Phrases you must know to speak like a native.
It is essential to know idioms of the respective language for sounding Like a Native. No matter how much time you spend learning the grammar, the rules, or enhancing your vocabulary, you are not going to have a strong mastery in the language until you learn things from the real world. In real world, in English language, idioms and phrases are used quite often. So if you’re really serious about learning English well, your major area of concern should be learning idioms, because they’re used a lot in conversational native English speech. The biggest problem with learning idiom is that one cannot deduce the meaning of idiom despite knowing the meaning of each word the idiom consist. So, it is very important to know that almost all idioms are based on some analogy or metaphor, so one has to understand the subtext. You must spend some time focusing on English idioms to have a command in English language. Following are some phrases you must know.
Phrases You Must Know
A hot potato
Meaning: something that is difficult or dangerous to deal with
A penny for your thoughts
Meaning: A way of asking what someone is thinking
Actions speak louder than words
Meaning: What someone does is more important than what someone says.
Add insult to injury
Meaning: to make a bad situation worse; to hurt the feelings of a person who has already been hurt.
An arm and a leg
Meaning: Very expensive or costly. A large amount of money.
At the drop of a hat
Meaning: immediately; instantly; on the slightest signal or urging.
Back to the drawing board
Meaning: When an attempt fails and it’s time to start all over.
Ball is in your court
Meaning: It is up to you to take the call; make the next decision or step
Barking up the wrong tree
Meaning: Looking in the wrong place; to ask the wrong person; to follow the wrong course.
Be glad to see the back of
Meaning: Be happy someone or something unpleasant is finished or gone.
Beat around the bush
Meaning: Avoiding the main topic. Not speaking directly about the issue.
Best of both worlds
Meaning: All the advantages.
Best thing since sliced bread
Meaning: A good invention or innovation.
Bite off more than you can chew
Meaning: To try your hands at a task that is way too big for you.
Blessing in disguise
Meaning: Something that at first seems bad, but later turns out to be beneficial: something good that isn’t recognized at first.
Burn the midnight oil
Meaning: To read or work late into the night.
Can't judge a book by its cover
Meaning: Cannot judge something primarily on appearance.
Caught between two stools
Meaning:When someone finds it difficult to choose between two alternatives; dilemma like situation.
Costs an arm and a leg
Meaning: Very expensive.
Cross that bridge when you come to it
Meaning: Don’t talk or worry about something until it really happens.
Cry over spilt milk
Meaning: Complain about a loss from the past.
Curiosity killed the cat
Meaning:Being Inquisitive can lead you into an unpleasant situation.
Meaning:When something is done badly to save money.
Cut the mustard
Meaning:To succeed; to come up to expectations; adequate enough to compete or participate
Meaning: One who argues simply for the sake of argument or to determine the validity of the cause or position.
Don't count your chickens before the eggs have hatched
Meaning: Wait until a good thing you are expecting has really happened before making a plan that depends on your expectation.
Don't give up the day job
Meaning: A humorous way of advising someone not to pursue something at which they are unlikely to be successful.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket
Meaning: Do not put all your resources in one possibility.
Drastic times call for drastic measures
Meaning: When you are extremely desperate you need to take drastic actions.
Elvis has left the building
Meaning: The show has come to an end. It’s all over.
Every cloud has a silver lining
Meaning: Be optimistic; Every bad situation has some good aspect to it
Far cry from
Meaning: Very different from.
Feel a bit under the weather
Meaning: Feeling slightly ill.
Give the benefit of the doubt
Meaning: to be lenient; to believe something good about someone, rather than something bad, when you have the possibility of doing either.
Hear it on the grapevine
Meaning: to hear rumors about something or someone.
Hit the nail on the head
Meaning: Bang on; do or say something exactly right
Hit the sack / sheets / hay
Meaning: To go to bed.
In the heat of the moment
Meaning: say or do it without thinking because you are angry or excited
It takes two to tango
Meaning: If two people were involved in a bad situation, both must be responsible.
Jump on the bandwagon
Meaning: To support something that is popular
Keep something at bay
Meaning: Keep something away.
Kill two birds with one stone
Meaning: To accomplish two different things with one action.
Meaning: The final problem in a series of problems.
Let sleeping dogs lie
Meaning : Avoid interfering in a situation that is currently causing no problems but may well do so as a result of such interference.
Let the cat out of the bag
Meaning : To reveal a secret carelessly or by mistake.
Make a long story short
Meaning : get to the point without discussing details
Method to my madness
Meaning : An assertion that, despite one’s approach seeming random, there actually is structure to it.
Miss the boat
Meaning: Someone missed his or her chance
Not a spark of decency
Meaning: No manners at all.
Not playing with a full deck
Meaning: Someone who lacks intelligence. Not mentally sound; crazy or mentally deranged.
Off one's rocker
On the ball
Meaning: To understand the situation well.
Once in a blue moon
Meaning: Very rarely.
Picture paints a thousand words
Meaning: A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.
Piece of cake
Meaning: A job, task or other activity that is easy or simple.
Put wool over other people's eyes
Meaning: To deceive someone.
See eye to eye
Meaning: This idiom is used to say that two people are in complete agreement with each other.
Sit on the fence
Meaning: Avoid to choose or make a decision.
Speak of the devil!
Meaning: Used as an expression when a person appears just after being mentioned.
Steal someone's thunder
Meaning: To take the credit for something someone else did.
Take with a grain of salt
Meaning: To consider something to be not completely true or right
Taste of your own medicine
Meaning: Something bad which you did to someone else, happened to you.
To hear something straight from the horse's mouth
Meaning: To hear something from a reliable source.
Whole nine yards
Meaning: Everything. All of it.
Wouldn't be caught dead
Meaning: Would never like to do something.
Your guess is as good as mine
Meaning: To have no idea, do not know the answer to a question