25 More English Idioms
Improve Your Vocabulary Quickly!
for ESL Students
Increase your vocabulary by studying the idioms and expressions below. These are some of the most common expressions in English.
The example sentences show how idioms are used in context when you speak English. Have fun!
26. all of a sudden means "unexpectedly", used to describe something that happens very quickly
Example: He had just gone to bed when all of a sudden the phone rang.
27. be all ears means "eager and ready to listen"
Example: Go ahead and speak. I'm all ears!
28. be fed up with means "to hate something now, even though I may have liked it before"
Example: I'm fed up with my job! I think I should start looking for a new one.
29. to bug means "to bother someone". (American English)
Example: Hey, stop tapping your fingers. It's really bugging me!
30. a cinch means something that is very easy to do
Example: I didn't think I could run five kilometers, but with the right preparation, it was a cinch.
31. cost an arm and a leg means "very expensive"
Example: I'd really like a new car, but they all cost an arm and a leg.
32. to cram means "to study hard a few days before a test"
Example: If you had studied hard for the past four months, you wouldn't have to cram so much this weekend.
33. fresh out of something means "to have no more of something"
Example: I have to go buy some more milk. It seems we're fresh out now.
34. to get it (often negative) means "to understand"
Example: What did the teacher say? I didn't get it. Did you?
35. got a minute? means "Do you have time right now?"
Example: Hey, Joe, got a minute? I have something to show you.
36. give someone a hand means "help someone"
Example: Could you give me a hand moving this table? It's quite heavy.
37. grab a bite to eat means "quickly go get something to eat"
Example: I'm going to go grab a bite. I'll be back in a few minutes.
38. drive someone up a wall (or "drive someone crazy") means "to make someone very angry"
Example: My neighbor practices the piano every night, but he's terrible. It's driving me up the wall!
39. to hang on means "to wait"
Example: Hang on a few minutes. I have to make a phone call and then I'll be able to join you for lunch.
40. hard headed means "stubborn" or "unwilling to change an opinion or idea
Example: I can't work with Joe any more. He's so hard headed!
41. have a change of heart means "change a previous decision"
Example: I thought I would change jobs, but now that my boss is treating me with more respect, I've had a change of heart.
42. have mixed feelings about something means "to be uncertain"
Example: I have mixed feelings about Joe. He's a very good teacher, but he has a very strange sense of humor!
43. head out for means "to start on a long trip" (but it could be within a big city)
Example: We're heading out for the countryside to pick some apples. Would you like to join us?
44. How come? means "Why?"
Example: How come we don't go to the movies any more? I guess we're too busy to enjoy ourselves these days.
45. keep in touch (or "stay in touch") means "do not stop communicating - send letters or call sometimes"
Example: Don't forget to keep in touch. I want to know how you're doing while you're away.
46. be kidding means "to joke or tease someone in a playful way"
Example: No, I don't really have three wives - I was just kidding!
47. look down on means "think somone or something is not good enough"
Example: We shouldn't look down on people just because they don't have as much money as we do.
48. make ends meet (often used negatively) means "to have enough money to buy everything we need"
Example: Even though I make more money than last year, we just can't seem to make ends meet.
49. miss the boat means "to miss an opportunity"
Example: The sale ends today at noon. If we don't hurry, we're going to miss the boat!
50. next to nothing means "to cost very little"
Example: I went to the new discount store and bought these new shoes for
only five dollars. That's next to nothing!