Translate This Page


English idioms are an important part of everyday English. They come up all the time in both written and spoken English. Because idioms don't always make sense literally, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the meaning and usage of each idiom. That may seem like a lot of work, but learning idioms is fun, especially when you compare English idioms to the idioms in your own language.

Learning to use common idioms and expressions will make your English sound more native, so it's a good idea to master some of these expressions. The table below is organized into three columns. The last column is for your example in the context for which it is used.


1 A blessing in disguise                                 

2 A dime a dozen

3 Beat around the bush

                                                                            4 Better late than never                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Bite the bullet

                                                                            6 Break a leg                                                   

7 Call it a day

8 Cut somebody some slack    

                                                                        9 Cutting corners

                                                                      10 Easy does it                                                                                                                  11 Get out of hand                                             

12 Get something out of your system             

13 Get your act together                                   

14 Give someone the benefit of the doubt     

15 Go back to the drawing board                                       

16 Hang in there

17 Hit the sack                                           

18 It's not rocket science

19 Let someone off the hook                             

20 Make a long story short

21 Miss the boat

22 No pain, no gain                                           

23 On the ball

24 Pull someone's leg

25 Pull yourself together

26 So far so good                                         

27 Speak of the devil                                         

28 That's the last straw

29 The best of both worlds                                                                                          30 Time flies when you're having fun

                                                                  31 To get bent out of shape

32 To make matters worse

33 Under the weather                           

34 We'll cross that bridge when we come to it                                                            

35 Wrap your head around something

36 You can say that again

37 Your guess is as good as mine

38 A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

39 A penny for your thoughts

40 A penny saved is a penny   earned

                                                                       41 A perfect storm

42 A picture is worth 1000 words

43 Actions speak louder than words         

44 Add insult to injury

                                                                       45 Barking up the wrong tree                            

46 Birds of a feather flock together                  

47 Bite off more than you can chew

                                                                       48 Break the ice

49 By the skin of your teeth

50 Comparing apples to                oranges                         

51 Costs an arm and a leg

52 Do something at the drop    of a hat                                                                             

53 Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

54 Don't count your chickens  before they hatch

55 Don't cry over spilt milk                                                                                                     

56 Don't give up your day job

                                                              57 Don't put all your eggs in one basket

58 Every cloud has a silver lining

59 Get a taste of your own          medicine                

60 Give someone the cold            shoulder

61 Go on a wild goose chase

62 Good things come to those who wait

63 He has bigger fish to fry                                

64 He's a chip off the old block

65 Hit the nail on the head

66 Ignorance is bliss

67 It ain't over till the fat lady sings

68 It takes one to know one

69 It's a piece of cake

70 It's raining cats and dogs

71 Kill two birds with one  stone

                                                                  72 Let the cat out of the bag

73 Live and learn

74 Look before you leap

75 On thin ice                                                     

76 Once in a blue moon

77 Play devil's advocate                                                                                                                                                                                 78 Put something on ice

79 Rain on someone's  parade

80 Saving for a rainy day

81 Slow and steady wins the race

                                                                        82 Spill the beans

 83 Take a rain check                                                                                                                 84 Take it with a grain of salt

85 The ball is in your court

86 The best thing since sliced bread                           

87 The devil is in the details                                                                                                                   

88 The early bird gets the worm               

                                                                89 The elephant in the room                             

90 The whole nine yards

91 There are other fish in the sea                                                                                                                                                          92 There's a method to his madness 

                                                                          93 There's no such thing as a free lunch

94 Throw caution to the wind

95 You can't have your cake and eat it too

96 You can't judge a book by its cover


1a good thing that seemed bad at first

 2 Something common               

3 Avoid saying what you mean, usually because it is uncomfortable

4 Better to arrive late than not to come at all

5 To get something over with  because it is inevitable

6 Good luck

7 Stop working on something

8 Don't be so critical                                            

9 Doing something poorly in order to save time or money

10 Slow down

11 Get out of control

12 Do the thing you've been wanting  so you can move on                                                                                                                                                                                    13 Work better or leave

                                                                    14 Trust what someone says

                                                                          15 Start over

                                                                            16 Don't give up                                                                                                                      17 Go to sleep

18 It's not complicated

19 To not hold someone responsible     for something

20 Tell something briefly

21 It's too late

22 You have to work for what  you want                                                                                                                                              23 Doing a good job

24 To joke with someone

25 Calm down

26 Things are going well so far

27 The person we were just talking        about showed up!  

28 My patience has run out  

29 An ideal situation

 30 You don't notice how long                     something lasts when it's fun

31 To get upset

32 Make a problem worse

33 Sick                                                                                                                                  34 Let's not talk about that problem right now

                                                            35 Understand something complicated

36 That's true, I agree

37 I have no ide

38 What you have is worth more than what you might have later

39 Tell me what you're thinking

40 Money you save today you can spend later

41 the worst possible situation

42 Better to show than tell

43 Believe what people do not what      they say

44 To make a bad situation                worse

45 To be mistaken, to be looking for solutions in the wrong place

46 People who are alike are often friends (usually used negatively).                                                                           47 Take on a project that you cannot finish

48 Make people feel more        comfortable                                                  49 Just barely

50 Comparing two things that                  cannot be compared

51 Very expensive

52 Do something without having planned beforehand

 53 Treat people fairly. Also known as   "The Golden Rule"

 54 Don't count on something good happening until it's happened.

55 There's no reason to                complain about something that can't be fixed

56 You're not very good at this

57 What you're doing is too risky

58 Good things come after bad  things

59 Get treated the way you've been treating others  (negative)

60 Ignore someone

                                                                        61 To do something pointless

62 Be patient

63 He has bigger things to take care of than what we are talking about now

64 The son is like the father

65 Get something exactly right

66 You're better off not knowing

67 This isn't over yet                                                                                                             68 You're just as bad as I am

69 It's easy

70 It's raining hard

71 Get two things done with a  single action

72 Give away a secret

73 I made a mistake

74 Take only calculated risks

75 On probation. If you make another mistake, there will be trouble.                                                                                          76 Rarely

77 To argue the opposite, just for the sake of argument

78 Put a project on hold

79 To spoil something

80 Saving money for later

81 Reliability is more                          important than speed

82 Give away a secret

83 Postpone a plan

84 Don’t take it too seriously

85 It's your decision

 86 A really good invention

                                                                      87 It looks good from a distance, but when you look closer, there are problems

88 The first people who arrive will get the best stuff  

89 The big issue, the problem  people are avoiding

90 Everything, all the way.

91 It's okay to miss this                    opportunity. Others will arise.

92 He seems crazy but actually he's clever

 93 Nothing is entirely free

94 Take a risk

 95 You can't have everything   

                                                                    96 This person or thing may look bad, but it's good inside


1 Although I was late, I met my future wife. It was a blessing in disguise.