Here are some more academic idioms for you to use in IELTS speaking!
Guess the meaning of the idioms (highlighted in bold type), then click the card to see the meaning on the reverse.
I disagreed, but since he’s my boss I decided to eat humble pie (Pretend that you agree with someone so as to avoid negative consequences.)
Stop beating around the bush Just say what you want to say! (Avoiding the main point in an argument.)
I drew the short straw when it came to job placement. My colleagues went to tropical countries but they sent me to Iceland! (To be receive something that is not as attractive than the things other people receive.)
Please keep me in the loop John. I need to know all the latest developments! (You are aware of the latest details relating to an ongoing situation.)
Banning hooliganism by banning football is like throwing out the baby with the bath water! (Taking extreme steps to solve a problem so that the overall effect is worse than the original problem.)
Farming is their bread and butter It’s their only source of income. (Main means of earning money.)
When she told me she loved me I felt like I was on cloud nine (Extremely happy!)
Samsung and Apple are neck and neck in terms of sales. (Competing at an equal level.)
I don’t want to make all those people redundant, but I suppose I’ll have to bite the bullet (When you do something you don’t really want to do, but you have to.)
I go to the cinema once in a blue moon – maybe once every five years! (You do something very infrequently.)
Innovation starts to happen when people think outside the box (Using original thought to think about a problem.)
He gave me a hard time when he was my boss, but now the shoe is on the other foot I’m his boss! (When the roles of leader and follower are reversed, unfortunately for the new follower!)
The gig economy is a grey area in terms of taxation and employment benefits. (A situation in which meanings are less clear and often ignored.)
When people complain about the public sector, they’re barking up the wrong tree The private sector is much worse! (Looking in the wrong place for something, or talking about something irrelevant)
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