In the previous posts about IELTS, you have learnt about 22 Common Idioms & Their Proper Usages in IELTS Speaking Section (Part 1/5), 22 Common Idioms in IELTS Speaking (Part 2/5), & 25 Common Idioms in IELTS Speaking (Part 3/5).
In this post we cover 25 useful idioms to help you answer IELTS questions in the speaking (describe people, time, interests and activities)
1. A Penny for Your Thoughts – ask someone who is being very quiet what they are thinking about
==> For several minutes they sat silently, then finally she looked at him and said, “A penny for your thoughts, Walter.”
2. Against the clock – do something as fast as possible and try to finish it before a certain time.
==>With her term paper due on Monday, she was racing against the clock to finish it
3. Lend an ear – to listen carefully and in a friendly way to someone
==> If you have any problems, go to Claire. She’ll always lend a sympathetic ear.
4. on cloud nine – very happy; deliriously happy
==>She just bought her first new car and she’s on cloud nine.
5. bushed – tired.
==>I am totally bushed after staying up so late.
6. hard feelings – the emotion of being upset or offended.
==>I am sorry I have to fire you. No hard feelings, okay?
7. hit the hay – go to bed
==> It’s after 12 o’clock. I think it’s time to hit the hay.
8. be sick to death of something/doing something – to be angry and bored because something unpleasant has been happening for too long
==>I’m sick to death of doing nothing but work. Let’s go out tonight and have fun.
9. (come) rain or shine – means something will happen regardless of weather or other difficulties.
==>I will be on time for the class, rain or shine. Come rain or shine, she is always smiling.
10. be all ears – eager and ready to listen
==>I’m all ears, waiting to hear your latest excuse for not getting this job done!
11. in the nick of time – not too late, but very close
==>I got to the drugstore just in the nick of time. It’s a good thing, because I really need this medicine!
12. fresh/clean out of something – have sold or used up the last of something
==>I have to go buy some more milk. It seems we’re fresh out now.
13. have/get mixed feelings about something – to be uncertain about something
==> I have mixed feelings about my trip to England. I love the people, but the climate upsets me.
14. Give it one’s best shot – do the best that one can
==>This test question is really tough! I’ll give it my best shot, and I’ll get some marks for doing my best.
15. In deep water – in difficulty; in trouble or in a dangerous situation
==>He has not submitted his dissertation so he’s in deep water.
16. next to nothing – to cost very little
==>I went to the new discount store and bought these new shoes for only five dollars. That’s next to nothing!
17. To be up in arms about something – upset or angry about something.
==> She has been UP IN ARMS about the rent increase.
18. Put yourself in somebody’s shoes – imagine that you are in somebody’s position in order to understant his/her feelings
==> If you put yourself in my shoes, you would understand why I made that decision
19. At all costs – do everything you can to achieve/succeed something
==> My dream is to become a successful businessman and I will work hard for it AT ALL COSTS
20. Explore all avenues – investigate every possible means to find a solution to a given problem or to achieve a desired outcome.
= We need to EXPLORE ALL AVENUES before doing something that is not very safe to a great number of people in order to minimize unfavourable consequences
21. On the ball – active and aware of things
==>Our staff is really on the ball to get projects done on time.
22. Throw in the towel – Give up on something
==>I’ve spent too much time on this project to throw in the towel now.
23. Down to earth – practical and realistic; Back to reality
==> It’s time we were brought down to earth to figure out difficult situation, and offer a good solution.
24. Full of beans – A person who is lively, active and healthy.
==> I really enjoy being with my best friend because he is always full of beans.
25. Get a head start – Start before all others.
==>This year we’ll get a head start on the competition by running more advertisements.
Keep an eye on this page for our next post about Idioms (Part 5/5) (on June 9) and some exercises added for you to practice each idiom.
I hope you found this post useful. If you have any questions please let me know in the comments below or on the Facebook page.
The best way to keep up to date with posts like this is to like us on Facebook.
Main IELTS Pages:
This website is to develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers, lessons, free books, and more. Each section (Listening, Speaking, Writing, Reading) has a complete collection of lessons to help you improve your IELTS skills.
Subscribe for free IELTS lessons/Books/Tips/Sample Answers/Advice from our IELTS experts. We help millions of IELTS learners maximize their IELTS scores!
Latest posts by IELTS Material (see all)
- IELTS Writing Practice Test 34 (Task 1 & 2) & Sample Answers - January 10, 2017
- IELTS Writing Recent Actual Test (Task 1, 2) in January 2017 & Model Essays - January 10, 2017
- 2017 IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topic: Hometown & Sample Answers - January 9, 2017