15 Common English Idioms and Phrases With Their Meaning

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

2. ‘Speak of the devil’ – this means that the person you’re just talking about actually turns up at that moment.
“Hi Tom, speak of the devil, I was just telling Sara about your new car.”

3. ‘See eye to eye’ – this means agreeing with someone.
“They finally saw eye to eye on the business deal.”

4. ‘Once in a blue moon’ – an event that happens infrequently.
“I only go to the cinema once in a blue moon.”

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

6. ‘To cost an arm and a leg’- something is very expensive.
“Fuel these days costs and arm and a leg.”

7. ‘A piece of cake’- something is very easy. – to accidentally reveal a secret.

“I let the cat out of the bag about their wedding plans.”

9. ‘To feel under the weather’ – to not feel well.

“I’m really feeling under the weather today; I have a terrible cold.”

10. ‘To kill two birds with one stone’ – to solve two problems at once.

“By taking my dad on holiday, I killed two birds with one stone. I got to go away but also spend time with him.”

11. ‘To cut corners’ – to do something badly or cheaply.

“They really cut corners when they built this bathroom; the shower is leaking.”

12. ‘To add insult to injury’ – to make a situation worse.

“To add insult to injury the car drove off without stopping after knocking me off my bike.”

13. ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’ – to not judge someone or something based solely on appearance.

“I thought this no-brand bread would be horrible; turns out you can’t judge a book by its cover.”

14. ‘Break a leg’ – means ‘good luck’ (often said to actors before they go on stage).

“Break a leg Sam, I’m sure your performance will be great.”

15. ‘To hit the nail on the head’ – to describe exactly what is causing a situation or problem.

“He hit the nail on the head when he said this company needs more HR support.”

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