IDIOM – EARN YOUR BREAD AND BUTTER

Example sentence – Singing is just a hobby.  I earn my bread and butter as a sales representative. Meaning – this idiom means to make enough money for daily life Other Idioms and sayings with the same meaning – to make to a living / to earn a livelihood / to bring home the bacon Earn Your Bread and Butter …

IDIOM – NOT MY CUP OF TEA

Meaning –  use this idiom to describe your likes and dislikes in a polite way In Context – Listening to heavy metal music isn’t really my cup of tea. Idioms with a synonymous meaning – Listening to heavy metal music isn’t really up my alley.  

IDIOM – BRING HOME THE BACON

Meaning – to earn money / to get good results Example sentence – I really don’t feel like going to work today but someone’s got to bring home the bacon. Synonymous Idioms – to make a living More Examples from British National English Corpus 1. He says you know what a woman wants in a husband is a man who …

IDIOM – HARD NUT TO CRACK

Meaning – a difficult problem to solve, a difficult person to persuade.  In this idiom, hard is often replaced by a synonym such as tough or difficult. In Context – (1) I’m not sure if Chris we’ll agree to this move, he’s a hard nut to crack.  (2) Resolving the political crisis in Syria is hard nut to crack. (3) …

IDIOM – START FROM SCRATCH

Meaning – To start from the very beginning. To create something new with no experience, knowledge or advantage. Example – 1. Steve Jobs started Apple from scratch.  2. If you want to start your own business, you will have to start from scratch and build it from the ground up. 3. You don’t need to buy pasta sauce – it’s …

IDIOM – HOLD YOUR HORSES

Meaning – be patient, to wait a moment before taking action In Context – Hold your horses, I haven’t finished explaining yet. Origin – originally used to restrain cavalry (army on horses) from attacking on battlefield Idioms with a similar or synonymous meaning – hang on, hold your water (not very common)  

IDIOM – TIE THE KNOT

Meaning – to get married In Context – (1) After being engaged for years, Claude and Marie have finally decided to tie the knot next year. (2)  Although John and Mary have lived together for the last 20 years, they have never tied the knot. Origin – This idiom refers to an ancient Celtic tradition called handfasting.  Couples were once …

IDIOM – KNOW THE ROPES

Meaning – to know how something works, to be familiar with a procedure, to understand how a system operates, to have experience in a particular area In Context – Colin will be responsible for the new intern until he knows the ropes. Origin – A nautical term, this expression originally meant that a sailor only had basic experience (i.e. they …

IDIOM – COMPARING APPLES TO ORANGES

Meaning – a false analogy, contrasting two things which cannot be compared against each other In Context – You cannot compare ballet to jazz dance, it’s like trying to compare apples to oranges. Origin –  While the origin of this idiom is unclear, it can be found in different variations in many other languages.  The most common version is comparing apples …

Ways to say go the toilet in English

Ways to say you need to go to the toilet. May I go to the toilet, please? Can I go to the toilet, please? I need to / have to go to the loo.