Most common English idioms and phrases -

25 Most common English idioms and phrases

Every language has its own idioms and expressions and the English language has many phrases that are useful to learn. Idioms are words or phrases that are not taken literally and usually have a cultural meaning behind them. Most of the English idioms you hear are advice, but they also have some underlying principles and values.

Most common English idioms and phrases

Here are the most common English idioms and phrases that will enrich your English vocabulary and make you sound like a native speaker. Now even more idioms and phrases have been added!

1. The best of both worlds

“You can enjoy two different opportunities at the same time.”

Example: 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

“the person you’re just talking about actually appears at that moment.”

Example: Hi Tom, speak of the devil, I was just telling Sara about your new car.

3. See eye to eye

“agreeing with someone.”

Example: They finally saw eye to eye on the business deal.

4. Once in a blue moon

“an event that happens infrequently.”

Example: I only go to the cinema once in a blue moon.

5. When pigs fly

“something that will never happen.”

Example: When pigs fly she’ll tidy up her room.

6. To cost an arm and a leg

“something is very expensive.”

Example: Fuel these days costs and arm and a leg.

7. A piece of cake

“something is very easy.”

Example: The English test was a piece of cake.

8. Let the cat out of the bag

“to accidentally reveal a secret.”

Example: I let the cat out of the bag about their wedding plans.

9. To feel under the weather

“to not feel well.”

Example: 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.”

Example: By taking my dad on holiday, I killed two birds with one stone. I got to go away but also spend time with him.

Read: Idioms About Knowledge

11. To cut corners

“to do something badly or cheaply.”

Example: They really cut corners when they built this bathroom; the shower is leaking.

12. To add insult to injury

“to make a situation worse.”

Example: 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.”

Example: I thought this no-brand bread would be horrible; turns out you can’t judge a book by its cover.

14. Break a leg

“good luck”

Example: 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.”

Example: He hit the nail on the head when he said this company needs more HR support.

Read: Idioms for IELTS

16. A blessing in disguise

“An misfortune that eventually results in something good happening later on.”

Example: Being omitted from the World Cup squad was a blessing in disguise.

17. Call it a day

“Stop working on something”

Example: After three marriages, many men would have been more than ready to call it a day.

18. Let someone off the hook

“To allow someone, who have been caught, to not be punished.”

Example: He had told a lie to get off the hook in a debate.

19. No pain no gain

“You have to work hard for something you want.”

Example: “No pain, no gain in rugby,” he said referring to his crooked right arm.

20. Bite the bullet

“Decide to do something unpleasant that you have avoiding doing.”

Example: Decisions have to be taken and as director, you have got to bite the bullet.

Read: Idioms About Friendship

21. Getting a taste of your own medicine

“Being treated the same unpleasant way you have treated others.”

Example: The coup gave the dictatorship a dose of its own medicine, subjecting the dictator and his entourage to torture and confinement in deplorable conditions.

22. Giving someone the cold shoulder

“To ignore someone.”

Example: She was sure that at some point she’d given some one the cold shoulder and hurt them badly without noticing.

23. The last straw

“The final source of irritation for someone to finally lose patience.”

Example: His affair was the last straw.

24. The elephant in the room

“A matter or problem that is obvious of great importance but that is not discussed openly.”

Example: They’ve steadfastly ignored the elephant in the room: the ever-growing debt burden on graduates

25. Stealing someones thunder

“Taking credit for someone else achievements.”

Example: My brother is the star athlete of our high school, so no matter what I succeed in, he’s constantly stealing my thunder.

Read: Idioms to use in conversation!

Most common English idioms and phrases -

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