36 Useful idioms for IELTS with Examples

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Dec 15,2022 04:38 PM IST

The definition of an idiom is "a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from that of the individual words (example: over the moon, see the light, etc.)". In this blog, we will talk about the different ways of progressing in our speaking for IELTS and all other modules, the importance of idioms and phrases in IELTS in addition to a list of useful idioms and phrases with examples.

36 Useful idioms for IELTS with Examples

Idioms are frequently used in English, whether in professional settings, the media, or in casual talks among friends. Idioms are typically used informally, hence they shouldn't be used in the writing test. It is OK to use them in the speaking test because spoken English is typically much less formal than academic written English.How important are idioms and phrases for IELTS?

To get a good band score on the IELTS, you must have a strong vocabulary. Using idioms that are inappropriate for the subject or situation may be sufficient to earn a band 7 on the writing test. In order to receive a band 8, you must employ both idioms and phrases deftly. Rarely does a candidate apply them flawlessly and receive a 9 band.

Idioms are similar to the flavors in a meal, it must be kept in mind. You must use them sparingly; too much will make you sound like you're ticking things off a list, while too little will make you sound stilted. The secret, then, is balance. Use as many idioms and collocations as you can, we advise. Your English will sound much more natural and fluid as a result.

As often as you can, practice speaking, ideally with native speakers. The ability to use idioms in conversation will set native English speakers apart from intermediate English language learners. Despite the similarities between idioms and collocations, there is a difference between the two: Even though the words in a collocation are not together, the meaning can still be understood. If the words are split, idioms lose their meaning.

Also Read: IELTS Eligibility

Mentioned below are some useful idioms for IELTS with examples;

  • Over the moon: To express extreme happiness or satisfaction I was over the moon when I got through my entrance exam.
  • Actions speak louder than words - Work on something rather than just blaberring around.

Many people enter the professional world with great expectations and aspirations and only few fulfill them. However, actions speak louder than words.

  • Once in a blue moon - Occurring infrequently I love to eat chocolates once in a blue moon.
  • A piece of cake - Something very easy Reading 3 books in a day is a piece of cake for me.
  • A drop in the ocean - A tiny portion of something much larger. Just learning some beginning lines and concluding lines to write an essay is like a drop in the ocean.
  • Back to the drawing board - When you make an attempt but fail and have to make another. While preparing for civil services she worked with a lot of commitment and concentration, therefore, still she was back to the drawing board.
  • Put all your eggs in one basket - Spend all your money or time on one thing Don't put all your baskets in one basket, there are many civil services exams that you can appear for. Don't focus on one entrance exam only.
  • The real McCoy - Very genuine I don't think he is being the real McCoy for his intentions.
  • Off the top of my head - To blabber something without even thinking about it All the talks of my aunt go off the top of my head.
  • Run of the mill - Something that is average and ordinary Luxurious brands are easily affordable and run of the mill for sure.
  • Down in the dumps - Very saddening She was down in the dumps after hearing about the demise of her grandfather.
  • Found my feet - Be in your comfort zone Reena found her feet after studying the same concepts of mathematics for two months consecutively.
  • Set in their ways - Unwilling to change My grandparents are quite conservative and set in their own ways.
  • A hot potato - Something very controversial Discrimination and rap are hot potatoes in India these days.
  • Miss the boat - Not being able to avail the opportunity Two years ago, I met with a massive accident and missed the boat of being a CEO of the company.

Also Read: IELTS Exam type

Let us talk about some more useful idioms and phrases with their meanings:

  • Go the extra mile - Do some extra effort
  • Costs an arm and a leg - Too much expensive
  • Sit in the fence - Yet to be decided
  • Throw in the towel - Leave and give up
  • Absence makes the heart go fonder - Appreciate someone’s presence for being away for a while
  • Better late than never - Do something rather than not do it
  • Birds of a feather - People in accord tend to spend time together more.
  • Free lunch - Everything has a hidden cost
  • Patience is the key - Good things come to those who wait
  • Fresh as a daisy - Something which is fresh and clean
  • A bad egg - Someone who is not trustworthy.
  • Down to earth - A grounded or a realistic person
  • Party pooper - A socially active person
  • Get a head start - Something that you start before the others
  • Jump the gun - To start something at the earliest
  • Give it my best shot - Try to work in the hardest way
  • In somebody’s shoes - Be in a bad situation
  • Get a second wind - Have flawless energy after being tired ? Eager beaver - A hardworking and an enthusiastic person
  • Full of beans - To be highly active and healthy

Also Read: IELTS exam dates

When employing idioms, it's important to keep in mind that your message shouldn't come across as jargon or forced. You must be able to do them naturally. A Band 8 or even a Band 9 will be yours if you use idioms correctly and moderately rather than overusing them, which won't guarantee a good grade. Use these with extreme care, and only when necessary. Even though they are quite helpful, overusing them could make them sound scripted and memorized. Keep in mind that you want to sound as fluid and natural as English-speaking natives.

Also read: IELTS Exam fees

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