English break, Lesson 16: General English Idioms


Hello and welcome back to Your 2-minute English Break!

Do you ever wonder why it is so hard to understand Native speakers at times? Even after you’ve studied English for quite some time? Well, maybe it’s because of the countless idiomatic expressions that make English such a lively language.

The new  year is approaching, maybe this is going to be the time you finally get to crack this hard nut.

So today we will talk about some very common idioms that native speakers are very likely to use in everyday conversation. Learning them is the first step towards improving your grasp of the language.

First thing first, Idioms are fixed expressions that don’t mean anything close to the meaning of the single words used to express them. So when your native speaker friend says he cannot hang out because he has to hit the books, he doesn’t mean he’s going to give his school books a beating. Well, he may be frustrated because of all the university work he’s falling behind with, but actually he simply means that he has to study hard. 

Here’s a few more expressions that will pitch in and help to get you out of this pickle.


1.   Piece of cake – When someone says that their job is a piece of cake they don’t mean they get lovely chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes at the end of the month, they actually mean that what they do is very easy.

2.    Cost an arm and a leg – Don’t worry, even if English speaking people are weird, they still don’t ask you to pay by cutting off your body parts. So if eating at that fancy restaurant costs you an arm and a leg, it actually means that it is very expensive. Don’t trust that Gordon Ramsey guy, though.

3.    Hit the nail on the head – This idiom has to do with doing or saying something that is precisely right. To get this one better, think about when hitting a nail with a hammer, you do it completely wrong and smash your finger instead. It hurts, doesn’t it? So if you want to do the right thing and save your fingers, hit that nail on the head!


4.    Bite off more than you can chew – Now, in order to not bite off more than we can chew, we will wrap this up here. What I mean is that learning too many idioms at a time may be too big a task to attempt. Let’s not overdo it. 




Teacher’s tip:

Doing a quick drawing of an idiom may help make it more memorable.

Over to you: can you match these three idioms with their definition?

a.    Pitch in and help

b.    Crack a hard nut

c.    Be in a pickle

1.    Be in a difficult situation

2.    Join in completing a task

3.    Solve a hard problem

That’s all for now, if you have any questions about Idioms or English language in general, don’t hesitate and contact us at Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo..


Thank you for your time and Jump In English language with us!