15 English idioms everyone should know

NellieBurges 2021-05-19 10:32:00
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Native English speakers love to slip them into conversations, and you'll come across them often in books, TV series, and movies. To perfect your English, you need to use idioms with confidence and know the difference between "breaking a leg" and "pulling someone's leg."


1. Under the weather
What does it mean? To feel sick or unwell.

How is it used? We, English love, talk about the weather and do it very often, but don't let this common phrase fool you. If someone tells you they are feeling under the weather, your response should be, "I hope you get better," not "Do you want me to leave you my umbrella."

2. The ball is in your court
What does this mean? It's up to you

How do you use it? Now it's your turn to make a move, but this idiom refers more to life than to a sport. If you've got the ball, the decision is yours, and someone is waiting for you to make up your mind.

3. Break a leg
It means to wish someone luck.

How is it used? This idiom is not at all threatening. Often accompanied by a thumbs-up gesture, "Break a leg!" is a way of cheering someone up by wishing them luck. The expression has to do with the bows that theater actors take at the end of the play. If the performance is a success, they will have to bow so much that they might break a leg.

5. Pull someone's leg
It means to make a bad joke.

How is it used? All fans should learn this phrase of practical jokes. "Pull their leg" is similar to "wind someone up." In context: "Relax, I'm just pulling your leg!" or "Wait, are you pulling my leg?".

6. Through thick and thin
It means to be loyal in all circumstances.

How is it used? Often used to refer to family or a partner, "through thick and thin" means that you will support the other person no matter what, in good times and bad.

7. Once in a blue moon
It means rarely

How is it used? This charming phrase is used to describe something that doesn't happen often. Example: "I remember to call my parents from my study abroad trip once in a blue moon." More examples of using idioms at the text you can find here: https://www.wowessays.com/

8. It's the best thing since sliced bread
It means it's very, very good.

How is it used? Sliced bread must have been a revolution in England because since then, it has been used as the definitive reference for all things fabulous. We love it as much as we love tea.

9. Take it with a pinch of salt
It means don't take it too seriously.

How to use: "I heard that elephants can fly now, but Sam often makes up stories, so I take everything he says with a pinch of salt".

10. Go down in flames
It means to fail miserably.

How is it used? This phrase is quite obvious: "That exam went down in flames. I should have learned my English idioms."

11. You can say that again
It means that's true.

How is it used? It is usually exclaimed to say that you agree with something. When a friend says, "Ryan Reynolds is gorgeous!", you can reply, "You can say that again!".

12. Jump on the bandwagon
It means to follow a fashion.

How is it used? When someone starts doing something because it is fashionable or does it just because it looks good. An example related to brunch: "She doesn't even like avocado on toast. She's just jumping on the bandwagon".

13. Hit the sack
It means to go to bed.

How to use it? This idiom is straightforward to learn. I'm exhausted, and it's time for me to hit the sack!".

14. Miss the boat
It means it's too late.

How do you use it? Use it when you miss an opportunity or a deadline. "I forgot to apply for that study abroad program; now I've missed the boat".

15. By the skin of your teeth
What does it mean? Hardly

How do you use it: "Phew, I passed that exam by the skin of my teeth! I hope you pass your exams, but if you only give them by the skin of your teeth, you can use this expression.

The above downloadable worksheet is intended for at Pre-intermediate (A2) and Intermediate (B1) level. It is great for consolidating Verb phrase in English, and can be used for strengthening your class' Speaking skills. It focuses on the topic and words of Idioms.
Copyright License: This file is licensed by NellieBurges under the Creative Commons Attribution License

Upload date: 2021-05-19 10:32:00

Author: NellieBurges

from United States

NellieBurges is from/lives in United States and has been a member of iSLCollective since 2021-05-19 10:16:33. NellieBurges last logged in on 2021-05-19 10:16:33, and has shared 1 resources on iSLCollective so far.

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