How to Use Idioms to Sound More Natural

Use Idioms to Sound More Like a Native Speaker

Do you want to sound more natural when you speak in English?  One way is to learn idioms,  Native English speakers grow up using idioms in their conversations in a natural way, without even being aware that they are using them..

For you to sound more natural and to get a high score in the IELTS exam it is essential for you to learn idioms and to learn how to use them correctly.  Another benefit of learning them is that you will understand more when you have a conversation with a native speaker.

idioms can help you to improve your score in the IELTS speaking test, if you use them appropriately. However, if you fail to use them accurately they can lower your score.

how to use idiomsWhat is an idiom?

So, what exactly is an idiom?  It is a phrase that has a different meaning from the literal meaning of the words in it. For example, if someone has lots of energy you could say that he is “full of beans.”  This doesn’t mean that they’ve eaten lots of beans for breakfast; it’s just the idiomatic way of saying that they have lots of energy.

However, it’s important to realise that idioms are usually used informally in conversations and you should generally avoid them in written work such as in business reports. For example, it is acceptable to use them in the IELTS speaking test but not in the IELTS writing test.  However, a word of caution – do not overuse them.  Be natural, which is why you need to use them naturally and accurately.  This article will help you to do that.

Some common Iidioms You Can Use

Below are some common idioms which, if used correctly, will help you to sound natural and will increase your score in the IELTS speaking test.

Idiom Definition
Let’s keep learning EnglishPractice makes perfect. Doing something continuously in order to improve
I didn’t mean it.  I was only  pulling your leg. Saying something in jest, which isn’t true.
We’ve talked enough about it.  Now, let’s cut to the chase. To get to the point.
I like your dress.  Yes, it is nice but it cost me an arm and a leg.   A lot of money.
Please keep an eye on my dog whilst I pop out to the shops. Watch  something or someone carefully.
Hold your horses! I think we’re going the wrong way. To stop doing what you’re doing and evaluate the situation.
That task was a piece of cake! Something very easy.
Let’s stop arguing and let sleeping dogs lie. Forget about a conflict.
I passed my exam with flying colours. To accomplish something with great success.
My new job was hard at first but now I’ve found my feet. To become competent at something new.
Joe is gruff but he is also kind. His actions speak louder than words. Doing the right thing is better than just saying that you will do the right thing.
She hit the nail on the head. To Say the appropriate thing.

Learn these idioms and you will sound more natural when you speak English.  There are many idioms and you can find out more about them in our course, “Three steps to Fluent English,”  Moreover, you will discover a method of learning them fast and permanently.  Click here for more information.


Paul Andreas

Paul Andreas is a Certified Speaking Coach and qualified TEFL Teacher Online English Lessons delivered by Skype for IELTS exam preparation and conversational English. Get a free trial lesson.

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