What Are English Idioms?
English idioms are a group of words which have a meaning which isn’t obvious from looking at the individual words. They have developed over time and so they might seem random to you. English idioms often rely on analogies and metaphors. Because they’re used so often in everyday English, if you don’t know them, it’s almost impossible to understand the context.
Native English Speakers use Idioms without even thinking about where they come from, but a person who is learning English can be deeply confusing. In this post, we’ll look 10 interesting idioms that everyone has to know, and show you how to use them.
1. A piece of cake
Meaning: An activity that requires little effort to finish; a job that’s simple; easy. When a task is easier to complete than previously expected, people might use this phrase to express those thoughts.
Example: “The English test was a piece of cake.”
2. Break a leg
Meaning: ‘good luck’ (often said to actors before they go on stage).
Example: “Break a leg Sam, I’m sure your performance will be great.”
3. Crying wolf
Meaning: To send a false alarm for danger; to call for help when it is not needed. Oftentimes, this idiom is used to describe someone who is complaining about something or requesting help for something when help is not needed.
Example: «The little boy had cried wolf so many times that when he was really sick no one believed him.»
4. You rock!
Meaning: People use that phrase when the other person does something amazing.
Example: Hey; thanks for moving my sofa on Saturday. You rock!
5. When pigs fly
Meaning: Something that will never happen.
Example: “When pigs fly she’ll tidy up her room.”
6. To cut corners
Meaning: to do something badly or cheaply.
Example: “They really cut corners when they built this bathroom; the shower is leaking.”
7. Let the cat out of the bag
Meaning: to accidentally reveal a secret.
Example: «I let the cat out of the bag about their wedding plans.»
8. To kill two birds with one stone
Meaning: to solve two problems at once.
Example: “By taking my dad on holiday, I killed two birds with one stone. I got to go away but also spend time with him.”
9. You can’t judge a book by its cover
Meaning: to not judge someone or something based solely on appearance.
Example: “I thought this no-brand bread would be horrible; turns out you can’t judge a book by its cover.”
10. To hit the nail on the head
Meaning: to describe exactly what is causing a situation or problem.
Example: “He hit the nail on the head when he said this company needs more support.”
Today, you have learned 10 different English Idioms that every native speaker says. Now it’s time to put them into practice.
Share in the comments other Idioms you know.