10 English Idioms That You Should Know

An “Idiom” is a group of words with a meaning that’s different from its literal meaning. You’ll often find them in books, TV shows and movies because they add “color” to the conversation. They are a great way to add “color” to your own conversations when you speak English. Here are some popular idioms for you to learn:

1. Under the weather

Meaning:
to not feel well

How do you use it?
If someone says they’re feeling “under the weather”, don’t give them an umbrella! Instead, tell them to feel better soon.

Example: “I am feeling under the weather today. I might be getting a cold.

2. Break a leg

Meaning:
to wish someone good luck

How do you use it?
Used before a performance to wish someone “good luck” on stage. If you have a friend who will be performing onstage, next time, tell them to ‘break a leg’!

Example: “Your first stage performance is scheduled tomorrow. Break a leg!

3. Once in a blue moon

Meaning:
rarely or not often

How do you use it?
A blue moon is an actual but rare event, and it happens only every 2 to 3 years. When someone says that something happens “once in a blue moon,” it means it happens very rarely.

Example: “I work abroad so I get to see my family back home once in a blue moon.

4. Go down in flames
Meaning:
to end spectacularly or to a great degree

How do you use it?
If something ends or fails suddenly, it “goes down in flames.”

Example: “My project went down in flames after we got all our information wrong.

5. Beat around the bush

Meaning:

to avoid saying something important

How do you use it?

When you want to avoid giving a direct answer to a question, you “beat around the bush.” To “beat around the bush” means to avoid a topic or to not speak directly about it.

Example: “Stop beating around the bush and get straight to the point.

6. Hit the sack

Meaning:
to go to bed

How do you use it?
When you’re exhausted or sleepy, it’s time for you to “hit the sack”.

Example: “I need to get up early tomorrow, so I’m going to hit the sack.

7. Miss the boat

Meaning:
It’s too late

How do you use it?
Use this when you let an opportunity pass by or lose the chance to do something. If you miss the chance to get concert tickets to see your favorite artist, you’ve “missed the boat”.

Example: “He didn’t show up in the auditions, so he missed the boat to get a role in the show.

8. By the Skin of Your Teeth

Meaning:
Just barely

How do you use it?
When you narrowly succeed in doing something by the “skin of your teeth”, you achieve it by a very small margin.

Example: “I managed to complete the project on time by the skin of my teeth.

9. Keep an Eye on

Meaning:

To take care of something

How do you use it?

When you’re in a crowded place with children, you “keep an eye on” them to make sure that they don’t get lost.

Example: “Keep an eye on your belongings when you’re in a crowded place.

10. Piece of Cake

Meaning:
very easy

How do you use it?
When something is so easy that you barely have to think about it, then it’s a “piece of cake”. This phrase is used to describe something that is very easy to do.

Example: “The exam was a piece of cake because I studied hard for it.

Learning English idioms will come in handy and impress people when you speak English. To learn more idioms and practice speaking them, check out our website or download the app.

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