25 Common Idioms in IELTS Speaking (Part 3/5)
25 Useful Idioms to help you score Band 7.0+ for the IELTS Speaking Test (Part 3/5)
- up-market – Relatively expensive and designed to appeal to wealthy consumers
==> an upmarket restaurant that is quite pricey but also quite good
- cram – to try to accomplish a lot quickly, also can mean to try to put a lot of items in a tight fit, which is probably not idiomatic with that meaning.
==> The students are all cramming to get ready for the exams.
- in high spirits – extremely happy
==> They’d had a couple of drinks and were in high spirits.
- keep one’s chin up – remain brave and keep on trying ; remain cheerful in difficult circumstances.
==> Keep your chin up. Don’t take your troubles to bed with you
Keep your chin up. Things will get better sooner or later
- read my/your/his mind – W – guess what somebody is thinking
==>I was surprised he knew what I was planning, like he could read my mind.
- get the ball rolling – start doing something, especially something big
==>I decided to set the ball rolling and got up to dance.
==> You should get the ball rolling as soon as possible to be well-prepared for the IELTS test.
- for ages – for a very long time
==>I waited for ages but he never showed up
- fill in for someone – do someone’s work while he is away; substitute for
==>Bill is going to be filling in for me while I’m out on maternity leave.
- antsy – getting restless.
==>The guys are getting antsy, we need to go somewhere else before they get too noisy.
- (as) easy as pie – very easy
==>For Tom, getting a graphic design certificate was easy as pie –he seemed to have a natural talent for it.
- under the weather – sick; not completely well
==>I noticed that the cat was looking a little under the weather.
- fingers-crossed = keep one’s fingers crossed (for someone or something) – to wish for luck for someone or something
==> fingers crossed for your driving test
We’re keeping our fingers crossed that he’ll be healthy again very soon
- have a chin-wag – have a long conversation between friends; have a chat
==>We had a good chinwag over a bottle of wine.
- chicken scratch (n) – the handwriting that is crammed or illegible
==>His signature—an unforgeably idiosyncratic chicken scratch
- the wee hours – after midnight
==> He was up until the wee hours trying to finish his work.
- a blessing in a disguise – something that seems bad or unlucky at first, but results in something good happening later
==>Losing that job was a blessing in disguise really.
- all in the same boat – in the same difficult situation as someone else
==>None of us has any money, so we’re all in the same boat.
- beating around the bush – avoid the main topic and not speaking directly about it
==>Let’s stop beating about the bush and discuss this matter
- early bird (someone who gets up early)
==> I never miss sunrise. I’m an early bird.
- a breath of fresh air – something that is new & refreshing
==> Selena was a talented and beautiful entertainer, a breath of fresh air in an industry full of people all trying to copy each other.
- keep an eye on – W – to monitor a situation, not forget about it.
==>Keep an eye on the noodles, there almost done.
- keep your nose to the grindstone – continue to put forward a good effort
==>If you keep your nose to the grindstone, you will finish this job tonight.
- know something [it, this] inside out – to be totally familiar with
==>He knows that subject backwards and forwards.
- leave well enough alone – W – to not try to change something that is good enough
==>This repair is not perfect, but let’s leave well enough alone.
- now and then – W – on an occasional basis, often every is used as the first word of this idiomatic phrase.
==>Every now and then I have a good idea.
Keep an eye on this page for our next post about Idioms (Part 4/5) (on June 3) – 25 Useful Idioms to Help You Score Band 8.0+ for IELTS Speaking (Part 4/5) 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.