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


a good thing that seemed bad at first

Something common

Avoid saying what you mean, usually because it is uncomfortable

Better to arrive late than not to come at all

To get something over with because it is inevitable

Good luck

Stop working on something

Don't be so critical                                            

Doing something poorly in order to save time or money

Slow down

Get out of control

Do the thing you've been wanting to do so you can move on

Work better or leave

Trust what someone says

Start over

Don't give up

Go to sleep

It's not complicated

To not hold someone responsible for something

Tell something briefly

It's too late

You have to work for what you want

Doing a good job

To joke with someone

Calm down

Things are going well so far

The person we were just talking about showed up!

My patience has run out

An ideal situation

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

To get upset

Make a problem worse


Let's not talk about that problem right now

Understand something complicated

That's true, I agree

I have no idea

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

Tell me what you're thinking

Money you save today you can spend later

the worst possible situation

Better to show than tell

Believe what people do not what they say

To make a bad situation worse

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

People who are alike are often friends (usually used negatively)

Take on a project that you cannot finish

Make people feel more comfortable

Just barely

Comparing two things that cannot be compared

Very expensive

Do something without having planned beforehand

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

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

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

You're not very good at this

What you're doing is too risky

Good things come after bad things

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

Ignore someone

To do something pointless

Be patient

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

The son is like the father

Get something exactly right

You're better off not knowing

This isn't over yet

You're just as bad as I am

It's easy

It's raining hard

Get two things done with a single action

Give away a secret

I made a mistake

Take only calculated risks

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


To argue the opposite, just for the sake of argument

Put a projet on hold

To spoil something

Saving money for later

Reliability is more important than speed

Give away a secret

Postpone a plan

Don’t take it too seriously

It's your decision

A really good invention

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

The first people who arrive will get the best stuff

The big issue, the problem people are avoiding

Everything, all the way.

It's ok to miss this opportunity. Others will arise.

He seems crazy but actually he's clever

Nothing is entirely free

Take a risk

You can't have everything

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


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