22 Common Idioms in IELTS Speaking

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  1. IELTS Forum

    IELTS Forum Master Staff Member

    Apr 5, 2016
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    The correct use of idioms in English conversations is the way to separate native English speakers from those that learn English as a foreign language. In the IELTS speaking test, using idioms can really help boost your score, if used properly. Nevertheless, it can also lower your score, if you can’t use them correctly. What we are trying to do in this lesson is to show you how idioms can be made the most of in the Speaking Test.

    Idiom – A group of words (or a single word) which have a meaning that is not understood by combining the standard definitions of the individual words (though that meaning may sometimes be inferred).

    1. bump intoto meet someone by chance ==> I bumped into my old friends at the seminar for education officials
    2. A drop in the oceanevery small part of something much bigger. => Just learning idioms is a drop in the ocean when it comes to preparing for the speaking test.
    3. work flat out work very hard ==> The employees have been working flat out to get the job finished ahead of the deadline.
    4. The in thingsomething fashionable.==>The new iPhone is really the in thing at the moment.
    5. make a fuss overoverly care for someone/something ==> Whenever they visit Grandma she makes a fuss over the children.
    6. Run of the millaverage, ordinary ==> Apple phones are very run of the mill these days.
    7. far-fetchedusually refers to an idea, choice, decision, plan that may be unusual, probably not a good choice. ==>The government’s choice for the new Defense Secretary seemed pretty far fetched to the opposition party.
    8. aceto do well. Usually used relating to a test, competition, something with a score, or a clear winner or loser. ==> He aced the history test. He is an ace pitcher/batter/tennis player.
    9. A hot potatoa controversial topic.==> Abortion and capital punishment are hot potatoes in my country at the moment.
    10. Get a kick out of (something)to get excitement or pleasure from an event or thought. ==> I really get a kick out of seeing the crazy things carried on motorbikes sometimes.
    11. bent out of shapeoften used to admonish others not to be too upset. ==> Don’t get all bent out of shape about the way they drive over here!
    12. Give (lend) somebody a handto give some forms of assistance with a task ==> Could you give me a hand with this shipment?
    13. Sit on the fence to be undecided. ==> I haven’t made my mind up about that issue, I’ll have to sit on the fence.
    14. A piece of cakevery easy. ==> Getting a band 6 in the speaking test will be a piece of cake.
    15. hit the booksto study, usually intensively ==> I will sit the IELTS test next week. That’s why I have been hitting the books all day long.
    16. Soul matesomeone you trust very deeply ==> My husband is not just my lover, he’s my soul mate.
    17. broke usually financial related, have no money, can also generally reference a state ==> I can’t afford to go on holiday – I’m (flat) broke.
    18. (Go) back to the drawing board – to start planning something again because the first plan failed ==> Our plan didn’t work out, so it’s back to the drawing board.
    19. Go the extra mileTo make an extra effort; do more than usual ==> You had better not forget 8 leadership attributes that make you go the extra mile.
    20. crash coursea quick lesson ==> We need a crash course in idioms for this IELTS program.
    21. up-to-the-minutethe very latest or most recent ==> Now we’re going live to our reporter in Washington for up-to-the-minute news on the crisis.
    22. On the gobusy ==> I feel as though we always need to be on the go because life’s too short to be idle!

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    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  2. beo

    beo New Member

    Jun 14, 2016
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