English Idioms and Expressions
There are special idioms and expressions in each language. While learning English, it is helpful to learn common idioms that can be used during our conversations. Idioms are a group of words that do not express their literal meanings but they convey a message within themselves.
They are mostly used in everyday conversations and sometimes they might look difficult to grasp the meaning but you can learn the most popular ones to feel more confident while talking to someone or watching a TV show. You can find some of them here:
- ‘To feel under the weather’ – this means one feels sad and depressed and is not in a good mood.
I have an awful headache and I feel under the weather.
- ‘The best of both worlds’ – to be in a situation that you can have two opportunities simultaneously.
By working online, I have the best of both worlds, I can spend more time with my family and have my job.
- ‘See eye to eye’ – use this idiom to say that you agree with someone or your opinion is the same.
We have a great relationship because we always see eye to eye with each other.
- ‘To add insult to injury’ – means to do or say something that makes a bad situation worse and more terrible.
Suffering from inflation, an increase in taxes will add insult to injury.
- ‘Once in a blue moon’ – this expression refers to an event that happens rarely not regularly and always.
They travel once in a blue moon.
- ‘Speak of the devil’ – this is used when you talk about someone and that person appears at that moment.
Hi Rebecca, speak of the devil, we were just talking about your new job.
- ‘A piece of cake’ – use it when you want to say something is really easy.
Learning a new language is a piece of cake.
- ‘Let the cat out of the bag’ – it means to unintentionally say something which was supposed to be a secret.
We want to surprise Keven. Be careful! Don’t let the cat out of the bag!
- ‘The elephant in the room’ – imagine an elephant in a room. It is big enough to be recognized. So use this idiom to refer to a problem which so too big and serious but no one mentions that.
Her toothache was the elephant in the room but her parents did not care about it.
- ‘To kill two birds with one stone’ – it is not easy to throw a stone and be able to kill two birds; so use this expression when you were able to solve two problems at once.
Killing two birds with one stone, I can both pay the bills and shop online.
- ‘Call it a day’ – this means to stop working on something or studying.
It was too late so we decided to call it a day and continue tomorrow.
- ‘To cut corners’ – it means to do something imperfectly or cheaply.
When time is short, the teacher cuts the corners and does not check the exercises.
- ‘To cost an arm and a leg’ – use it about things that are too expensive that you should pay a lot of money.
My new leather jacket cost an arm and a leg.
- ‘No pain no gain’ -this means if you want to be successful you should work and try hard.
Do you like to be the top student in the class? No pain no gain, you have to study more.
- ‘When pigs fly’ – As pigs can never fly, we can use this idiom to say that something will never be done.
When pigs fly you’ll exercise.
- ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’ – this means your ideas or judgments about someone should not only be based on their appearance; as you can never learn about the content of a book by what you see on its cover.
You haven’t talked to him yet, don’t judge a book by its cover.
- ‘Break a leg’ – you can use it instead of good luck to wish someone success.
Break a leg Kate, you can do it.
- ‘To hit the nail on the head’ – express real causes of a problem.
They hit the nail on the head when they said his delays dissatisfy the customers.
- ‘A blessing in disguise’– use it to describe terrible situations when finally leads to something good
She was too depressed when the company fired her for an unfair reason but it was a blessing in disguise because she could start her own business.
- ‘Giving someone the cold shoulder’ – to ignore or not to pay attention to someone.
Her mom gave him the cold shoulder because he had broken her favorite vase.