Tuesday, September 10, 2019



These English idioms are extremely common in everyday conversation in the United States. You will hear them in movies and TV shows and can use them to make your English sound more like that of a native speaker. 

A blessing in disguisea good thing that seemed bad at firstas part of a sentenceA dime a dozenSomething commonas part of a sentenceBeat around the bushAvoid saying what you mean, usually because it is uncomfortableas part of a sentenceBetter late than neverBetter to arrive late than not to come at allby itselfBite the bulletTo get something over with because it is inevitableas part of a sentenceBreak a legGood luckby itselfCall it a dayStop working on somethingas part of a sentenceCut somebody some slackDon't be so criticalas part of a sentenceCutting cornersDoing something poorly in order to save time or moneyas part of a sentenceEasy does itSlow downby itselfGet out of handGet out of controlas part of a sentenceGet something out of your systemDo the thing you've been wanting to do so you can move onas part of a sentenceGet your act togetherWork better or leaveby itselfGive someone the benefit of the doubtTrust what someone saysas part of a sentenceGo back to the drawing boardStart overas part of a sentenceHang in thereDon't give upby itselfHit the sackGo to sleepas part of a sentenceIt's not rocket scienceIt's not complicatedby itselfLet someone off the hookTo not hold someone responsible for somethingas part of a sentenceMake a long story shortTell something brieflyas part of a sentenceMiss the boatIt's too lateas part of a sentenceNo pain, no gainYou have to work for what you wantby itselfOn the ballDoing a good jobas part of a sentencePull someone's legTo joke with someoneas part of a sentencePull yourself togetherCalm downby itselfSo far so goodThings are going well so farby itselfSpeak of the devilThe person we were just talking about showed up!by itselfThat's the last strawMy patience has run outby itselfThe best of both worldsAn ideal situationas part of a sentenceTime flies when you're having funYou don't notice how long something lasts when it's funby itselfTo get bent out of shapeTo get upsetas part of a sentenceTo make matters worseMake a problem worseas part of a sentenceUnder the weatherSickas part of a sentenceWe'll cross that bridge when we come to itLet's not talk about that problem right nowby itselfWrap your head around somethingUnderstand something complicatedas part of a sentenceYou can say that againThat's true, I agreeby itselfYour guess is as good as mineI have no ideaby itself


These English idioms are used quite regularly in the United States. You may not hear them every day, but they will be very familiar to any native English speaker. You can be confident using any of them when the context is appropriate.

IdiomMeaningUsageA bird in the hand is worth two in the bushWhat you have is worth more than what you might have laterby itselfA penny for your thoughtsTell me what you're thinkingby itselfA penny saved is a penny earnedMoney you save today you can spend laterby itselfA perfect stormthe worst possible situationas part of a sentenceA picture is worth 1000 wordsBetter to show than tellby itselfActions speak louder than wordsBelieve what people do and not what they sayby itselfAdd insult to injuryTo make a bad situation worseas part of a sentenceBarking up the wrong treeTo be mistaken, to be looking for solutions in the wrong placeas part of a sentenceBirds of a feather flock togetherPeople who are alike are often friends (usually used negatively)by itselfBite off more than you can chewTake on a project that you cannot finishas part of a sentenceBreak the iceMake people feel more comfortableas part of a sentenceBy the skin of your teethJust barelyas part of a sentenceComparing apples to orangesComparing two things that cannot be comparedas part of a sentenceCosts an arm and a legVery expensiveas part of a sentenceDo something at the drop of a hatDo something without having planned beforehandas part of a sentenceDo unto others as you would have them do unto youTreat people fairly. Also known as "The Golden Rule"by itselfDon't count your chickens before they hatchDon't count on something good happening until it's happened.by itselfDon't cry over spilt milkThere's no reason to complain about something that can't be fixedby itselfDon't give up your day jobYou're not very good at thisby itselfDon't put all your eggs in one basketWhat you're doing is too riskyby itselfEvery cloud has a silver liningGood things come after bad thingsby itselfGet a taste of your own medicineGet treated the way you've been treating others (negative)as part of a sentenceGive someone the cold shoulderIgnore someoneas part of a sentenceGo on a wild goose chaseTo do something pointlessas part of a sentenceGood things come to those who waitBe patientby itselfHe has bigger fish to fryHe has bigger things to take care of than what we are talking about nowby itselfHe's a chip off the old blockThe son is like the fatherby itselfHit the nail on the headGet something exactly rightby itselfIgnorance is blissYou're better off not knowingby itselfIt ain't over till the fat lady singsThis isn't over yetby itselfIt takes one to know oneYou're just as bad as I amby itselfIt's a piece of cakeIt's easyby itselfIt's raining cats and dogsIt's raining hardby itselfKill two birds with one stoneGet two things done with a single actionby itselfLet the cat out of the bagGive away a secretas part of a sentenceLive and learnI made a mistakeby itselfLook before you leapTake only calculated risksby itselfOn thin iceOn probation. If you make another mistake, there will be trouble.as part of a sentenceOnce in a blue moonRarelyas part of a sentencePlay devil's advocateTo argue the opposite, just for the sake of argumentas part of a sentencePut something on icePut a projet on holdas part of a sentenceRain on someone's paradeTo spoil somethingas part of a sentenceSaving for a rainy daySaving money for lateras part of a sentenceSlow and steady wins the raceReliability is more important than speedby itselfSpill the beansGive away a secretas part of a sentenceTake a rain checkPostpone a planas part of a sentenceTake it with a grain of saltDon’t take it too seriouslyas part of a sentenceThe ball is in your courtIt's your decisionby itselfThe best thing since sliced breadA really good inventionas part of a sentenceThe devil is in the detailsIt looks good from a distance, but when you look closer, there are problemsby itselfThe early bird gets the wormThe first people who arrive will get the best stuffby itselfThe elephant in the roomThe big issue, the problem people are avoidingas part of a sentenceThe whole nine yardsEverything, all the way.as part of a sentenceThere are other fish in the seaIt's ok to miss this opportunity. Others will arise.by itselfThere's a method to his madnessHe seems crazy but actually he's cleverby itselfThere's no such thing as a free lunchNothing is entirely freeby itselfThrow caution to the windTake a riskas part of a sentenceYou can't have your cake and eat it tooYou can't have everythingby itselfYou can't judge a book by its coverThis person or thing may look bad, but it's good insideby itself


These English idioms and proverbs are familiar and easily understood by native English speakers, but they are not usually used in everyday conversation. If you haven't mastered the more frequent idioms yet, they are a better place to start, but if you're already familiar with those expressions, the idioms below will further spice up your English.

IdiomMeaningUsageA little learning is a dangerous thingPeople who don't understand something fully are dangerousby itselfA snowball effectEvents have momentum and build upon each otheras part of a sentenceA snowball's chance in hellNo chance at allas part of a sentenceA stitch in time saves nineFix the problem now because it will get worse laterby itselfA storm in a teacupA big fuss about a small problemas part of a sentenceAn apple a day keeps the doctor awayApples are good for youby itselfAn ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cureYou can prevent a problem with little effort. Fixing it later is harder.by itselfAs right as rainPerfectas part of a sentenceBolt from the blueSomething that happened without warningas part of a sentenceBurn bridgesDestroy relationshipsas part of a sentenceCalm before the stormSomething bad is coming, but right now it's calmas part of a sentenceCome rain or shineNo matter whatas part of a sentenceCuriosity killed the catStop asking questionsby itselfCut the mustardDo a good jobas part of a sentenceDon't beat a dead horseMove on, this subject is overby itselfEvery dog has his dayEveryone gets a chance at least onceby itselfFamiliarity breeds contemptThe better you know someone the less you like himby itselfFit as a fiddleIn good healthas part of a sentenceFortune favours the boldTake risksby itselfGet a second windHave more energy after having been tiredas part of a sentenceGet wind of somethingHear news of something secretas part of a sentenceGo down in flamesFail spectacularlyas part of a sentenceHaste makes wasteYou'll make mistakes if you rush through somethingby itselfHave your head in the cloudsNot be concentratingas part of a sentenceHe who laughs last laughs loudestI'll get you back for what you didby itselfHear something straight from the horse's mouthHear something from the person involvedas part of a sentenceHe's not playing with a full deckHe's dumbby itselfHe's off his rockerHe's crazyby itselfHe's sitting on the fenceHe can't make up his mindby itselfIt is a poor workman who blames his toolsIf you can't do the job, don't blame it on othersby itselfIt is always darkest before the dawnThings are going to get betterby itselfIt takes two to tangoOne person alone isn't responsible. Both people are involved.by itselfJump on the bandwagonFollow a trend, do what everyone else is doingas part of a sentenceKnow which way the wind is blowingUnderstand the situation (usually negative)as part of a sentenceLeave no stone unturnedLook everywhereas part of a sentenceLet sleeping dogs lieStop discussing an issueas part of a sentenceLike riding a bicycleSomething you never forget how to doas part of a sentenceLike two peas in a podThey're always togetheras part of a sentenceMake hay while the sun shinesTake advantage of a good situationas part of a sentenceOn cloud nineVery happyas part of a sentenceOnce bitten, twice shyYou're more cautious when you've been hurt beforeby itselfOut of the frying pan and into the fireThings are going from bad to worseby itselfRun like the windRun fastas part of a sentenceShape up or ship outWork better or leaveby itselfSnowed underBusyas part of a sentenceThat ship has sailedIt's too lateby itselfThe pot calling the kettle blackSomeone criticizing someone else he is just as badas part of a sentenceThere are clouds on the horizonTrouble is comingby itselfThose who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stonesPeople who are morally questionable shouldn't criticize othersby itselfThrough thick and thinIn good times and in bad timesas part of a sentenceTime is moneyWork quicklyby itselfWaste not, want notDon't waste things and you'll always have enoughby itselfWe see eye to eyeWe agreeby itselfWeather the stormGo through something difficultas part of a sentenceWell begun is half doneGetting a good start is importantby itselfWhen it rains it poursEverything is going wrong at onceby itselfYou can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegarYou'll get what you want by being niceby itselfYou can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drinkYou can't force someone to make the right decisionby itselfYou can't make an omelet without breaking some eggsThere's always a cost to doing something

No comments:

Post a Comment

Today's Question

Arrange the following words of Chomsky in chronological order in which they appeared: (i) Current issues in Linguistic Theory (ii) Syntactic...