Popular Expressions A - Z

 

 

 

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I beg your pardon: excuse me.

A: Would you two stop making so much noise please? We can't hear the movie.

B: I beg your pardon. We didn't realize we were so loud.

 

couple

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again: if you fail or don't do a good job at something, you can't quit.

failure

If it ain't broke, don't fix it: if something is working, don't try to improve it, no matter how old it might be. (the English grammar in this expression is not correct: ain't broke)

A: Wow, this machine needs some new parts.

B: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

machine

 

If worst comes to worst: if a situation gets really bad, there's a solution or something else that can be done.

Brandon is a terrible cook, but he wants to make breakfast. If worst comes to worst, they can always go out for breakfast at a restaurant.

 

in the kitchen

If you can't beat them, join them: if you can't prevent people from doing something you don't like, be a part of the group.

George was angry that everyone was partying on company time, but then he said to himself, "If you can't beat them, join them."

celebration

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen: if you don't like the situation you're in, then get out of it.

A: I'm tired of being a supervisor. There's too much stress involve.

B: If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

stove

Ignorance is bliss: not knowing something is true can sometimes be a good thing. If you don't know the truth or the facts, you won't get in trouble.

ignorance

 

in a pinch: in an emergency; at a time when necessary action must be taken.

Bob can't always rely on his car to get to work because it breaks down a lot, so in a pinch sometimes he rides his bike.

 

man on bike

in good condition / in good shape:

This old car is in very good condition.

 

car

in good spirits: happy; cheerful.

She's in very good spirits today because it's Friday and she doesn't work on the weekend.

woman smiling

 

in no time at all: very fast; quick.

Just wait. The train will be here in no time at all.

subway

in one's own best interest: something is good for you even if you don't like it.

Eating all of her broccoli is in her own best interest, but she hates it.

not eating vegetables

in one's own world: alone in one's thoughts; separate from other people.

He's such a deep thinker that he gets lost in his own world.

man

in one's pocket: to control another person, usually through love, power, or money.

He's so in love with her, she has him in her pocket.

man and woman

 

in one's shoes: to see the world from another person's position.

It's not fair to criticize her unless you're able to stand in her shoes.

shoes

in over one's head: to do something that beyond a person's experience or abilities.

He's training for a fight with another martial arts expert, but everyone thinks he's in way over his head.

man with sword

in the ballpark: a good guess; an close estimate.

We didn't pay full price for the house but your guess of just under $300,000 is in the ballpark.

ballpark

in the blink of an eye: very fast.

The shot given by the nurse will hurt a little, but it will be over in the blink of an eye.

eye

 

in the driver's seat: in control of a situation.

He's never comfortable unless he's in the driver's seat.

 

driver

 

in the lap of luxury: very rich; to be surrounded by wealth.

After making millions of dollars in real estate, he's living in the lap of luxury.

 

man swimming

in the long run: over a long period of time.

They have had many disagreements during their 40-year marriage, but in the long run they've been able to get along very well together.

 

older couple

in the running: in competition with others; a candidate for a position.

She's in the running for a top managerial position within the company.

running

in the same league: in the same position; to be as skilled as others.

He's not in the same league as ordinary supervisors. He's very, very good at managing his workers.

corporation man

in this day and age: now; in modern times.

In this day and age, many downtown plazas display art and sculpture.

sculpture

I guess so: to say "yes," however not willingly; to agree to something after some consideration.

A: Can I borrow your car?

B: Well..... I guess so.

keys

It ain't over 'till the fat lady sings: something isn't finished although the event is coming to a conclusion.

A: It looks like Brazil is going to lose the soccer match.

B: It ain't over 'till the fat lady sings.

fat lady

it stands to reason: that makes sense; that's reasonable.

It stands to reason that walking around outside in the cold rain without a coat, a hat, or an umbrella might make you sick.

 

man sick

it takes some getting used to: you have to do something again and again before you like it or understand it.

Fly fishing isn't as easy as fishing with worms. It takes some getting used to.

man fishing

It takes one to know one: if you say something negative about a person, you yourself might have that same negative quality; it's easier to recognize faults in other people if you have those same faults.

A: You're a thoughtless, selfish person.

B: Oh yeah? Well, it takes one to know one.

bad man

it's no use: There's no way to fix this problem. I can't do anything about this. This is impossible.

"It's no use! I can't get this remote control to work."

man throws remote

 

 

 

 

 

 

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