Free reference guides to English Grammar
Practical English Usage
Grammar terms and writing
Reference Desk
English Lesson of the Day
English Grammar
Practical English Usage
Grammatical Terms
English Writing
English speaking
Business English

Interactive pages
Grammar and Vocabulary exercises



Idioms based on buildings - part 2

Here is a list of idioms based on buildings. Each idiom is followed by its meaning / definition. Example sentences are also given.

Bank on something/someone

If you can bank on someone, you can be certain that they will be there for you when you need them.

  • You can always bank on true friends.
Lock the barn door after the horse has bolted

To lock the barn door after the horse has bolted is to take measures to protect something after damage has already occurred.

  • Hiring a watchman after last weekís burglary was a bit like locking the barn door after the horse had bolted.
Like a ton of bricks

When something hits you like a ton of bricks, it has a huge impact on you.

  • The news of her death hit me like a ton of bricks.
Burn your bridges

To burn the bridges is to do something that would make it impossible to go back to a previous situation.

  • You may quit the job if you donít want to, but donít burn your bridges. It always makes sense to leave on a positive note.
Rome wasn't built in a day

Used to mean that it takes a lot of time to do an important job.

  • I have been working on this website for years and I am still not finished but that is hardly surprising. Rome wasnít built in a day.
Castles in the air

Castles in the air are day dreams.

  • If you are always building castles in the air, you wonít make any progress in life.
Be in the doghouse

To be in the dog house is to be in real trouble.

  • He was really in the doghouse when his father discovered that he was into drugs.
Make oneself at home

To make yourself at home is to act as if you are at home.

  • She always makes herself at home when she visits her in-laws.
House of cards

A house of cards is a poorly thought out plan or action. It can also refer to a flimsy structure.

  • One by one, his plans came crashing down like a house of cards.
On the house

If something (for example, drinks) is on the house, it is provided free by a business.

  • The pub was celebrating its first anniversary so drinks and snacks were on the house.
Bring the house down

To bring the house down is to excite the audience with oneís performance.

  • She really brought the house down with her splendid performance.
Go through the mill

To go through the mill is to experience a great deal of hardship.

  • Since her husbandís untimely death, she has been going through the mill.
Go through the roof

To go through the roof is to become very angry.

  • When my mom discovered that I had failed my test, she went through the roof.
Hit the roof

To hit the roof is to go into a rage.

  • When she discovered that her son was into gambling, she hit the roof.
Be a tower of strength

To be a tower of strength is to give strong support.

  • My family was my tower of strength all through the years I spent battling depression.
Climb the wall

To climb the wall is to be so bored that you become frustrated.

  • The delay was so maddening that she started climbing the wall.

Share |


More idioms and expressions



Subscribe and win a Grammar eBook

Prefer Email?
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner