25 Useful Idioms to Help You Score Band 8.0+ for IELTS Speaking (Part 4/5)

25 Useful Idioms to Help You Score Band 8 for IELTS Speaking
25 Useful Idioms to Help You Score Band 8 for IELTS Speaking

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.

24Full 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.

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