English Idiomatic Expressions: Examples & Meanings

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Here are some of the common English idiomatic expressions and meanings

Idiomatic expressions have been a part of the English language around since time immemorial and here are some common examples.

Idioms, another term, are defined as a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words.

idiomatic expressions

Here are some common examples and the meanings.

To add insult to injury

– to make a situation worse
Example:
“To add insult to injury the car drove off without stopping after knocking me off my bike.”

Taste of your own medicine

– means that something happens to you, or is done to you, that you have done to someone else
Example:
“She ignored me, now she tastes her own dose of medicine when her friends ignored her.”

To feel under the weather 

– to not feel well
Example:
“I’m really feeling under the weather today; I have a terrible cold.”

Whole nine yards

– Everything. All of it.
Example:
“He ate the entire cake, the whole nine yards.”

When pigs fly

– something that will never happen.
Example:
“When pigs fly she’ll tidy up her room.”

Keep something at bay

– Keep something away.
Example:
“The that bottle of wine at bay, she’s sober now.”

See eye to eye

– this means agreeing with someone.
Example:
“They finally saw eye to eye on the business deal.”

Every cloud has a silver lining

– Be optimistic, even difficult times will lead to better days.
Example:
“Is still believe that every cloud has a silver lining after these hardships.”

To hit the nail on the head

 to describe exactly what is causing a situation or problem.
Example:
“He hit the nail on the head when he said this company needs more HR support.”

Hear it on the grapevine

– this example of idiomatic expressions means ‘to hear rumors’ about something or someone.
Example:
“She is pregnant, I heard it on the grapevine.”

Cross that bridge when you get there

-Deal with a problem if and when it becomes necessary, not before.
Example:
“I don’t have plans for summer. I’ll just cross the bridge when I get there.”

To cut corners

– to do something badly or cheaply.
Example
“They really cut corners when they built this bathroom; the shower is leaking.”

Bite off more than you can chew

-To take on a task that is way to big.
Example:
“You always bite off more than you can chew, that is why you can’t finish anything.”

A piece of cake

– something is very easy.
Example:
“The English test was a piece of cake.”

Jump on the bandwagon

-Join a popular trend or activity.
Example:
“It’s NBA Finals again, many people will just jump on bandwagon and pretend to be die-hard fans.”

Once in a blue moon

– an event that happens infrequently.
Example:
“I only go to the cinema once in a blue moon.”

Speak of the devil!

-This example of idiomatic expressions is used when the person you have just been talking about arrives.
Example:
“Speak of the devil! You appeared just right at the moment she was mentioning your name.”

To hit the nail on the head

 to describe exactly what is causing a situation or problem.
Example:
“He hit the nail on the head when he said this company needs more HR support.”

Your guess is as good as mine

-To have no idea, do not know the answer to a question
Example:
“Your guess is as good as mine if she will come to the party of her ex-boyfriend.”

To cost an arm and a leg

– something is very expensive.
Example:
“Fuel these days costs and arm and a leg.”

Off one’s rocker

-Crazy, demented, out of one’s mind, in a confused or befuddled state of mind, senile.
Example:
“She was off her rocker when she bashed a good person.”

The best of both worlds

 – means you can enjoy two different opportunities at the same time.
Example:
“By working part-time and looking after her kids two days a week she managed to get the best of both worlds.”

Enjoy using these idiomatic expressions!

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