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Common English Idioms

Learning English isnt all its cracked up to be (Learning English is difficult). First, grammar muddies the waters
(makes things unclear), but idiomatic expressions only add fuel to the fire (make things worse).
he common idiomatic expressions may !ust help your English language ac"uisition soar (get much better).
#. 24/7: wenty$four hours a day% se&en days a week% all the time% constantly
'y little sister irritates me ()*+,
(. A short fuse: - "uick temper
.amie is known for his short fuse% !ust a few days ago he screamed at his coach for not letting him play.
/. A taste of your own medicine: 0ad treatment deser&edly recei&ed for treating other people badly
-fter constantly being prank$called, .ulian decided to gi&e .uan a taste of his own medicine and ordered
twenty$se&en pi11as to be deli&ered to .uans house.
). Butterflies in my stomach: o be ner&ous
Liam had butterflies in his stomach before he went on stage to play the &iolin.
2. Cat got your tongue: 3ant you speak4 (5sually said to embarrass the other person)
6 !ust saw you kissing my boyfriend. 7hats the matter4 3at got your tongue4
8. !own for the count: ired% gi&ing up% unable or unwilling to participate any longer.
9o, you cant take my dog for a walk : shes down for the count after chasing cats all day.
+. !raw the line: o stop% to know the point where something goes from okay to not okay.
9ow 6 draw the line at speaking in front of /),;;; people.
<. Easier said than done: 9ot as easy as it appears to be.
=ou want me to come to work at 8>;; -'4 Easier said than done,
?. E"ery cloud has a sil"er lining: =ou can find good in e&ery bad situation
E&en though you !ust got fired, remember that e&ery cloud has a sil&er lining : at least you dont ha&e to
work for that grouchy boss anymore,
#;. #inding a needle in a haystac$: @irtually impossible to find
rying to get a new !ob these days is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
##. #ish out of water: o be out of place
om felt like a fish out of water at the Atar rek con&ention his new girlfriend begged him to attend.
#(. %et something off your chest: o talk about something that has been bothering you for a long time% to
admit something you ha&e done wrong
6 ha&e to get this off my chest : 6 copied your answers from the test. hanks for the BCD by the way.
#/. %i"e it a whirl: o try something
6&e ne&er gone kite$boarding, but 6m prepared to gi&e it a whirl,
#). In the fast lane: - life filled with excitement
7hen 3urtis turned forty, he decided he needed to li&e life in the fast lane, so he "uit his !ob as a dentist
and decided to tour Europe by motorcycle.
#2. In the nic$ of time: -lmost too late
=ou came to pick me up in the nick of time : my teacher !ust saw me skipping class and was on his way to
gi&e me detention.
#8. &et the cat out of the 'ag: ell a secret
0radys surprise party is going to be great if you dont let the cat out of the bag.
#+. &ose your mar'les: o go cra1y% insane
Eur professor has really lost his marbles% he assigned us se&en essays this week,
#<. (nce in a 'lue moon: Farely
6n Florida, the temperature drops below free1ing only once in a blue moon.
#?. )lain as day: Eb&ious% clear
6ts plain as day that youre in lo&e with her, so !ust admit it.
(;. )lay second fiddle: o be less important
6 hate playing second fiddle to my sister% she always does things better than 6 do,
(#. )ut your foot in your mouth: Aaying something you shouldnt ha&e
.essica really put her foot in her mouth when she asked about .ohns !ob right after he lost it.
((. *ic$ and tired: o be bothered or annoyed by
Ahe is sick and tired of her dog chewing up her shoes e&ery day.
(/. *lee+ on it: o think about something for a while before making a decision
Cont tell me whether youll mo&e to exas with me or not today. Aleep on it, and get back to me tomorrow.
(). *nug as a 'ug in a rug: 7arm and co1y% content
hat baby looks as snug as a bug in a rug cuddled up next to his mother.
(2. *tic$ your nose into something: o interfere
Aharon always sticks her nose into e&eryone elses business.
(8. *traight from the horse,s mouth: Cirectly from the person in&ol&ed
Listen to the news straight from the horses mouth% were all getting bonuses this week,
(+. -a$e it easy: Felax
6 know youre not feeling well, so try to take it easy today.
(<. -i+ of the ice'erg: he small easily &isible part of a larger problem
he fact that 3arrie is dating a member of the mafia is !ust the tip of the iceberg% shes also smuggling
contraband into the country.
(?. -o not see the wood for the trees: o be so in&ol&ed with the details that you dont get the most
important facts
Ahe always argues about the silliest things% its like she cant see the wood for the trees.
/;. .+ a cree$ without a +addle: 6n an unlucky*bad situation
6f you dont ha&e any money to pay for the repairs we !ust made to your car, 6 guess youre up a creek
without a paddle because you cant ha&e your car back.
hese are !ust a few of the thousands of idioms in the English language. Get your feet wet (start) with these, and
then mo&e on to the idioms that will knock your socks off. (-stound you).