Common Idioms

Common Idioms

When you are learning English, chances are you have heard some phrases that you did not understand. It is difficult to learn a new language, but idioms make it more difficult for many people. Idioms are phrases or expressions people use every day. However, they are sometimes difficult to understand because they do not necessarily mean what they are saying. Idioms should be understood by their figurative meaning rather than taken literally. To help you understand and communicate better, here are a few idioms to try out. 

1.      “A fish out of water” - This means that someone is in an uncomfortable and awkward situation.

Ex. When Suzy first arrived at her college, she felt like a fish out of water.

2.      “Hit the books” - To hit the books simply means you are going to study.

Ex. Sasha had a final coming up, so she had to hit the books all weekend.

3.      “Blow off some steam” - Everyone gets stressed sometimes. To blow off steam means you want to take a break from the stress to relax and have fun.

Ex. When their project was finished, they went to the bar to blow off some steam.

4.      “Stab someone in the back” - While it does not mean to literally stab someone in the back, it is still painful. This phrase refers to someone you thought you could trust betraying you.

Ex. After 10 years of friendship, Michael stabbed his best friend in the back by lying to him.

5.      “Couch potato” - A couch potato refers to a person who spends A LOT of time sitting on the couch and watching television.

Ex. Andrew was a couch potato on his day off and rewatched an entire season of his favorite show.

6.      “Beat around the bush” - When you have to tell someone something difficult, you can either tell them directly or beat around the bush. This phrases refers to trying to stall or avoid saying something uncomfortable to someone.

Ex. The teacher asked John to stop beating around the bush and tell her why he didn’t complete his homework.

7.      “Drop the ball” - Drop the ball means to make a mistake.

Ex. We asked Marco to pick up the cake for Roxy’s surprise party, but he dropped the ball and forgot.

8.      “Hold your horses” - This means to slow down, stop, and think about what you are doing.

Ex. “Hold your horses!” their parents yelled as the children ran into the theme park.

There are some of countless idioms that you’ll see and hear. Our ESL program will help you better understand complicated idioms and how to use them. If you are thinking of enrolling in an ESL course in the Los Angeles or Orange County area, visit our website American English Language School, or email today!

Tagged: English Language Academy in LA, English Language Academy in Los Angeles

Published on January 31, 2023

A leading English language school accredited by the CEA (Commission on English Language Accreditation) and approved by SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) located in Los Angeles, California. Learn English in LA with our ESL classes, TOEFL preparation, and English speaking classes. Are you serious about improving your English? Join a class today!