Useful IELTS idioms

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Useful IELTS Idioms :

It is essential to use idioms in the IELTS test to score good marks. In this blog I have compiled a list of the most popular idioms, listed as below with example usage :

Icing on the cake:

It was a great honor to attend the event, However, to receive the autograph from the superstar was the icing on the cake.

Tip of the iceberg:

Rising costs are just the tip of the iceberg, A recession is inevitable.

Crux of the matter

The crux of the matter is to stay calm and let it go.

Piece of cake

To upload a video on youtube is a piece of cake.

Once in a blue moon

I travel to my village once in a blue moon.

The ball is in your court

I provided my insight on the presentation and the ball is in your court now.

Not my cup of tea

Running Marathon is not my cup of tea.

Compare apple and orange

Comparing a city with a village is like comparing apple with an orange.

Break the ice

Asking a person about their profession is a good idea to break the ice and start a conversation.

Let the dust settle

If you let the dust settle after the anxiety, you can think more clearly.

Beat around the bush

Stop beating around the bush and get straight to the point.

Without further ado

Without further ado let me walk you through the agenda of today’s meeting.

Turn a blind eye

The government must not turn a blind eye from the implications of raising fuel price.

Walk the extra mile

In order to get the promotion, we should walk the extra mile from our regular responsibilities.

Back to square one

After spending nearly a month in the investigation, we are back to square one.

In a nutshell

In a nutshell, it helps to facilitate the ordering process.

Spill the beans

We kept the surprise a secret but the office boy spilled the beans.

Call it a day

After 10 hours of continuous hard work, we decided to call it a day.

Out of my league

I did my best to work out, but it seems the competition is out of my league.

Walk you through

Let me walk you through the steps required to be a front end designer.

Hunky dory

You can’t be angry everytime and expect everything to be hunky-dory.

Cloud nine

He was on cloud nine after receiving a gold medal in Olympics.

Hit the bullseye

His precise feedback about the performance hit the bull’s-eye.

Piece of the puzzle

The mall is trying to increase foot-fall, and the new lobby design is just a piece of the puzzle.

Vicious circle

He was caught in a vicious circle of eating sweets and being lazy.

Domino effect

The surge in the oil price has a domino effect on the global economy.

Ripple effect

The shortage of integrated circuits may have a ripple effect on all Electronics production.

In the same boat

We have similar circumstances in life, we are in the same boat.

Give it a shot

It is better to give it a shot and experience than quitting.

Pull a rabbit out of the hat

Everyone is eager to know whether the manager can pull a rabbit out of the hat and announce a bonus.

Open Pandora’s box

Unfortunately, the government’s policies opened up Pandora’s box of domestic problems.

Light at the end of the tunnel

The business is picking up, and we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

A drop in the ocean

Individual charity can be a drop in the ocean. However, it can have a huge impact on the outcome.

Shooting in the dark

By making assumptions we are just shooting in the dark.

Scratch the surface

It is a much more complex problem and till now we have been just scratching the surface of the bigger issue.

Leaps and bounds

Once the travel season started, the business started growing by leaps and bounds.

Catch 22 situation

We can neither ignore nor address the issue, it is a catch 22 situation.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

“Don’t sweat the small stuff, focus on the bigger picture and don’t let minor issues consume your thoughts and energy.”

On a lighter note

“On a lighter note, let’s take a break from the serious discussion and enjoy a good laugh.”

With due respect

“With due respect, I would like to respectfully disagree with your proposed solution and offer an alternative perspective.”

It all boils down to

“It all boils down to making the best decision for the company and its stakeholders, regardless of personal opinions.”

As a rule of thumb

“As a rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to double-check your work before submitting it to avoid any errors or mistakes.”

Tricks of the trade

“The experienced carpenter shared some of the tricks of the trade, showing the apprentices some shortcuts and techniques to make the job more efficient.”

Busy as a bee

“She was always busy as a bee, juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities while maintaining a calm and composed demeanor.”

Smooth as butter

“The new software update made the process smooth as butter, making it easy to complete tasks quickly and efficiently.”

Sleep like a bear

“After a long day of hiking, he slept like a bear, deeply and soundly in the cozy cabin.”

Fresh as rose

“She looked as fresh as a rose, despite being up all night studying for her exams.”

As fresh as a daisy

“She woke up feeling as fresh as a daisy, ready to tackle the day ahead with energy and enthusiasm.”


Hold your horses

“Hold your horses, let’s not make any hasty decisions until we’ve had a chance to fully consider all of the options.”

Raise the bar

“The Company’s new products have raised the bar for the industry, setting a new standard for quality and innovation.”

I can relate to

“I can relate to your experience, I have gone through something similar in the past.”

I know where you are coming from

“I know where you are coming from, it can be difficult to make a decision when you are feeling overwhelmed with options.”

At the heart of the matter

“At the heart of the matter, we need to find a way to reduce costs while still providing high-quality service to our customers.”

Get to the bottom of the matter

“We need to get to the bottom of the matter, and find out what’s causing the delays in the production line.”

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

“Don’t bite off more than you can chew, it’s important to be realistic about your capabilities and limitations.”

Music to my ears

“The news of the project’s success was music to my ears, all the hard work had finally paid off.”

Feast for my eyes

“The sunset over the ocean was a feast for my eyes, the colors were truly breathtaking.”

Can you pull this off

“Can you pull this off? It’s a big project and it requires a lot of work, are you sure you’re ready for it?”

Shed some light

“Can you shed some light on this topic? I am not quite sure I understand it fully.”

To setup the context

“To setup the context, let’s review the events that led up to this point and the current situation.”

Tread the path

“To be successful, we must tread the path of innovation, constantly seeking new and better ways of doing things.”

Pave the way

“By developing new technologies, we are paving the way for a sustainable future for all.”


Farees Ahmed

The aim of this blog is to serve as a quick reference guide for the Curious. Appreciate your feedback and comments !