An idiom means a phrase or a couple of words that cannot be translated directly to understand what it actually means. Idioms are established by usage, and a native can easily recall the actual meaning. Native speakers use idioms in daily life conversations a lot. So if you want to sound like one of them and master the English language, you should learn at least the most commonly used idioms.
8 of them are:
‘Cut corner’ means- doing something in the cheapest and easiest way possible by excluding some effort and costs. For example, if your teacher says, “You have cut corners while doing your homework,” that means you haven’t put enough effort into your homework. You probably haven’t written all the information needed to answer a question properly, or maybe your writing is not good enough as per your capability; that’s why your teacher may say that. List of nouns that start with Q contains some common idioms you should check.
Hit the books
‘Hit the books’ means- studying really hard. If someone says, “I am going to hit the books,” that doesn’t mean he/she will hit the books or hit something else by using the books; it means that person will study hard. You can say to your friends, “I cannot go out today; I have to hit the books.” Or maybe, “He has been hitting the books to do well in exams.”
I couldn’t care less
A lot of Americans use this idiom every day. It means they don’t care about something or are not at all concerned about it. For example, if someone says, “I couldn’t care less about these rules,” that means that person saying it doesn’t give a crap about some particular rules. This idiom is a very informal one and is often used rudely. So, be careful about whom you are talking to.
When pigs fly
You cannot imagine pigs flying, right? Americans use the phrase “when pigs fly” to say how much they doubt something. For example- if someone says, “Sam will start studying when pigs fly.” It would mean that the person who is saying that doesn’t believe that Sam would ever start studying. To that person, Sam’s starting to study is equally impossible as pigs’ flying. So, whenever you doubt something too much or don’t really believe that such a thing can ever happen, the idiom “when pigs fly” can be used.
Long story short
This one is another widely used idiom. It means- the final outcome is summarized in one sentence. For example- if someone says, “Long story short, Lisa got admitted to this school.” Here the person is telling that- so many other things may have happened, but the final outcome and the most important part to be mentioned is- Lisa got admitted to this school.
Catching is related to fishing in a normal sense. But when ‘good catch’ is used as an idiom, it is related to anything, especially any achievement. I know, it sounds quite complicated. But trust me, after just one example, everything will be clear to you. If someone says to you, “Your boyfriend is a good catch.” That would mean- your boyfriend is worthy enough to be dated. Now you get it, right?
Beat around the bushes
“Beat around the bushes” means making a conversation or speech unnecessarily long without coming to the exact point. For example- if your teacher keeps giving too much introduction about the topic during class, your friend may say, “He should stop beating around the bushes.” So, the thing is, if someone slows down a conversation or class and keeps talking about such things- which aren’t that important, then it can be described as “beat around the bushes”.
Go down in flames
What happens when someone goes down in flames in a literal sense? That person gets burned instantly and totally. So, the idiom “go down in flames” is used to describe such a situation where someone has faced a sudden or instant difficulty that has ruined everything. For example- if someone says, “Her career went down in flames when she became mentally unstable,” it would mean that her career has been ruined suddenly and completely after she became mentally unstable.
Hopefully, this small piece of writing has helped you to know when and how you can use these widely used idioms. You can always learn more via online platforms.