30 Idioms for Learning

Language is a living, breathing entity, and idioms are its vibrant colors that add flair to everyday conversations. Mastering idioms can be the cherry on top of language proficiency, making your expressions more dynamic and engaging.

In this journey of linguistic exploration, let’s delve into the world of idioms, where every phrase paints a vivid picture of expression.

30 idioms for learning
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Idioms for Learning

Break a Leg: Good luck (said to actors before a performance)

Meaning: “Break a leg” is a theatrical idiom used to wish someone good luck, especially actors before a performance.

In a Sentence: As she stepped onto the stage, her friend whispered, “Break a leg,” hoping for a stellar performance.

Cost an Arm and a Leg: To be very expensive

Meaning: If something “costs an arm and a leg,” it means it is excessively expensive.

In a Sentence: The latest smartphone may have all the bells and whistles, but it certainly costs an arm and a leg.

Pull Someone’s Leg: To tease or trick someone

Meaning: To “pull someone’s leg” is to playfully tease or deceive them.

In a Sentence: When he claimed to have seen a unicorn in the backyard, we knew he was just pulling our legs.

Get Cold Feet: To lose confidence or courage

Meaning: “Getting cold feet” refers to losing confidence or courage before taking a significant step.

In a Sentence: Standing at the edge of the diving board, she suddenly got cold feet and decided not to jump.

To Have a Chip on Your Shoulder: To be angry or resentful about something that happened in the past

Meaning: Having a “chip on your shoulder” means harboring anger or resentment from a past experience.

In a Sentence: His constant aggression seemed rooted in having a chip on his shoulder from a childhood incident.

To See Eye to Eye: To agree with someone

Meaning: When people “see eye to eye,” they agree on a particular matter.

In a Sentence: Despite their differences, they surprisingly see eye to eye on the importance of environmental conservation.

To Speak of the Devil: To mention someone and then have them appear shortly after

Meaning: This idiom humorously points out the coincidence of someone appearing just after being mentioned.

In a Sentence: We were discussing her absence when, speak of the devil, she walked through the door.

To Kill Two Birds with One Stone: To achieve two things with a single effort

Meaning: “Killing two birds with one stone” signifies accomplishing two tasks in a single effort.

In a Sentence: By working remotely, she could kill two birds with one stone—earning and spending time with family.

To Be in the Same Boat: To be in the same difficult situation as someone else

Meaning: Being “in the same boat” means sharing a challenging situation with others.

In a Sentence: During the economic downturn, many families found themselves in the same boat, struggling to make ends meet.

To Be a Piece of Cake: To be very easy

Meaning: If a task is described as “a piece of cake,” it means it is exceptionally easy.

In a Sentence: For her, solving complex equations was a piece of cake—she excelled effortlessly in mathematics.

To Be the Icing on the Cake: To be the best part of something

Meaning: Being “the icing on the cake” refers to the best or most desirable part of a situation.

In a Sentence: Winning the championship was great, but receiving MVP was the icing on the cake for him.

To Be the Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back: To be the final problem that causes something to fail

Meaning: This idiom indicates that a seemingly minor issue becomes the tipping point for a larger problem.

In a Sentence: The delayed delivery of crucial components was the straw that broke the camel’s back, leading to project failure.

To Be the Black Sheep of the Family: To be the odd one out or the one who does not fit in

Meaning: Being the “black sheep” implies being different or divergent from the rest of the family.

In a Sentence: In a family of musicians, he, being a scientist, was the black sheep pursuing a different passion.

To Let the Cat out of the Bag: To reveal a secret accidentally

Meaning: Letting the cat out of the bag means accidentally revealing a secret or disclosing information prematurely.

In a Sentence: She let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party, unintentionally ruining the plan.

To Pull Someone’s Weight: To do one’s fair share of work in a group

Meaning: To “pull someone’s weight” is to contribute adequately to a shared task or responsibility.

In a Sentence: In group projects, it’s crucial that each member pulls their weight to ensure success.

To Be in the Dark: To be unaware of something

Meaning: If someone is “in the dark,” they are unaware or uninformed about a particular situation.

In a Sentence: The team was in the dark about the sudden change in leadership until the official announcement.

To Be a Fish out of Water: To be in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation

Meaning: Being a “fish out of water” implies feeling uncomfortable or out of place in a particular setting.

In a Sentence: As a country girl in the bustling city, she often felt like a fish out of water.

To Be on the Same Page: To be in agreement with someone

Meaning: If individuals are “on the same page,” they share a common understanding or agreement.

In a Sentence: Effective collaboration requires everyone to be on the same page, working towards a shared goal.

To Pull Out All the Stops: To do everything possible to achieve something

Meaning: To “pull out all the stops” is to make every effort and use all available resources to achieve a goal.

In a Sentence: Knowing it was the final round, she decided to pull out all the stops in the championship match.

To Be the Apple of Someone’s Eye: To be someone’s favorite or most beloved person

Meaning: Being the “apple of someone’s eye” means being dearly loved or cherished by that person.

In a Sentence: Even in a crowded room, the grandchild remained the apple of her grandfather’s eye.

To Be in Hot Water: To be in trouble

Meaning: Being “in hot water” refers to being in trouble or facing difficulties.

In a Sentence: Caught sneaking out after curfew, he knew he was in hot water with his parents.

To Be a Wet Blanket: To be a downer or someone who ruins a good time

Meaning: A “wet blanket” is someone who dampens enthusiasm or ruins the enjoyment of others.

In a Sentence: His constant complaining turned him into a wet blanket during the otherwise lively party.

To Beat around the Bush: To avoid discussing something directly

Meaning: “Beating around the bush” is avoiding the direct discussion of a topic.

In a Sentence: Instead of addressing the issue head-on, he continued to beat around the bush, making the conversation awkward.

To Be a Ball of Fire: To be full of energy or enthusiasm

Meaning: Being a “ball of fire” implies having high energy levels or being extremely enthusiastic.

In a Sentence: Despite the long day at work, she walked into the meeting like a ball of fire, ready to tackle any challenge.

To Be a Breath of Fresh Air: To be a welcome change from the usual

Meaning: Being a “breath of fresh air” means bringing a welcome change or refreshing perspective.

In a Sentence: Her innovative approach to problem-solving was a breath of fresh air in the stagnant corporate environment.

To Be a Thorn in Someone’s Side: To be a constant annoyance to someone

Meaning: Being a “thorn in someone’s side” implies being a persistent source of annoyance.

In a Sentence: The constant buzzing of the malfunctioning office printer became a thorn in everyone’s side.

To Be a Wild Card: To be unpredictable or hard to predict

Meaning: Being a “wild card” suggests being unpredictable or difficult to foresee.

In a Sentence: Her unconventional methods made her a wild card in the otherwise traditional team.

To Be a Red Flag: To be a warning sign or cause for concern

Meaning: A “red flag” is a warning sign or an indicator of a potential issue.

In a Sentence: His consistent tardiness became a red flag for his commitment to the project.

To Be a Snake in the Grass: To be sneaky or untrustworthy

Meaning: Being a “snake in the grass” refers to someone who is sneaky or untrustworthy.

In a Sentence: Beware of colleagues who pretend to be supportive but turn out to be a snake in the grass.

To Be a Party Pooper: To ruin someone’s fun or be a buzzkill

Meaning: Being a “party pooper” is someone who ruins the enjoyment or excitement of a situation.

In a Sentence: His constant negativity turned him into a party pooper, dampening the festive atmosphere.

Summary

IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
Break a LegGood luck (said to actors before a performance)As she stepped onto the stage, her friend whispered, “Break a leg,” hoping for a stellar performance.
Cost an Arm and a LegTo be very expensiveThe latest smartphone may have all the bells and whistles, but it certainly costs an arm and a leg.
Pull Someone’s LegTo tease or trick someoneWhen he claimed to have seen a unicorn in the backyard, we knew he was just pulling our legs.
Get Cold FeetTo lose confidence or courageStanding at the edge of the diving board, she suddenly got cold feet and decided not to jump.
Have a Chip on Your ShoulderTo be angry or resentful about something that happened in the pastHis constant aggression seemed rooted in having a chip on his shoulder from a childhood incident.
See Eye to EyeTo agree with someoneDespite their differences, they surprisingly see eye to eye on the importance of environmental conservation.
Speak of the DevilTo mention someone and then have them appear shortly afterWe were discussing her absence when, speak of the devil, she walked through the door.
Kill Two Birds with One StoneTo achieve two things with a single effortBy working remotely, she could kill two birds with one stone—earning and spending time with family.
Be in the Same BoatTo be in the same difficult situation as someone elseDuring the economic downturn, many families found themselves in the same boat, struggling to make ends meet.
Be a Piece of CakeTo be very easyFor her, solving complex equations was a piece of cake—she excelled effortlessly in mathematics.
Be the Icing on the CakeTo be the best part of somethingWinning the championship was great, but receiving MVP was the icing on the cake for him.
Be the Straw That Broke the Camel’s BackTo be the final problem that causes something to failThe delayed delivery of crucial components was the straw that broke the camel’s back, leading to project failure.
Be the Black Sheep of the FamilyTo be the odd one out or the one who does not fit inIn a family of musicians, he, being a scientist, was the black sheep pursuing a different passion.
Let the Cat out of the BagTo reveal a secret accidentallyShe let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party, unintentionally ruining the plan.
Pull Someone’s WeightTo do one’s fair share of work in a groupIn group projects, it’s crucial that each member pulls their weight to ensure success.
Be in the DarkTo be unaware of somethingThe team was in the dark about the sudden change in leadership until the official announcement.
Be a Fish out of WaterTo be in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situationAs a country girl in the bustling city, she often felt like a fish out of water.
Be on the Same PageTo be in agreement with someoneEffective collaboration requires everyone to be on the same page, working towards a shared goal.
Pull Out All the StopsTo do everything possible to achieve somethingKnowing it was the final round, she decided to pull out all the stops in the championship match.
Be the Apple of Someone’s EyeTo be someone’s favorite or most beloved personEven in a crowded room, the grandchild remained the apple of her grandfather’s eye.
Be in Hot WaterTo be in troubleCaught sneaking out after curfew, he knew he was in hot water with his parents.
Be a Wet BlanketTo be a downer or someone who ruins a good timeHis constant complaining turned him into a wet blanket during the otherwise lively party.
Beat around the BushTo avoid discussing something directlyInstead of addressing the issue head-on, he continued to beat around the bush, making the conversation awkward.
Be a Ball of FireTo be full of energy or enthusiasmDespite the long day at work, she walked into the meeting like a ball of fire, ready to tackle any challenge.
Be a Breath of Fresh AirTo be a welcome change from the usualHer innovative approach to problem-solving was a breath of fresh air in the stagnant corporate environment.
Be a Thorn in Someone’s SideTo be a constant annoyance to someoneThe constant buzzing of the malfunctioning office printer became a thorn in everyone’s side.
Be a Wild CardTo be unpredictable or hard to predictHer unconventional methods made her a wild card in the otherwise traditional team.
Be a Red FlagTo be a warning sign or cause for concernHis consistent tardiness became a red flag for his commitment to the project.
Be a Snake in the GrassTo be sneaky or untrustworthyBeware of colleagues who pretend to be supportive but turn out to be a snake in the grass.
Be a Party PooperTo ruin someone’s fun or be a buzzkillHis constant negativity turned him into a party pooper, dampening the festive atmosphere.

Conclusion

Mastering idioms is like uncovering hidden treasures within a language, adding depth and color to your communication. These expressions, often rooted in cultural nuances, make conversations lively and nuanced.

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