15 English idioms you can use when studying English
Impress your friends and teachers with these idioms
15 idioms you can use when studying English
There are many English idioms that you might not be familiar with. An idiom is a phrase or an expression that has a particular meaning that differs from the meaning of the individual words, e.g. if someone said “you’ve bitten off more than you can chew”- they are saying that you have tried to do something that is too difficult for you.
Practice these idioms when you are learning English or impress your friends and your teachers by explaining what they mean:
- Better late than never
This expression means that it is better to arrive late than not at all. However, we don’t advise you turn up late for your English lessons and say this phrase to the teacher!
- Break a leg
You could say ‘break a leg’ to someone before they are about to do their IELTS exam, this idiom means ‘good luck’.
- Give someone the benefit of the doubt
You might use this phrase if somebody in the class says something that you don’t fully believe; giving someone the benefit of the doubt means to trust what they are telling you – even if you don’t think that it is true.
- Back to the drawing board
This idiom means to start over. For instance, if you don’t pass your English test, you might say that you are going back to the drawing board – meaning you are going to try some more lessons and try to pass the test again.
- Get your act together
If your teacher tells you to ‘get your act together’ he/she thinks you need to work harder.
- Hang in there
Your friend may be struggling with their English lessons, by which you could respond with ‘hang in there’, which means keep trying and don’t give up with it.
- Hit the sack/hay
After a long day of studying in our English Centre, you might find yourself tired and sleepy, in which case, you could use this idiom because it means that you are going to bed.
- No pain, no gain
This expression means that if you want something badly enough, you have to be willing to work at it.
- On the ball
If you are sat in class and don’t understand what the teacher is saying because you are tired, you could say you aren’t ‘on the ball’, which means that you aren't paying attention to the class and are struggling to keep up with and understand the conversation.
- So far so good
This idiom means that things are going well so far, for instance you might use this phrase a week into your studies at our school.
- Wrap your head around something
If you hear someone say, “Can you wrap your head around this?” They would be asking if you understand something that may be complicated.
- Your guess is as good as mine
If you and your friend are lost in the city and they ask you which way you think is the right way, you could say “your guess is as good as mine”, which means that you don’t know, the same way your friend doesn’t know.
- Call it a day
Your teacher might say at the end of the English lesson, “Let’s call it a day”, which means your teacher is saying to stop working and finish the lesson.
- Bite the bullet
If you have an exam, you might say you want to bite the bullet, which means you want to get it over with.
- Hit the nail on the head
You might say to someone “you’ve hit the nail on the head” if they pronounce a word right. Hitting the nail on the head means that someone is saying or doing something that is exactly right.