Let’s learn some of the most important idioms and idiomatic expressions. Try to use them as much as possible because people really use them so be prepared to learn and improve your vocabulary and knowledge. Take a look at these important English idioms and Idiomatic Expressions.
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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions
It means you are listening to someone attentively. Tell me, John. I am all ears.
When a person talks a lot about the way you drive. I hate giving a ride to Sharon. She is a backseat driver and talks a lot!
Bark up the wrong tree
When a person is doing something wrong. My boss is barking up the wrong tree. Our sales figures reduced a lot in the last quarter.
Back into shape
If you need to become fit you can use this idiom. I am getting fat! I need to back into shape again.
Back to square one
It is used when you don’t succeed on your project and you need to start again. I need to back to square one! My boss didn’t like my report.
This idiomatic expression is used when someone is dishonest. Don’t talk to Mr. Stephen because he is a bad egg.
Piece of cake
It is used to express that something is very easy. My Math test was a piece of cake! I got A+.
Can of worms
It is used to express when a situation is complicated. His situation in the company is a can of worms. His boss intends to fire him.
It is used to express a service or product that a company sells a lot. This canned tuna is a cash cow for our company. We are getting US$ one million a month.
Like cat and dog
When two people usually have strong arguments but they are still together. My brother and his wife argue like cat and dog but they are married for five years!
It is used to express when a person is secretive. I don’t know a lot about Michael because he is shy and a dark house.
When a company or someone has a lot of money. Sharon Lee is a deep pocket. She has a Ferrari and a BMW in her garage.
Die is cast
When you have an irrevocable decision. I really decided to leave Brazil and go to London. Now the die is cast.
Dog eat dog
It is used when the competition is strong enough and even dishonest attitudes are used. Both soft drink companies show some ads on TV and we may conclude that dog eat dog between them.
It is used to describe a boring job. I do the donkey work in my job! I hate it!
It is used to express when someone has the ability to see something much easier than most of the people do. My sister has eagle eyes and she will find your wallet. Don’t worry.
Face the music
You use this idiomatic expression to mention that someone did something wrong and he/she has to accept the consequences. You are in the prison now so face the music!
Back on your feet
This idiom is used to show you recover from a disease or an accident. My mother was in the hospital last week but now she is back on her feet.
Fish out of the water
When you feel uncomfortable in a situation. I am feeling like a fish out of the water. I don’t like my job.
You use this expression when you don’t believe on someone. My foot! It is impossible he has a Ferrari! He is a poor man!
Get your feet wet
You need to use this idiom when you are doing something for the first time. I will be living in Norway next year. I need to get my feet wet understanding their culture.
Get the message
It means you understand something. I got my boss’ message. I will prepare that report right now or he fires me.
Rain cats and dogs
It is used for storms. It is raining cats and dogs! I will close the windows!
Rake in the money
This expression is used to show you are getting a lot of money. My sister is raking in the money in her new restaurant. She is getting more than US$ 20.000 a month.
Save the day
You can use this expression when you find a solution to a serious problem. My boss saved the day selling our products for Google. Our sales figures weren’t positive.