in the middle of
The scarecrow is in the middle of the field.
He was standing in the middle of the street.
She turned off the TV in the middle of the show.
A: What were you doing when I called you?
B: I was in the middle of studying for tomorrow's big test.
He tried in vain to get more food from the table.
The trip was cancelled. He had packed in vain.
She washed her car in vain. It rained that afternoon.
A: This is an important game. We have to win it.
B: I know. If we don't win, our three months of practicing will have been in vain.
He chose the hamburger instead of the pizza.
She went to New York instead of Paris.
They met on Sunday instead of Saturday.
A: Let's go on a picnic instead of watching a movie.
B: Okay. It's a nice day to be outdoors.
just in time
The policeman caught the thief just in time.
You are just in time for dinner.
She got to the airport just in time to catch her plane.
A: Wow! It's raining hard. We came in the house just in time.
B: I know! If we would have stayed outside one more minute, we would be very wet right now.
keep away (from)
There are some areas that swimmers should keep away from.
Keep away from that old house!
The shy boy kept away from the other children.
A: Why did mom tell us to keep away from that dog?
B: Because that dog is dangerous! It bit three kids last summer.