Understanding Idioms

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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.

* 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

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