Idioms – Starting and Stopping

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Hey guys!

Everybody knows the importance of learning some idioms and colloquial expressions, especially when you live in a foreign country. We always learn a lot of them by communicating with native speakers or watching movies and series. In this section, you learn some idioms and expressions to communicate in a more natural way when speaking English in a foreign country.

Here are a few Idioms related to the topic Starting and Stopping:


* call it a day – to stop doing something, especially working (chega por hoje / dar por terminado)

I worked for hours but I had to call it a day when it got dark.


* call it quits – when you decide to stop doing something (chega por hoje / dar por terminado)

The nightclub stays open until the last customer is ready to call it quits.


* cut your losses – when you decide to stop spending money, energy or time on an activity or situation which you have already spent a lot without success (abandonar algum projeto ou atividade para poupar tempo, dinheiro ou energia)

Competition in the market was very strong, so we decided to cut our losses and close the business.


* enough is enough – when something is bad and should stop (chega!)

How much do we have to tolerate before saying enough is enough?


* from scratch – when you create something completely new (do zero)

He had to start from scratch to avoid making the same mistakes.


* grind to a halt – when a process or activity becomes slower or less active until it stops (parar)

The production process has ground to a halt, so the company had to shut down.


* hit the ground running – when you start a new activity with great enthusiasm, working effectively from the beginning / to be back in full force (voltar com força total)

After her vacation, she hit the ground running and has been more productive than ever before.


* in business – when you can start doing something because you’ve got everything ready for it (trabalhando, funcionando, aberto para negócio)

Our new software is working properly now so we can go back in business.


* knock something on the head – to prevent something from happening / to finish something (evitar fazer algo / terminar ou acabar com algo)

It’s time to knock this idea on the head. It will never work!


* nip something in the bud – to stop something at an early stage (cortar pela raíz)

It’s important to recognize jealousy as soon as possible and nip it in the bud before it becomes a serious problem.


* set / start the ball rolling – to make it start (começar algo a fim de atrair interesse de outras pessoas futuramente)

Once you set / start the ball rolling, everyone wants to be involved.


* turn over a new leaf – when you start to behave in a better way than before (dar uma virada na vida para melhor)

While Eddie has turned over a new leaf, his brother is still racing around in fast cars and causing trouble.


* up and running – when something has started and is functioning successfully / operating well (funcionando bem / andando bem)

After so many months solving financial issues, our business is finally up and running.


I hope you learned some new idioms today, see you next time!

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