Phrases You Must Know

phrases you must knowPhrases 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.

Cut corners

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

Devil's Advocate

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.

Last straw

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

Meaning: Crazy

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


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