Idioms are common in all kinds of English – formal and informal, spoken and written. These are fixed expressions that are special to one language. The problem with idioms is that you cannot guess their meaning easily.
This section deals with the most common idioms in English. Each idiom is followed by its definition or meaning and example sentences.
Common English Idioms
I couldn’t agree with you more = I entirely agree with you
- ‘People are obsessed with celebrities. Don’t you think it is funny?’ ‘I couldn’t agree with you more.’
- ‘Most politicians are corrupt.’ ‘I couldn’t agree with you more. They are only interested in their welfare.’
- ‘The government should ban all firecrackers.’ ‘I couldn’t agree with you more.’
I’m sick of it
If you are sick of something, you don’t like it anymore.
- I don’t know why she should behave so rudely. I’m sick of it.
- Maya is a very arrogant. I’m getting sick of her temper tantrums.
- I’m sick of eating the same stuff for dinner every day.
- I’m sick of eating burgers.
You made it big
To make it big is to become highly successful.
- I can’t believe that she earns a six figure salary. She’s made it big!
- Man, you made it big. Your parents have every reason to be proud of you.
- Rahul owns six apartments and a fleet of cars. He has really made it big.
Back to the grind
To be back to the grind is to get back to work.
- ‘I’ve to submit this assignment before evening.’ ‘If that’s the case, you had better get back to the grind.’
- ‘OK everybody, lunch break is over. Now get back to the grind.’
I blew it = I missed my opportunity
- ‘Did you get that job?’ ‘No mate, I blew it.’
- ‘So did you go on a date with her?’ ‘No. She seemed interested, but I guess in the end I blew it.’
- ‘Everyone expected Rahul to find a place in the national team, but he blew it.’
Pie in the Sky = an unrealistic dream
- I have always wanted to be a great writer, but I think that dream was a pie in the sky. I have not been able to get even a short story published.
- ‘Shradha has moved to Mumbai to become an actress but I don’t think things are working out for her.’ ‘Seems like her dreams are just a pie in the sky.’
A hidden agenda
When somebody has a hidden agenda, they have a secret motive for doing something.
- It would be foolish of us to believe everything that she says. I really suspect that she has a hidden agenda.
- The Minister accused the reporter of having a hidden agenda.
- He insists that he has no hidden agenda; however, I don’t think that we should take his words at face value.