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.
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