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Common English idioms & expressions

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English idioms, proverbs, and expressions are an important part of everyday English. They come up all the time in both written and spoken English. Because idioms don't always make sense literally, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the meaning and usage of each idiom. That may seem like a lot of work, but learning idioms is fun, especially when you compare English idioms to the idioms in your own language.

Learning to use common idioms and expressions will make your English sound more native, so it's a good idea to master some of these expressions. You can start by learning the very common English idioms below, since these are the ones you'll encounter regularly watching American movies or TV, or visiting the United States. 


The most common English idioms

These English idioms are extremely common in everyday conversation in the United States. You will hear them in movies and TV shows and can use them to make your English sound more like that of a native speaker. 

IdiomMeaningUsage
A blessing in disguisea good thing that seemed bad at firstas part of a sentence
A dime a dozenSomething commonas part of a sentence
Beat around the bushAvoid saying what you mean, usually because it is uncomfortableas part of a sentence
Better late than neverBetter to arrive late than not to come at allby itself
Bite the bulletTo get something over with because it is inevitableas part of a sentence
Break a legGood luckby itself
Call it a dayStop working on somethingas part of a sentence
Cut somebody some slackDon't be so criticalas part of a sentence
Cutting cornersDoing something poorly in order to save time or moneyas part of a sentence
Easy does itSlow downby itself
Get out of handGet out of controlas part of a sentence
Get something out of your systemDo the thing you've been wanting to do so you can move onas part of a sentence
Get your act togetherWork better or leaveby itself
Give someone the benefit of the doubtTrust what someone saysas part of a sentence
Go back to the drawing boardStart overas part of a sentence
Hang in thereDon't give upby itself
Hit the sackGo to sleepas part of a sentence
It's not rocket scienceIt's not complicatedby itself
Let someone off the hookTo not hold someone responsible for somethingas part of a sentence
Make a long story shortTell something brieflyas part of a sentence
Miss the boatIt's too lateas part of a sentence
No pain, no gainYou have to work for what you wantby itself
On the ballDoing a good jobas part of a sentence
Pull someone's legTo joke with someoneas part of a sentence
Pull yourself togetherCalm downby itself
So far so goodThings are going well so farby itself
Speak of the devilThe person we were just talking about showed up!by itself
That's the last strawMy patience has run outby itself
The best of both worldsAn ideal situationas part of a sentence
Time flies when you're having funYou don't notice how long something lasts when it's funby itself
To get bent out of shapeTo get upsetas part of a sentence
To make matters worseMake a problem worseas part of a sentence
Under the weatherSickas part of a sentence
We'll cross that bridge when we come to itLet's not talk about that problem right nowby itself
Wrap your head around somethingUnderstand something complicatedas part of a sentence
You can say that againThat's true, I agreeby itself
Your guess is as good as mineI have no ideaby itself
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