Learning English with Vietnamese Connect
Common English Idioms
Learning English idioms is to not only present your professional skills but also allow you to understand native English speaker easily. We have compiled a list of 20 commonly used idioms, explaining the meaning and also give you examples of how to use them. Learning, practising and using them, you will improve your professional English.
1. A blessing in disguise
Meaning: a good thing that seemed bad at first
Example: Diet is a blessing in disguise. After a while no junk food, you will have a great body.
2. A dime a dozen
Meaning: Something common
Example: Wearing face mark is a dime a dozen in Vietnam
3. Beat around the bush
Meaning: Avoid saying what you mean, usually because it is uncomfortable
Example: When my friend asked me how was her new outfit, l had to beat around the bush.
4. Better late than never
Meaning: Better to arrive late than not to come at all
A: Yesterday is Mike’s birthday, but l forgot to send him a birthday card.
B: Better late than never
5. Bite the bullet
Meaning: To get something over with because it is inevitable
Example: Decisions have to be taken and as a director, you have got to bite the bullet.
6. Break a leg
Meaning: Good luck
A: I have an exam tomorrow
B: Break a leg
7. Call it a day
Meaning: Stop working on something
Example: I think you should call your work a day, you need a break.
8. Cut somebody some slack
Meaning: Do not be so critical
Example: Kate was late again but let’s cut her some slack, she had a hard time in the hospital with her son.
9. Cut corners
Meaning: Doing something poorly in order to save time or money
Example: My salary has been cut down due to pandemic, then we need to cut corners.
10. Easy does it/ Take it easy
Meaning: Slow down
Example: Why you drive too fast? Take it easy/ Easy does it, l am afraid of speed
11. Get out of hand
Meaning: Get out of control
Example: If your party get out of hand, the police will knock your door.
12. Get something out of your system
Meaning: Do the thing you've been wanting to do so you can move on
Example: Let the kids play a little longer, maybe they will get out of the system.
13. Get your act together
Meaning: Work better or leave. To start to organize yourself so that you do things in an effective way.
Example: You look so tired, l think you should get your act together
14. Give someone the benefit of the doubt
Meaning: Trust what someone says
Example: He said ‘that girl is his classmate’ and l give him the benefit of doubt
15. Hang in there
Meaning: Do not give up
Example: Studying will be very stressed when the exam is coming but hang in there.
16. Hit the sack
Meaning: Go to sleep
Example: l usually hit the sack quite late, around 1 am.
17. It’s not rocket science
Meaning: It's not complicated
Example: this task is not rocket science, take it easy and you can do it.
18. Make a long story short
Meaning: Tell something briefly
Example: Let’s make a long story short, we are running out of time.
19. Pull someone’s leg
Meaning: To joke with someone
Example: l usually pull my boyfriend’s leg
20. On the ball
Meaning: Doing a good job/ be aware of any changes and quick reaction to them
Example: We need someone who is really on the ball to answer the professor’s questions.