Common American Sayings

Common American Sayings

When you are learning English, you will learn new vocabulary and grammar rules. As you continue to study, you will learn common vocabulary, but for many students, mastering idioms and phrases native English speakers use every day can be challenging. If you are looking to enhance your conversational English speaking skills, understanding common American phrases is essential. These phrases will help you communicate more effectively and learn more about American culture and what daily life is like. Keep reading to find 10 common American phrases that will help you to have conversations with confidence. 

1. When pigs fly: This phrase is used to express doubt about something happening. You are implying the likelihood of this happening is as much as a pig flying. 

2. Bite the bullet: When faced with a difficult or unpleasant situation, this phrase suggests the act of accepting it and enduring the hardship with determination and courage. 

3. Piece of cake: If something is described as a "piece of cake," it means it's very easy and did not take much effort to complete. It's often used to express that something is simple to accomplish. 

4. Cut to the chase: This phrase asks you to get straight to the point or focus on the main point without wasting time on irrelevant details or small talk. 

5. Keep your chin up: If someone tells you to keep your chin up, they are encouraging you to be optimistic and hopeful, especially when facing a difficult time. 

6. A watched pot never boils: This saying is used when you are impatiently waiting for something to happen, but it seems like it’s taking so long. 

7. A penny for your thoughts: When someone uses the phrase "a penny for your thoughts," they are asking you to share your thoughts or suggestions on something. Usually, people use this phrase to ask for your advice on a matter. 

8. Costs an arm and a leg: This phrase can be used for an item that is thought to be expensive. You may feel the price is so high, it feels as if you had given up an arm and a leg to afford it.

9. In a nutshell: This phrase means you are relaying some longer explanation, event, or information to someone but instead of explaining every detail that happened, you are summarizing it briefly. 

10. No pain, no gain: This phrase is used to show that success requires hard work and effort. If you want to be successful, it won’t come to you without effort. 

Learning common American phrases will not only help you to communicate but also learn more about the culture and everyday life of Americans. These are some of the countless idioms you’ll see and hear. Our ESL program will help you better understand complicated phrases 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!

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Published on June 9, 2023

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