English idioms are an integral part of the language and are widely used in daily communication. These idioms are phrases with a figurative meaning that is different from the literal meaning of the words. They add flavor and depth to the language, making it more interesting and expressive. Here are 20 daily used English idioms with meanings and examples of their usage.
1. A Piece of Cake
Meaning: Something that is very easy to do.
Example: Don’t worry about the exam; it will be a piece of cake.
2. Break a Leg
Meaning: Wishing someone good luck.
Example: I hope you break a leg in your audition today.
3. Cost an Arm and a Leg
Meaning: To be very expensive
Example: That car costs an arm and a leg; I don’t think I can afford it.
4. Curiosity Killed the Cat
Meaning: Being too curious can lead to trouble.
Example: Don’t ask too many questions; curiosity killed the cat.
5. Cut to the Chase
Meaning: To get to the point quickly.
Example: Let’s cut to the Chase and discuss the main issue.
6. Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch
Meaning: Don’t assume that something will happen before it does.
Example: I know you’re excited about the job offer, but don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
7. Every Cloud has a Silver Lining
Meaning: There is something positive in every situation.
Example: Although I lost my job, every cloud has a silver lining; now, I have more time to spend with my family.
8. Give the Benefit of the Doubt
Meaning: To believe someone even though you’re not sure they’re telling the truth.
Example: I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s telling the truth.
9. Hit the Nail on the Head
Meaning: To get something exactly right.
Example: You hit the nail on the Head when you said we must work harder to achieve our goals.
10. In the Heat of the Moment
Meaning: To do or say something without thinking, usually because of strong emotions.
Example: I’m sorry I yelled at you earlier; I was caught up in the heat of the moment.
11. Jump the Gun
Meaning: To do something too soon, before it’s appropriate.
Example: Don’t jump the gun and announce the project before we’ve finished planning it.
12. Keep Your Fingers Crossed
Meaning: Hope for good luck or success.
Example: I have a job interview tomorrow. Could you keep your fingers crossed for me?
13. Kill Two Birds with One Stone
Meaning: To achieve two goals at the same time.
Example: I need to go to the bank and the post office. If I go early, I can kill two birds with one stone.
14. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Meaning: Avoid interfering with a situation that may cause trouble or complications.
Example: I know my ex cheated on me, but I will let sleeping dogs lie and move on with my life.
15. Make a Long Story Short
Meaning: To tell a story briefly without unnecessary details.
Example: I don’t want to bore you with all the details, so to make a long story short, I ended up getting lost on my way to the airport.
16. Miss the Boat
Meaning: To miss an opportunity or chance.
Example: I really wanted to invest in that startup, but I missed the boat, and now it’s too late.
17. Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
Meaning: To rely on a single plan or idea, risking everything.
Example: I wouldn’t recommend putting all your eggs in one Basket by investing all your money in one stock.
18. Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
Meaning: To remind someone that great things take time and effort.
Example: I know you’re frustrated that you do not see immediate results, but remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
19. The Ball is in Your Court
Meaning: To indicate that someone is responsible for taking action or making a decision.
Example: I’ve given you all the necessary information, so now the ball is in your court.
20. When It Rains, It Pours
Meaning: To describe a situation where multiple difficulties or problems occur simultaneously.
Example: First, my car broke down, then I lost my job, and now my dog is sick. When it rains, it pours.
English idioms are a great way to add color and depth to conversations. They make the language more interesting and fun. Knowing and using these idioms can help you communicate more effectively and express yourself better. So, start incorporating these idioms into your daily conversations and see how they add more meaning and depth to your language.
Azizul Hakim is the founder & CEO of englishfinders.com. He is a passionate writer, English instructor, and content creator. He has completed his graduation and post-graduation in English language and literature.