English English Phrases

Today, let's unwind as we boost our vocabulary and learn English with idiomatic expressions and phrases that often leave non-native speakers confused. Here our top 10 favorite English idiomatic expressions, their meanings and examples of how to use these idiomatic expressions.

Phrase Eat, sleep and breathe something
Meaning To be very passionate about something that you think about it all the time.
Example My daughter is into music. She eats, sleeps and breathes r'n'b.
Phrase Blood, sweat and tears
Meaning Something that requires a lot of effort and hard work
Example His career isn't based on luck; he worked his way to the top with his blood, sweat and tears.
Phrase Raring to go
Meaning To be extremely eager to do something
Example My son loves football. He's raring to watch the next game.
Phrase Hang on by fingernails
Meaning To continue to do something in a very difficult situation.
Example The situation remains critical after the earthquake as the survivors are handing on by their fingernails waiting to be rescued.
Phrase First out of the gate
Meaning To be the first one to make a start at something.
Example I was the first one to be out of the gate when I started driving to school.
Phrase Have one's heart set on
Meaning To possess a determination to obtain something.
Example I've had my heart set on getting into Harvard for years.
Phrase Punch above one's weight
Meaning Perform beyond your ability.
Example He was punching above his weight when he volunteered for this project since it was too complicated for him.
Phrase Sink your teeth into
Meaning To do something with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
Example As Jennifer started practicing yoga, she sank her teeth into her practice.
Phrase Cut to the quick
Meaning To hurt someone deeply, to offend them.
Example Charles was cut to the quick when he was accused of stealing from his family.
Phrase Bee in one's bonnet
Meaning To carry an idea which constantly occupies your thoughts.
Example She has a bee in her bonnet about finding a job in fashion industry.