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). bump into – to meet someone by chance ==> I bumped into my old friends at the seminar for education officials A drop in the ocean – every small part of something much bigger. => Just learning idioms is a drop in the ocean when it comes to preparing for the speaking test. work flat out – work very hard ==> The employees have been working flat out to get the job finished ahead of the deadline. The in thing – something fashionable.==>The new iPhone is really the in thing at the moment. make a fuss over – overly care for someone/something ==> Whenever they visit Grandma she makes a fuss over the children. Run of the mill – average, ordinary ==> Apple phones are very run of the mill these days. far-fetched – usually 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. ace – to 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. A hot potato – a controversial topic.==> Abortion and capital punishment are hot potatoes in my country at the moment. 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. bent out of shape – often used to admonish others not to be too upset. ==> Don’t get all bent out of shape about the way they drive over here! Give (lend) somebody a hand – to give some forms of assistance with a task ==> Could you give me a hand with this shipment? 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. A piece of cake – very easy. ==> Getting a band 6 in the speaking test will be a piece of cake. hit the books – to study, usually intensively ==> I will sit the IELTS test next week. That’s why I have been hitting the books all day long. Soul mate – someone you trust very deeply ==> My husband is not just my lover, he’s my soul mate. 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. (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. Go the extra mile – To make an extra effort; do more than usual ==> You had better not forget 8 leadership attributes that make you go the extra mile. crash course – a quick lesson ==> We need a crash course in idioms for this IELTS program. up-to-the-minute – the very latest or most recent ==> Now we’re going live to our reporter in Washington for up-to-the-minute news on the crisis. On the go – busy ==> I feel as though we always need to be on the go because life’s too short to be idle!