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.
* not out of the woods – not yet free from difficulties or problems.
The situation is improving, but we’re not out of the woods yet.
* take a back seat – deliberately become less actively involved in something, and stop trying to control things.
I’ll probably take a back seat and let him do most of the work.
* my heart sank – used to tell somebody that you suddenly felt sad or worried about something.
My heart sank when I saw the damage the hurricane caused.
* having said that – used to say that something is true despite what you have just said.
It’s an expensive restaurant. Having said that, the food is very good.
* the next thing I knew – used to say that something happened very quickly.
… and the next thing I knew, the cat jumped out of the window…
* I thought as much – used to say you are not surprised that something is true.
Pete and Sue have broken up. Mmm. I though as much.
* more than likely / happy – very likely / happy.
More than likely they will lose the game. / I’ll be more than happy to help you.
* go out of bed on the wrong side – used to say that somebody is in a bad mood.
I think my boss got out of bed on the wrong side this morning.
* a sore point – something that makes you upset, angry, or embarrassed when somebody mentions it.
It’s a little bit of a sore point because she got a low grade in the test.
* put your foot in it – accidentally say something that upset or embarrasses someone.
I put my foot in it and then everybody suddenly stopped talking.
* it serves somebody right – used to say when you think somebody deserves something unpleasant that happens to them.
It serves him right for doing the wrong thing! I don’t feel sorry for him.
* not do a stroke of work – not do any work at all.
She didn’t do a stroke of work and that’s why she was fired.
* take it / something personally – feel that a failure is your fault or feel offended by something/something.
Don’t take it personally, I simply think you are not the best candidate for this job.
I hope you learned some new idioms today, see you next time!
Source: Idioms and Phrasal Verbs – Advanced / Ruth Gairns and Stuart Redman – Oxford