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15 English idioms you can use when studying English

Impress your friends and teachers with these idioms

15 idioms you can use when studying English

There are many English idioms that you might not be familiar with. An idiom is a phrase or an expression that has a particular meaning that differs from the meaning of the individual words, e.g. if someone said “you’ve bitten off more than you can chew”- they are saying that you have tried to do something that is too difficult for you.

Practice these idioms when you are learning English at Twin or impress your friends and your teachers by explaining what they mean:

  1.       Better late than never
    This expression means that it is better to arrive late than not at all. However, we don’t advise you turn up late for your English lessons and say this phrase to the teacher!


  2.        Break a leg
    You could say ‘break a leg’ to someone before they are about to do their IELTS exam, this idiom means ‘good luck’.

    Good Luck

  3.        Give someone the benefit of the doubt
    You might use this phrase if somebody in the class says something that you don’t fully believe; giving someone the benefit of the doubt means to trust what they are telling you – even if you don’t think that it is true.

    Benefit Of The Doubt

  4.        Back to the drawing board
    This idiom means to start over. For instance, if you don’t pass your English test, you might say that you are going back to the drawing board – meaning you are going to try some more lessons and try to pass the test again.

    Drawing Board

  5.        Get your act together
    If your teacher tells you to ‘get your act together’ he/she thinks you need to work harder.

    Act Together

  6.        Hang in there
    Your friend may be struggling with their English lessons, by which you could respond with ‘hang in there’, which means keep trying and don’t give up with it.

    Hang In There

  7.        Hit the sack/hay
    After a long day of studying in our English Centre, you might find yourself tired and sleepy, in which case, you could use this idiom because it means that you are going to bed.

    Hit The Hay

  8.        No pain, no gain
    This expression means that if you want something badly enough, you have to be willing to work at it.

    No Pain , No Gain

  9.        On the ball
    If you are sat in class and don’t understand what the teacher is saying because you are tired, you could say you aren’t ‘on the ball’, which means that you aren't paying attention to the class and are struggling to keep up with and understand the conversation.

    On The Ball

  10.    So far so good
    This idiom means that things are going well so far, for instance you might use this phrase a week into your studies at our school.

    So Far So Good

  11.    Wrap your head around something
    If you hear someone say, “Can you wrap your head around this?” They would be asking if you understand something that may be complicated.

    Wrap Your Head Around Somethin

  12.    Your guess is as good as mine
    If you and your friend are lost in the city and they ask you which way you think is the right way, you could say “your guess is as good as mine”, which means that you don’t know, the same way your friend doesn’t know.

    Your Guess Is As Good As Mine

  13.    Call it a day
    Your teacher might say at the end of the English lesson, “Let’s call it a day”, which means your teacher is saying to stop working and finish the lesson.

    Call It A Day

  14.    Bite the bullet
    If you have an exam, you might say you want to bite the bullet, which means you want to get it over with.

    Bite The Bullet

  15.    Hit the nail on the head
    You might say to someone “you’ve hit the nail on the head” if they pronounce a word right. Hitting the nail on the head means that someone is saying or doing something that is exactly right.

    Hit The Nail On The Head

To improve your English language skills, or to learn more English phrases and idioms, book your English lessons now.