Essential english idioms (part 1)

Essential english idioms (part 1 – A to G)


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A complete list of the most common English idioms and expressions:

ENGLISH IDIOMS (A to G) MEANINGS
A bird’s eye view An unobstructed view from above
A drop in the ocean Something very unimportant, insignificant.
A hot potato Talk about an issue (from the News) that many people talk about and that is usually contested.
A penny for your thoughts Tell me what you’re thinking.
A perfect storm the worst possible situation
A picture is worth 1000 words Better to show than tell
A piece of cake Something very easy to do
A snowball effect A snowball effect
A storm in a teacup A big commotion about a small problem
A taste of your own medicine Ill-treatment rightly received for abusing others.
Actions speak louder than words Actions speak louder than words
Add fuel to the fire Put some oil on the fire
Add insult to injury To aggravate an unfavourable situation
I’m all ears Listen with great attention.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away Apples are good for you!
An early bird Person who is used to getting up early.
As right as rain Perfect
At the bottom of the ladder At the bottom of the scale, at the lowest level
At the drop of a hat As soon as possible…, without hesitation
back in the day at that time
Ball is in your court It is now up to you to talk, to act, to prove yourself…
Barking up the wrong tree Accusing the wrong person
Be a good catch Be someone worth being married or having
Be at each other’s throat two people arguing in anger
Beat around the bush To treat a topic, but omit its main points, often intentionally.
Best of both worlds have all the advantages
Better late than never It is better to do an action late than not to do it.
Bite off more than you can chew Taking on a task that is too big
Bite the bullet Get something over with because it’s inevitable.
Bite your tongue Stop saying something because it would be better not to say it.
Blessing in disguise Something good that is not recognized as such at first.
Blow somebody away Impressing someone
Blow someone’s mind Impressing someone
Bored to death I’m so bored I could die
Bread and butter The basic things you need to survive, such as food and shelter. Also used to describe the job or activity that provides you with the money you need to live. – ‘Fishing is my bread and butter.’
Break a leg Good luck!
Break the ice Untie a tense atmosphere by initiating a group discussion or animation.
Broke Means that you have no more money
Burn bridges Destroy relationships
Butterflies in my stomach Being nervous
By the skin of your teeth Barely, just barely
Call it a day That’s it for today. (at work)
Calm before the storm a lull, a respite before something bad
Can’t judge a book by its cover This proverb means that you cannot know a man by his appearance.
Cat got your tongue? to be silent, to be speechless
Caught between two stools Caught between two alternatives
Comparing apples to oranges Compare two things that cannot be compared
Costs an arm and a leg The cost is very expensive, even too expensive.
Couch potato refers to a person who spends a lot of time sitting on his couch
I couldn’t care less I don’t give a damn about that.
To cry wolf By giving false alarms, the real alarm is no longer heard.
Curiosity killed the cat Put yourself in an unpleasant situation by being curious
Cut corners When something is done wrong to save money.
Cut someone some slack Don’t judge someone severely
Cut to the chase Get to the point
Devil’s Advocate to defend an opinion that the majority thinks is wrong.
Dig in your heels / Stick to your guns Refuse to compromise or change your mind
Do something at the drop of a hat Do something without planning ahead
Don’t beat a dead horse Stop talking about a subject that is already finished.
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch Don’t count on anything good until it happens.
Don’t cry over spilt milk Complaining about a loss of the past
Don’t give up the day job You’re not very good at anything. You certainly couldn’t do it professionally.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket you have to be careful and not risk everything on a unique opportunity or project.
Don’t sweat it Don’t worry about it.
Don’t be so quick to judgment. Don’t judge so quickly.
Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Behave yourself, don’t do anything stupid
Don’t play dumb with me. to pretend to not know or not understand something
Don’t push me. Don’t make me angry.
Down to Earth Realistic
Down to the wire To denote a situation whose outcome is not decided until the very last minute.
Drastic times call for drastic measures When you are extremely desperate, you must take drastic measures.
Draw the line Setting limits
Drive someone up the wall irritate or annoy a lot
Easier said than done Used to describe a relatively difficult action.
Elephant in the room a problem that everyone knows very well but that no one talks about because it is taboo, embarrassing, etc.
Every cloud has a silver lining Sometimes misfortune gives us advantages that we would not have had without it.
Everybody Was Freaking Out. feel extremely surprised, upset, angry, or confused.
Fair Enough All right, certainly, okay.
Far cry from (something) Being far from (e. g. reality)
Feel blue Be depressed or sad
Finding a needle in a haystack Looking for something that we’re very unlikely to find
Fish out of water be out of place
Fit as a fiddle to be very healthy and strong
Fortune favours the bold You have to take risks to succeed.
Get back to me. Come back and see me again.
Get on one’s nerves annoy, exasperate
Get out of hand get out of control
Get Out of Here Go away!
Get out of your comfort zone. doing things that you don’t feel comfortable with doing.
Get over yourself. Reprends-toi en main.
Get real. Sois réaliste.
Get something off your chest Parler de quelque chose qui vous tracasse depuis longtemps
Get to the Point Speak frankly, get to the heart of the matter directly
Get wind of something be informed of something
Get your act together Get control of one’s thoughts and emotions and stop behaving in a foolish or uncontrolled way
Get your head around it Make yourself comfortable.
Get your head in the game. To focus on the task at hand.
Give it to me straight Give it to me directly
Give me a break. Stop bothering me.
Give me five Means slapping palms above each other’s heads as a a greeting, celebration gesture
Give somebody a hard time Cause difficulty, trouble, embarrassment to someone
Give someone a hand Give a momentary help.
Give someone the benefit of the doubt In the absence of clear evidence, refrain from considering someone guilty.
Give someone the cold shoulder Receive a cold welcome
Go ahead Go For It! Do it!
Go For It Go ahead! Do it!
Go bananas Going crazy, hysterical
Go down in flames Sudden and dramatic failure
Go back to the drawing board Start over
Go on a wild goose chase A completely unsuccessful search and a waste of time because the person or thing sought does not exist or is elsewhere
Go the extra mile Make an extra effort
Go with the flow Be relaxed and accept a situation, rather than trying to alter or control it.
Good for Nothing Lazy person
Good For You Can be used in seriousness or sarcastically
Good Luck Hope you will be lucky!
Good Point you’re right
Good things come to those who wait Good things happen to those who know how to wait, who know the value of patience, who know how to be patient
Good Thinking Good point, you’re right
Good to know. It’s a good thing to know
Goose bumps When you are scared the hairs rise up
Got It Understood!
Grab a bite Eat something, a snack for example

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