Useful Idioms for IELTS

a bed of roses

easy option

a blessing in disguise

a good thing that seemed bad at first

a dime a dozen

very common

a hot potato

a controversial issue or situation that is awkward or unpleasant to deal with.

a picture is worth a thousand words

a picture tells a story just as well as, if not better than, written words

a piece of cake

really easy

actions speak louder than words

what someone actually does means more than what they say they will do

add insult to injury

to act in a way that make a bad situation worse

and then some

and even more; and more than has been mentioned

apple of eye

someone very precious or dear

as cheap as chips

really cheap

barking up the wrong tree

to be wrong about the way to achieve something or the reason for something

beat around the bush

avoid saying what you mean, usually because it is uncomfortable

beating a dead horse

giving time or energy to something what is ended or over

before long

a rather short amount of time.

better late than never

it is better to arrive or do something later than expected than not to arrive or not to do something at all

bite off more than you can chew

to try to do something that is too difficult or too much for you.

bite the bullet

to force yourself to do something unpleasant or difficult, or to be brave in a difficult situation

break a leg

good luck

break the ice

to make people who have not met each other before feel more relaxed and comfortable

burn the midnight oil

stay up late

call it a day

end the job for the day

clouds on the horizon

trouble is coming or is on its way

cost and arm and a leg

to be very expensive

cut corners

to do something in the fastest, easiest or cheapest way

cut somebody some slack

to give somebody additional freedom

dont count your chickens before they hatch

not to count on something happening until after it's already happened

dont give up your day job

used for telling somebody that you don't think they're very good at something

down in the dumps

unhappy, sad

easy does it

used to tell someone to do something carefully and slowly

every cloud has a silver lining

every negative has a positive

find my feet

to become comfortable doing something

fit as a fiddle

being in good health

get a taste of your own medicine

get treated the way you've been treating other people

good things come to those who wait

be patient

hang in there

said as a way to tell people to not give up hope, even through difficulties

ignorance is bliss

you're better off not knowing

in a nutshell

in the fewest possible words

it takes one to know one

you're just as bad as I am

its not rocket science

used to say that you don't think something is very difficult or hard to understand

neck of the woods

the area where someone comes from, or the area where you are

no pain, no gain

suffering is necessary in order to achieve something

not ones cup of tea

someone doesn't like or isn't interested in something

off the top of ones head

from memory. without a lot of thought or consideration

on the ball

alert to new idea, methods, and trends

on the dot

happens at a particular time, precise time, exact time.

on thin ice

On probation. If you make another mistake, there will be trouble.

once in a blue moon

rarely, very infrequently