Share With Friends:

Hi Guys, learn something new that could help you get some edge when holding discussions. These idioms are some of the most popular ones used in English language. First three person to get all the answers correctly after reading this gets Airtime rewards of 1,500 each from TA.

1. ‘The best of both worlds’ – means you can enjoy two different opportunities at the same time.
“By working part-time and looking after her kids two days a week she managed to get the best of both worlds.”

2. ‘Speak of the devil’ – this means that the person you’re just talking about actually appears at that moment.
“Hi Tom, speak of the devil, I was just telling Sara about your new car.”

3. ‘See eye to eye’ – this means agreeing with someone.
“They finally saw eye to eye on the business deal.”

4. ‘Once in a blue moon’ – an event that happens infrequently.
“I only go to the cinema once in a blue moon.”

5. ‘When pigs fly’ – something that will never happen.
“When pigs fly she’ll tidy up her room.”

Start your English Learning Online with EF English Live. Sign up today and get a free 14-day trial! Whatever your goals, our online English course guarantees your success.

when pigs fly

6. ‘To cost an arm and a leg’– something is very expensive.
“Fuel these days costs and arm and a leg.”

7. ‘A piece of cake’– something is very easy.
“The English test was a piece of cake.”

8. ‘Let the cat out of the bag’ – to accidentally reveal a secret.
“I let the cat out of the bag about their wedding plans.”

9. ‘To feel under the weather’ – to not feel well.
“I’m really feeling under the weather today; I have a terrible cold.”

10. ‘To kill two birds with one stone’ – to solve two problems at once.
“By taking my dad on holiday, I killed two birds with one stone. I got to go away but also spend time with him.”

Are you ready to test your English level? Take a 10min free EF English Live test and identify the skills you need to improve

11. ‘To cut corners’ – to do something badly or cheaply.
“They really cut corners when they built this bathroom; the shower is leaking.”

12. ‘To add insult to injury’ – to make a situation worse.
“To add insult to injury the car drove off without stopping after knocking me off my bike.”

13. ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’ – to not judge someone or something based solely on appearance.
“I thought this no-brand bread would be horrible; turns out you can’t judge a book by its cover.”

14. ‘Break a leg’ – means ‘good luck’ (often said to actors before they go on stage).
“Break a leg Sam, I’m sure your performance will be great.”

15. ‘To hit the nail on the head’ – to describe exactly what is causing a situation or problem.
“He hit the nail on the head when he said this company needs more HR support.”

online english exercises

To test your new-found knowledge here are some sentences to practice with. Fill in the blank!

A) I can’t afford this purse! It _______. I won’t be able to pay my rent!
B) His birthday was supposed to be a surprise! I can’t believe you _____. Now he knows!
C) Ha! John has been promising to paint the house for five years…. Maybe when _______.
D) Yeah, it’ll _______. I need to sign some papers at Jenny’s school anyway so i’ll pick her up for you too.
E) I don’t really like going out to bars anymore. I only go _______.
F) I’m sorry I can’t come into work today. I’m ________. I have a sore throat and runny nose.
G) They tried ________ when installing the pipes for the house and now we have leaks only one month after purchasing it!
H) We missed our flight to Paris because the connecting flight was late and to ______ they made us pay for a new ticket as if it was our fault!
I) I can’t wait to see you perform on stage tonight! ______!
J) Jane is just never on time to work, it’s really annoying. O wow, ______ here she comes…
K) So we’re going to London, then Munich, then we will fly out of Athens, right? Great. I’m so glad to be traveling with someone I _______ with.
L) Wow, she found her dream man and has now landed an amazing job. She really does have ______.
M) OK, she might not be the most attractive but _________. I’m sure she is a sweetheart.
N) I have been trying to figure this out for ages. Thanks so much, you’re right. You _______.
O) I can’t believe that was our test. I think it was easier than some of our homework! It was a ______.

So how did you do? Don’t forget to try and use these idioms and phrases when practicing your English. And do let us know if you need further clarification on commonly used idioms by leaving a comment below.

Source: Will


1. Acid Test:

Meaning – Acid test proves the effectiveness of something.

Example – I practiced hard at the dance sessions but the acid test will come when the master will assess our solo performances.

2. Cut the ground from under feet :

Meaning – When you cut the ground from under someone’s feet, you do something which weakens their position.

Example – When team India hit more than 350 runs in the ODI, they cut the ground from under the opponent’s feet.

3. Chase your tail:

Meaning – Spending a lot of time and energy doing a lot of things but actually achieving too little.

Example – He’s been chasing his tail all week collecting data but the report is still not ready

4. Whole bag of tricks –

Meaning – Means trying all the clever means to achieve something.

Example – It was really difficult to find the information even after applying the whole bag of tricks.

5. Deliver the goods –

Meaning – Do what is expected or promised.

Example – I have given my car to a new mechanic for repair, hope he delivers the goods.

6. Fine-tooth comb –

Meaning – Examining something carefully to not miss out any details.

Example – The boss examined my report with a fine tooth comb before submitting it to the senior management.

7. Explore all avenues

Meaning – Trying out every possibility to get a result.

Example – It is a difficult thing to do but if we really want it done, we must explore all avenues.

8. Fast track something –

Meaning – Rating something higher on your priority list to achieve the desired result.

Example – In view of the seriousness of the crime, the civil society is pressing up on a fast track decision from the court.

9 . Get ducks in a row –

Meaning – Getting your things well organized.

Example – To ensure a successful product launch, we must get our ducks in a row.

10. Get the show on the road –

Meaning – Putting up a plan or idea into action.

Example – Now that we have compeleted all the legal formalities, let’s get the show on the road.

11. Keep your fingers on the pulse –

Meaning – Being constantly aware of the most recent developments.

Example – An entrepreneur must keep his fingers on the pulse of the market to be successful.

12. Mean business –

Meaning – Being serious about what you announce.

Example – Now that all our policies about work are put up on intranet, we mean business.

13. Think on your feet –

Meaning – Adjusting quickly to changes and making fast decisions.

Example – A good sales man must be able to think on his feet to close the deal.

14. Sail through something –

Meaning – Being successful in doing something without difficulty.

Example – The presentation at the national conference was extremely important for the company. We sailed through it.

15. Tricks of the trade :

Meaning – Clever or expert way of doing something.

Example – Being into the construction business for last 10 years, I know all tricks of the trade.

16. Not let grass grow under feet –

Meaning – Don’t delay in getting something done.

Example – As soon as he finished all the registration formalities, he put the house on sale. He doesn’t let the grass grow under his feet.

17. Work like a charm –

Meaning – Works very well or has the desired effect.

Example – I had cloves from my sore throat and they worked like a charm.

18. Back-room boys –

Meaning – People who perform important work but have no contact with the public.

Example – Our back room boys deserve an applause for the success of this advertisement.

19. Dead wood –

Meaning – People or things which are no longer useful or necessary.

Example – The company bought in a lot of new computers. They no longer want the dead woods.

20. Get the axe –

Meaning – lose the job.

Example – The projects team was undergoing a major restructuring, recruitment executives were the first to get the axe.

21. Plum job –

Meaning – Desirable position which is well-paid and considered relatively easy .

Example – This looks like a plum job but it has its own bunch of complications.

22. Shape up or ship out –

Meaning – This expression is used to warn someone that if they do not improvetheir ways, they will have to leave their job.

Example – When Tom started neglecting the customers, he was told to shape up or ship out.

23. Golden handshake –

Meaning – Big sum of money given to a person when they leave a company or retire.

Example – The management of various PSUs wanted to cut down on the man power. They offered a golden hand shake to many of their aged employees.

24. Separate sheep from goats –

Meaning – Examining a group of people and deciding their suitability

Example – Audition test was conducted by the director to separate sheep from goats.

25. Waiting in the wings –

Meaning – Waiting for an opportunity to take action, mostly to replace someone else in their job.

Example – The senior manager is going to retire in next 2 months. Two of his juniors who are waiting in the wings will have a fierce competition.

Share With Friends: