we meet face to face tomorrow.
What do you think about the sentence? Is it OK to say - Stop driving your granny up a wall?
Thank you for your help.
Last edited by vectra; 16-Jan-2011 at 13:38. Reason: typo
The phrase is 'stop driving your granny up the wall, vectra.