English language, like any other language, has its own set of idioms and proverbs that are immensely valuable to understand. Idioms are expressions that possess a figurative meaning that goes beyond the literal interpretation of their words. Most English idioms act as useful guides, representing ideas of great importance. You may have come across idioms in movies or TV shows whose meanings you couldn’t quite grasp, despite recognizing the phrases. Achieving fluency in English idioms takes time and practice, but some are more commonly used than others, and comprehending them can be incredibly beneficial. Being able to use idioms and expressions in English will enhance your confidence, especially when communicating with native English speakers. Without learning some idioms first, it’s impossible to have a clear understanding of the context. That’s why we have compiled a list of frequently used idioms and phrases in English, along with their actual meanings, to help you expand your vocabulary and sound more like a native speaker.
1. ‘The best of both worlds – means you can take pleasure in two diverse possibilities at the same time. “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’ – this indicates that the person you’re just speaking about actually comes up at that moment. “Hi Tom, speak of the devil, I was just speaking to Sara about your new car.”
3. ‘See eye to eye’ – this stands for settling with someone.
“They eventually saw eye to eye on the business deal.”
4. ‘Once in a blue moon’ – an occurrence that takes place rarely.
“I only go to the cinema once in a blue moon.”
5. ‘When pigs fly’ – something that will never happen.
“When pigs fly if she’ll clean up her room.”
6. ‘To cost an arm and a leg’– something is very pricey.
“Fuel these days costs an arm and a leg.”
7. ‘A piece of cake’– something that is very effortless.
“The English test was a piece of cake.”
8. ‘Let the cat out of the bag’ – to accidentally disclose a secret.
“I let the cat out of the bag about their wedding schedules.”
9. ‘To feel under the weather’ – to not feel well.
“I’m feeling under the weather today; I have a wretched cold.”
10. ‘To kill two birds with one stone’ – to puzzle out two difficulties at once.
“By taking my dad on holiday, I killed two birds with one stone. I got to go away but also spend time with him.”
11. ‘To cut corners’ – to accomplish something badly or cheaply.
“They cut corners when they made this bathroom; the shower is leaking.”