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.
* have sb’s (best) interest at heart – care about sb and want to improve the situation.
All moms have the family’s best interest at heart, and will do everything to help their kids.
* go out of your way (to do sth) – to try very hard to do something, especially for someone else.
They really went out of their way to make us feel welcome.
* be there for sb – to be available to provide help and support for someone.
Best friends are always there for each other in times of trouble.
* to go great lengths to do sth – to try very hard to achieve something.
He’ll go to any lengths to get what he wants.
* hold sth together – to stick.
Car manufacturers are increasingly using glue to hold parts together.
* set sb apart (from sb) – If a quality or characteristic sets someone or something apart, it shows him, her, or it to be different from, and usually better than, others of the same type.
What set her apart from the other candidates for the job was that she had a lot of original ideas.
* turn to sb/sth – to get help from someone.
You can always turn to me for help if you need it.
* give / lend sb a hand – to help someone.
These tax cuts will give industry a helping hand.
* thank your lucky stars – to be very grateful for something.
I thank my lucky stars every day for my wonderful husband.
* have things / it (all) your own way – get or do what you want, even when other people want something different.
He is such a demanding person, he always has things his own way.
* put your foot down – to use your authority to stop something happening.
When she started borrowing my clothes without asking, I had to put my foot down.
* sure of yourself – to be very or too confident.
She’s become much more sure of herself since she got a job.
* stop at nothing – If you stop at nothing to achieve something, you are willing to do anything in order to achieve it, even if it involves danger, great effort, or harming other people.
She’ll stop at nothing to get her revenge.
* walk all over sb – to treat someone very badly or defeat them very easily.
If you don’t want to work at the weekend, say so – don’t let the boss walk all over you.
* push sb around – to tell someone what to do in a rude or threatening way.
If you think you can push me around like that, you’re mistaken.
* pick on sb – to criticize, punish, or be unkind to the same person often and unfairly.
He gets picked on by the other boys because he’s so small.
* stick for sb / yourself – to defend / support.
When the bullies came around, he stuck up for his little sister.
* not lift a finger (to do sth) – to not make any effort.
He just watches TV and never lifts a finger to help with the dishes.
* take it for granted (that…) – to believe something to be the truth without even thinking about it.
I didn’t realize that Melanie hadn’t been to college – I suppose I just took it for granted.
I hope you learned some new idioms today, see you next time!
Source: Idioms and Phrasal Verbs – Advanced / Ruth Gairns and Stuart Redman – Oxford