THE MOST COMMON ENGLISH IDIOMS- PART II

These English idioms are used quite regularly in all over the world. You may not hear them every day, but they will be very familiar to any native English speaker. You can be confident using any of them when the context is appropriate.

Idiom Meaning Usage
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush What you have is worth more than what you might have later by itself
A penny for your thoughts Tell me what you’re thinking by itself
A penny saved is a penny earned Money you save today you can spend later by itself
A perfect storm the worst possible situation as part of a sentence
A picture is worth 1000 words Better to show than tell by itself
Actions speak louder than words Believe what people do and not what they say by itself
Add insult to injury To make a bad situation worse as part of a sentence
Barking up the wrong tree To be mistaken, to be looking for solutions in the wrong place as part of a sentence
Birds of a feather flock together People who are alike are often friends (usually used negatively) by itself
Bite off more than you can chew Take on a project that you cannot finish as part of a sentence
Break the ice Make people feel more comfortable as part of a sentence
By the skin of your teeth Just barely as part of a sentence
Comparing apples to oranges Comparing two things that cannot be compared as part of a sentence
Costs an arm and a leg Very expensive as part of a sentence
Do something at the drop of a hat Do something without having planned beforehand as part of a sentence
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you Treat people fairly. Also known as “The Golden Rule” by itself
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch Don’t count on something good happening until it’s happened. by itself
Don’t cry over spilt milk There’s no reason to complain about something that can’t be fixed by itself
Don’t give up your day job You’re not very good at this by itself
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket What you’re doing is too risky by itself
Every cloud has a silver lining Good things come after bad things by itself
Get a taste of your own medicine Get treated the way you’ve been treating others (negative) as part of a sentence
Give someone the cold shoulder Ignore someone as part of a sentence
Go on a wild goose chase To do something pointless as part of a sentence
Good things come to those who wait Be patient by itself
He has bigger fish to fry He has bigger things to take care of than what we are talking about now by itself
He’s a chip off the old block The son is like the father by itself
Hit the nail on the head Get something exactly right by itself
Ignorance is bliss You’re better off not knowing by itself
It ain’t over till the fat lady sings This isn’t over yet by itself
It takes one to know one You’re just as bad as I am by itself
It’s a piece of cake It’s easy by itself
It’s raining cats and dogs It’s raining hard by itself
Kill two birds with one stone Get two things done with a single action by itself
Let the cat out of the bag Give away a secret as part of a sentence
Live and learn I made a mistake by itself
Look before you leap Take only calculated risks by itself
On thin ice On probation. If you make another mistake, there will be trouble. as part of a sentence
Once in a blue moon Rarely as part of a sentence
Play devil’s advocate To argue the opposite, just for the sake of argument as part of a sentence
Put something on ice Put a projet on hold as part of a sentence
Rain on someone’s parade To spoil something as part of a sentence
Saving for a rainy day Saving money for later as part of a sentence
Slow and steady wins the race Reliability is more important than speed by itself
Spill the beans Give away a secret as part of a sentence
Take a rain check Postpone a plan as part of a sentence
Take it with a grain of salt Don’t take it too seriously as part of a sentence
The ball is in your court It’s your decision by itself
The best thing since sliced bread A really good invention as part of a sentence
The devil is in the details It looks good from a distance, but when you look closer, there are problems by itself
The early bird gets the worm The first people who arrive will get the best stuff by itself
The elephant in the room The big issue, the problem people are avoiding as part of a sentence
The whole nine yards Everything, all the way. as part of a sentence
There are other fish in the sea It’s ok to miss this opportunity. Others will arise. by itself
There’s a method to his madness He seems crazy but actually he’s clever by itself
There’s no such thing as a free lunch Nothing is entirely free by itself
Throw caution to the wind Take a risk as part of a sentence
You can’t have your cake and eat it too You can’t have everything by itself
You can’t judge a book by its cover This person or thing may look bad, but it’s good inside by itself
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