Top 100 idioms and collocations


  1. aches and painsminor pains that are continuous and unpleasant due to physical work or old age, but usually not very serious.
    – Tom is tired of hearing about all her grandma’s aches and pains.
    – You might have all sorts of aches and pains when you get older.
  2. achieve a goal to do something that you’d planned or hoped to achieve.
    – I think she will be able to achieve her goal of losing ten kilos before Christmas.
    – He hasn’t yet achieved his goal of buying the house of 1 million dollars.
  3. acute illnessany illness that develops quickly.
    – It may be severe and last a relatively short period of time. She died of an acute illness.
    – Her father dropped dead of an acute illness.
  4. all alongall the time, from the very beginning.
    – I think she’s been cheating us all along.
    – He knew all along that it wasn’t her real name.
  5. all in good time used when somebody wants to do something soon but you want to wait a little.
    – I know you wish your house had sold already, but all in good time.
    – When are we going to open the presents? All in good time.
  6. all over againused for saying that you do the whole of something again starting from the beginning:
    – At the police station they asked me the same questions all over again.
    – The computer crashed and deleted all my work – I had to start the essay all over again.
  7. an arm and a legis used to describe anything that is considered to be extremely expensive.
    – Large houses cost an arm and a leg to maintain.
    – I’m sick of paying an arm and leg for rent in this town.
  8. around the clockall day and all night without stopping.
    – The company worked around the clock to repair the problem.
    – For the past 4 days, they’ve been working around the clock and through the night.
  9. ask a favorto ask somebody to do something for you because you need their help, support or approval of something.
    – Can/ Could/ may I ask you a favor?
    – I would like to ask a favor of you.
  10. as a matter of factused when adding more details about what you have just said.
    – Have you had many visitors yet? No, as a matter of fact you’re the first.
    – I knew him when we were in college – as a matter of fact we were on the same course.
  11. as (one ) pleases in whatever way one wishes or which suits one best:
    – I’m really not concerned with what way you go about researching your report. Do as you please, so long as the report is good.
    – He looks at himself in the mirror any chance he gets; he’s as conceited as you please.
  12. at ease feeling relaxed, especially in a situation in which people might feel a little nervous.
    – She felt completely at ease with Bernard.
    – She had an ability to put people at their ease.
  13. at the drop of a hatif you do something at the drop of hat, you do it immediately without stopping to think about it.
    – People will file lawsuits at the drop a hat these days.
    – India is one part of the world I would go to at the drop of a hat.
  14. attract attentionto make someone notice you or something.
    – Movies with excellent actors and actresses always attract great attention.
    – He has tried to attract her attention, but she hasn’t noticed him yet.
  15. an awful lota very large amount.
    – His wife has spent an awful lot of money on clothes these days.
    – John is a famous lawyer. He gets an awful lot of clients.


  1. badly needneed something very much.
    – They badly need the money.
    – She badly needs to clean her room.
  2. balanced dieta diet that contains adequate amounts of the nutrients necessary for good health.
    – Eating balanced diet is one of the most important things everyone should try.
    – If you need to live healthily, you should eat balanced diet.
  3. barely able to do somethingused for saying that it is possible for someone to do something but only with difficulty.
    – She was barely able to see the bridge in the fog.
    – His mother was barely able to read and write.
  4. bear in mindto remember.
    Bear in mind that I can’t run as fast as you.
    Bear in mind that he is not as young as he was, so don’t walk so fast.
  5. beyond your wildest dreamsyou are emphasizing that it is better than you could have imagined or hoped for.
    – She had already achieved success beyond her wildest dreams.
    – I want to make you happy beyond your wildest dreams.
  6. bide your time to wait patiently for a good opportunity to do something.
    – He’s just biding his time until a permanent job opens up.
    – So you bide your time, just kind of for that perfect moment.
  7. big mouth if someone is or has a big mouth, they often say things that are meant to be kept secret.
    – He went and opened his big mouth and told them the whole story.
    – I’m sorry. I wasn’t supposed to tell you! Me and my big mouth.
  8. box of birdsbe fine or happy.
    – Once she’s had some time to cheer up, she’ll be a box of birds again, don’t worry.
    – He described the dogs as a box of birds.
  9. break bread withshare a meal with someone.
    To break bread with one’s enemy is the fastest way to find common ground.
    – Please come by and break bread with us sometime, I would like to break bread with you.
  10. breaking newscurrent news that a media organization gives special or live coverage on.
    – I was watching the game when some breaking news came on, so I missed Mario’s goal.
    – We interrupt this broadcast with some breaking news about the crisis in the Middle East.
  11. breathtaking scenery extremely impressive, striking and beautiful views.
    – We floated down a river in a canoe and enjoyed the breathtaking scenery.
    – People enjoy visiting Amirsoy mountain because of its breathtaking scenery.
  12. break the moldto do something in a new way.
    – She really broke the mold with her innovative approach to this notification system – several companies have since adopted her method.
    – She broke the mold by being the first person in her family to go to the university.
  13. bring something to an endto make something finish.
    – I think it is time to bring the meeting to an end.
    – The conflict has been brought to a close end.
  14. bury the hatchetto stop an argument and become friends again.
    – Can’t you two just bury the hatchet?
    – You two really did bury the hatchet, didn’t you?
  15. bury your head in the sandto ignore an unpleasant situation and hope it will stop if you do not think about it.
    – If you bury your head in the sand now, you may lose your house.
    – You’ll never solve your problems if you just bury your head in the sand – you have to face them.


  1. cast doubt on someone / something to make something seem less certain, good, or real.
    – The recent downturn in sales casts doubt on the company’s future.
    – Fresh information that casts doubt on his integrity.
  2. casual relationshipa relationship that isn’t serious and doesn’t last a long time.
    – They are just in a casual relationship, but they enjoy each other’s company.
    – We’re now just in a casual relationship, but we hope that it will soon become quite serious.
  3. center of attention a person or thing that excites everyone’s interest or attention.
    – Helen likes to be center of attention.
    – Jane was the center of attention at her wedding.
  4. chance of a lifetimean extremely important and or fortuitous opportunity, especially one that is not likely to ever present itself again.
    – They offered me the chance of a lifetime to travel the world and write about my experiences abroad.
    – Make sure you take advantage of our sale, it’s a chance of a lifetime.
  5. a change of hearta move to a different opinion or attitude.
    – You can have your money back if you have a change of heart.
    – She was going to sell her house but had a change of heart at the last minute.
  6. change (one’s) tuneto change one’s attitude opinion, manner, or stance on something typically in a way that is more positive or agreeable.
    – The mention of a hefty tip really changed the host’s tune, so I think he’ll be able to find us a table after all.
    – After I threatened him with no allowance, my son changed his tune and started doing his chores.
  7. cheesy smilea smile which is very obvious but looks false or not sincere.
    – She snapped a cheesy smile at him.
    – He flashed a cheesy smile at me before he looks down at his notes.
  8. circle of friendsa number of close friends who meet regularly to do things together as a group.
    – We have a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
    – He is one of my close circle of friends.
  9. cock (one’s) ear to listen intently.
    – I’m about to give you some important instructions , so cock your ear.
    – The little dog looked up and cocked its ears.
  10. come up with an ideato think of an idea.
    – He is broke. He has to come up with an idea for making money.
    – He came up with an idea for starting his business.
  11. contrary to popular belief/opinion used to say that something is true even though people believe the opposite.
    Contrary to popular belief, a desert can be very cold.
    Contrary to popular belief, many cats dislike milk.
  12. cost a fortuneto cost a lot of money.
    – It costs a fortune to get the motor car fixed.
    – A week in a five-star hotel costs a fortune.
  13. critically ill extremely/dangerously ill.
    – He became critically ill and were a waiting surgery.
    – He begged her to take care of him because he was critically ill.
  14. cross(one’s) mind if an idea crosses your mind, you think about it for a short time.
    – When was the first thing that crossed your mind when you won the prize?
    – I haven’t thought of my high school English teacher in years, so I’m not sure why she crossed my mind today.


  1. daily lifeall the things / activities that you do every day as part of your normal life.
    – Travelling is a great way to escape the routines of our daily life.
    – Surfing the internet has become part of my daily life.
  2. dead tiredcompletely exhausted or fatigued; extremely tired.
    – Tom was dead tired after working continuously 14 hours since this morning.
    – I was dead tired, so I had an early night.
  3. deal withto take the necessary action, especially in order to solve a problem.
    – Don’t worry, I’ll deal with this.
    – The council has failed to deal with the problem of homelessness in the city.
  4. do a favor to do something to help someone as an act of kindness.
    – Would you please do me a favor and take my son to the school?
    – My brother did me a favor by lending me his car.
  5. down on your luckto have no money because you have had a lot of bad luck over a long period of time.
    – When someone is down on their luck, friends are very difficult to find.
    – The program is for motivated people who are temporarily down on their luck.


  1. eat like a horseto eat a lot / to eat large amounts of food.
    – Jane’s so thin even though she eats like a horse.
    – My mom always cooks a lot of food when my friends and I come for lunch because we eat like horses.
  2. environmentally friendlynot harmful to the environment.
    – Local businesses are encouraged to produce environmentally friendly products.
    – Most organic products are environmentally friendly.
  3. embark on a careerto begin a career.
    – My brother embarked on a career as a game developer last year.
    – Encouraged by her father, Sarah embarked on a career in literature.
  4. extended familya family unit including grandparents, parents, children, aunts, uncles, and other relatives.
    – My brothers and I have been grown up in an extended family.
    – Most Chinese elderly people live in an extended family, usually with a son or daughter and grandchildren.


  1. face (the) factsto accept or confront the truth about something or its consequences.
    – It’s time to face facts: there’s one way for us to recover from this financially.
    – Eventually, you will have to face the facts. Times are hard.
  2. feel at hometo feel comfortable and relaxed as if you were in your home.
    – Jane liked her dormitory room. She really felt at home there.
    – By the end of the first week, Tom was beginning to feel at home in his new job.
  3. foregone conclusiona result that is obvious before it happens.
    – It was foregone conclusion that he’d go into politics.
    – The result of the election seems to a foregone conclusion.
  4. for goodpermanently, without the possibility of change in the future
    – She’s gone and this time it’s for good.
    – Have they split up for good, do you think, or is it only temporary?
  5. from all walks of life (from every walk of life) – from various levels of social position or achievement.
    – In my work I see people from all walks of life.
    – Our volunteers include people from all walks of life.
  6. from time to timeoccasionally, sometimes.
    – This restaurant is pretty good. I come here from time to time.
    From time to time, I like to go fishing instead of going to work.


  1. give a hand to give someone help, support or assistance.
    – Hey Bill, could you give me a hand with these suitcases? They are heavy.
    – If I have any trouble with my homework, please give me a hand.
  2. give a hoot about to care at all about someone or something:
    – Many of my friends don’t give a hoot about college basketball.
    – It isn’t that I give a hoot about jewelry, except diamonds, of course.
  3. go wildto behave in a very excited uncontrolled/ to get very angry.
    – The crowd went wild as soon as Cristiano Ronaldo scored a goal.
    – When he told her what he’d done, she went wild.
  4. go with the flowto do what other people are doing or to agree with other people because it is the easiest thing to do:
    – Just relax and go with the flow.
    – When you’re new in a school, it’s easiest to just go with the flow for a while, and see what people are like.


  1. have a change of heartto experience a change in one’s opinion or feelings on a matter.
    – The government seems to has a change of heart over the newly implemented tax policy.
    – I think it’s perfect time to propose her now – before she has a change of heart.
  2. head over heels (in love )fall deeply and completely in love especially suddenly.
    – She and her husband make an amazing couple. They are head over heels in love and are very supportive of each other.
    – We used to be head over heels, but now we just annoy each other most of time.
  3. hide one’s light under a bushelto keep quiet or conceal one’s talents, ideas or accomplishments.
    – I didn’t realize that Bill could play the guitar – he’s been hiding his light under a bushel.
    – Please don’t hide your light under a bushel. We know you can play this game very well.
  4. hold (someone or something) dearto consider someone or something to be very valuable or important, especially at a personal level.
    – I consider myself pretty gregarious person, but there are only a few people I truly hold dear.
    – Even though this old pocket watch doesn’t work anymore, I still hold it dear as it was the last thing my grandfather ever gave me.
  5. have a wealth of have a lot of
    – Jim has a wealth of teaching experience.
    – Russia has a wealth of coal and timber.
  6. have in commonhave the same interests, attitudes etc as someone else.
    – I found I had a lot in common with these people.
    – We don’t really have much in common.


  1. incurable disease a disease that cannot be cured.
    – He was diagnosed with an incurable disease.
    – She is suffering from an incurable disease.
  2. in someone’s cornergiving one’s full support to someone.
    – I’m nervous about the trial, but I’m glad I have you in my corner.
    – I feel a little bad that he’s going into the meeting with no one in his corner.
  3. in vainunsuccessfully.
    – I tried in vain to start a conversation.
    – All the police’s efforts to find him were in vain.


  1. jump to a conclusionto decide, guess, evaluate or judge something without a sufficient examination of the facts.
    – Don’t jump to conclusion! Perhaps it was her father who was having dinner with.
    – Let’s find out more before jumping to any conclusions. Wait until we hear what he has to say.
  2. just aboutalmost exactly, very nearly.
    – John can do just about anything when he’s on his game because he has a good understanding of it.
    – I’ve just about finished my essay.


  1. key issuea very important subject or problem that people think or talk about, or need to deal with.
    – Health care could become the key issue in political debate.
    The key issue is whether workers should be classified as ‘employees’.
  2. keep under one’s hatto not reveal or discuss something publicly.
    – I’ll tell you about it if you promise to keep it under your hat.
    Keep this under your hat for now, but Greg is definitely the one getting the promotion.
  3. keep up with your studiesto make progress or learn at the same level as others.
    Keep up with your studies or you’ll fall behind.
    – If you want to be a successful student, you must keep up with your studies at college.
  4. keep (close) watch over (someone or something) to guard , protect, or ensure the welfare of someone or something, often through close observation.
    – I felt better sending the kids to camp when I knew Mrs. James would be there to keep close watch over them.
    – I can’t help but feeling that I had an angel keeping watch over me that day.
  5. know inside out to know everything or nearly about someone or something, to be thoroughly familiar with someone or something.
    – I’ve read this book so many times that I know it inside out.
    – I just think you should know a person inside out before you decide to marry them.


  1. lead to believeto cause someone to believe something untrue.
    – I had been led to believe that if I worked hard, I wouldn’t lose my job.
    – He led to believe that this product was guaranteed.
  2. leap to conclusionsto make a decision about something too quickly without knowing all the facts.
    – He saw the two of them together and leaped to the wrong conclusion.
    – You’re always leaping to conclusions whenever I make the slightest criticism of our relationship.
  3. lend color to something to make something , especially something unusual, appear likely or true.
    – We have new evidence that lends color to the accusation of fraud.
    – We cannot do anything that will lend color to our opponents’ allegations about us.
  4. look on the bright sideto find good things in a bad situation.
    Look on the bright side no one was badly hurt.
    – All of this is bad news for the human race , but look on the bright side.
  5. low hanging fruitsomething that can be achieved very easily.
    – The easy changes have all been made. All the low-hanging fruit has been picked.
    – I’m a great believer in picking low-hanging fruit. Start with what’s easy, and go higher later.


  1. make common cause withto work together with a person, group etc that you do not usually agree with, in order to achieve a shared aim.
    – Several different religious groups have made common cause in the campaign.
    – Environment protesters have made common cause with local people to stop the setting up of the factories and iron industries on fertile land.


  1. off the top of one’s head without careful thought or investigation.
    – I can’t tell you off the top of my head.
    – There are some good restaurants around here, but I can’t tell you their names off the top of my head.
  2. once in a blue moonvery rarely.
    – Do you ever eat pork? “Only once in a blue moon“. I prefer beef.
    Once in a blue moon, there’s an issue I can’t resolve.
  3. once in a whilesometimes but not regularly.
    Once in a while she phoned him.
    – You meet some really interesting people every once in a while.
  4. on cloud nineextremely happy
    – I was on cloud nine once I had completed it.
    – I guarantee you, within half an hour, you’ll be on cloud nine.
  5. out for the countunconscious, or sleeping are not likely to wake up.
    – I didn’t even hear you come in – I was so tired that I was out for the count as soon as my head hit the pillow.
    – The rowdy customer was out for the count when the bouncer punched him in the head.
  6. out of habitwithout thinking, because you always do a particular thing.
    – I locked the door out of force of habit.
    – Many people add to their food out of habit, without even tasting it first.
  7. out of your depthnot having the knowledge, experience, or skills to deal with a particular subject or situation.
    – I was out of my depth in the advanced class, so I moved to the intermediate class.
    – I’d always struggled at school. I hated it and felt out of my depth.


  1. pick sb’s brain(s) to ask someone who knows a lot about a subject for information or their opinion.
    – Can I pick your brain about how you got rid of those weeds?
    – Have you got a minute ? I need to pick your brains.
  2. put your feet upto relax, especially by sitting with your feet supported on something.
    – He says it gave him time to put his feet up and relax.
    – That boy needs a lot of teaching, he thought, putting his feet up.


  1. rack your brain(s)to try very hard to remember or think of something.
    – I racked my brains, trying to remember his name.
    – They sat in silence, racking their brains for the name of the road.
  2. rush hourthe time of day when traffic is at its heaviest.
    – Many accidents happened during the rush hour this morning.
    – I always try to avoid travelling during the rush hour.


  1. steady job a job that offers constant and reliable income (you will be paid regularly)
    – It isn’t easy to find a steady job these days.
    – Her parents would like her to get a steady job.
  2. stimulate growthto encourage something to grow or develop.
    – Innovation has stimulated the growth of economy.
    – An increase in the amount CO2 has stimulated the growth of tropical trees.
  3. stop dead in (sb’s or sth’s) tracksto instantly stopping and remaining motionless, silent, and/or inactive upon encountering something.
    – The sound of leaking water stopped me dead in my tracks, and I cringed at the thought of yet another home repair.
    – Even though we were talking quietly, the noise stopped the deer dead in its tracks.
  4. strike a balanceto give the correct amount of importance or attention two separate things.
    – Successful relationships strike a balance between these two needs.
    – Every team has to strike a balance between youth and experience.
  5. surf the Net/ Internetto look quickly through information on the Internet for anything that interests you.
    – We give them quizzes on Britain and allow them to surf the Net.
    – Who spends an inordinate number of work hours surfing the Internet?


  1. take sth/sb for granted1) to believe something to be the truth without even thinking about it; 2)If you take situations or people for granted, you do not realize or show that you are grateful for how much you get from them.
    – I didn’t realize that Melanie hadn’t been to college – I suppose I just took it for granted.
    – One of the problems with relationships is that after a while you just take each other for granted.
  2. take stockto think carefully about a situation or event and form an opinion about it, so that you can decide what to do.
    – When markets touch new highs, investors need to take stock.
    – I am currently taking stock of our position.
  3. throw a tantrum to suddenly become very angry and unreasonable, often screaming , crying.
    – Her son threw a tantrum and screamed loudly.
    – Alex threw a tantrum in the shop because her mom wouldn’t buy her any sweets.
  4. tight schedule many things to do in short time.
    – They are working to a tight schedule.
    – We have a very tight schedule today. We won’t have enough time to hang out for beer as usual.
  5. turn over a new leafto change one’s behavior usually in a positive way.
    – Jason has really turned over a new leaf – he hasn’t been in the slightest bit of trouble in months.
    – I have made a mess of my life. I’ll turn over a new leaf and hope to do better.


  1. up in armsvery upset or angry about something.
    – The whole town is up in arms about the addition of a new shopping center.
    – Mom was really up in arms after I dented her brand-new car.


  1. waste your breathtalk or give advice without effect.
    – The tone of her voice told him he was wasting his breath.
    – Don’t bother trying to change my mind about this you’re wasting your breath!