Free English Lesson: Five Idioms in English that everyone should know

Are you preparing to crack the IELTS? Are you interested in learning advanced English idioms? Then this is the article you are looking for. Keep reading to find out more about idioms.


Learning the English language is not complete without the topic idioms. Idioms are described as phrases or group of words that gives a specific idea that is different from its direct literal meaning. Wikipedia quotes that "An idiom is a phrase or expression that typically presents a figurative, non-literal meaning attached to the phrase". "It's a piece of cake" is an example of an idiom. It is a figurative way of communication in which it means that "it's easy". Likewise, idioms give out non-literal meanings to the words. Another example of an idiom is "kill two birds with one stone" and it doesn't have anything to do with birds or stones but it means "completion of two tasks with one action". Idioms are highly metaphorical modes of communication. Idioms are widespread in all languages; there are approximately twenty-five million idiomatic constructs in English alone. Using idioms correctly will empower one's communication skills.

Five Idioms in English that everyone should know

The ball is in your court: This idiom means that "it's up to you". It indicates that it is your turn now. It doesn't have anything to do with sports but it points to life. If you have the ball the decision is yours. And somebody is waiting for you to act or decide.

Spill the beans: This idiom indicates "to reveal the secret". In this phrase, beans refer to secrets. There are no spilling beans but giving away secrets. This idiom is similar to 'let the cat out of the bag'.

Break a leg: Even if it looks like a threatening one, it doesn't mean any harm at all. Break a leg means wishing someone luck. Its meaning is the opposite of what it says. It is the idiom with encouragement. The phrase "break a leg" is commonly used in the theatre to wish performers success while they perform onstage.

Through thick and thin: This idiom indicates "to be loyal to the end". Ron stood by me through thick and thin means that the person named Ron was loyal to the end. This idiom usually uses to describe family members or best friends and says that they will be with us in difficult times and they won't ever betray us.

Once in a blue moon: This idiom means "rarely". Once in a blue moon I smoke means that I smoke very rarely and that is not a habit. This phrase looks very fancy and it is used to describe something which doesn't happen often.

More idioms to learn

Mastering the English language is one path to success in today's world, which is more competitive than ever. Confidently handling the language will make a huge difference when attending interviews. In a day-to-day speech, using idioms will make communication more attractive and which will boost the strength of the sentences.

Learn more idioms. Happy learning!


Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao10 Nov 2022 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 2

I feel idioms will bring beauty to the language. There are many idioms even in Telugu also. Each word in the idiom will have a different meaning but collectively an idiom gives a different meaning altogether. I am of the opinion that we should use idioms regularly in our writings. That may attract the reader. I agree with the author that everyone should know them.

We say sometimes that 'the choice is yours'. It will convey the same meaning as the idiom 'the ball is now in your court'. In the same way, there are multiple idioms which may convey the same meaning.

Author: Venkiteswaran05 Dec 2022 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 5

It is nice to read this short but, relevant article suited to this website.

I am one who has a penchant for idioms, proverbs and good quotes. These somehow get in my posts, seven being repeated at various posts. To be frank, I use all the above idioms in my writing or speeches except for the one "Break a leg".
This I have learned from this article. I thank the author for that.

In my childhood I used to hear the threat by my mother 'to break a leg' when I used to run away from her to avoid her beating me, and she even used to throw anything she gets at aiming at my leg. So till now 'break a leg' meant only that to me. Now I know that it is also an idiom in English language mostly "used in the context of theater or other performing arts to wish a performer good luck. "

Probably Indians felt it is better to 'break a coconut' to bring good luck and auspiciousness in something and someone rather than 'breaking a leg" even verbally. That is why they even today break a coconut at the start of every auspicious function and even at temples.

Anyway a brief, useful and compact article. Appreciation to the author.

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