Here are some commonly used idioms that you can use to make your English sound more natural and less like a textbook.
to be like a fish out of water Someone who feels like a fish out of water is in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable situation.
MY NEW BOOK FOR ESL TEACHERS
ESL Games for the Classroom:
101 Interactive Activities to Engage Your Students with Minimal Prep
Motivate your students to learn English with quick set-up, interactive activities from ESL Games for the Classroom. Every moment of class time counts. To fill class time productively, ESL Games for the Classroom offers effective ESL games that engage students with little or no prep work. Coming September 11, 2018
as sick as a dog
- How to use it: [someone] is as sick as a dog
- Explanation: Someone who is as sick as a dog is very sick.
- Example: Bob was as sick as a dog because he caught the flu.
cat got one’s tongue
- How to use it: the cat got [someone’s] tongue
- Explanation: When the cat got your tongue, you are unable to speak.
- Example: Jim was pretty quite at the party, so I asked him if the the cat had gotten his tongue.
dog days of summer
- How to use it: [we say this about hot summer weather] These are the dog days of summer
- Explanation: The dog days of summer are the hottest days in the summer.
- Example: I’m getting tired of the dog days of summer.
drink like a fish
- How to use it: [someone] drinks like a fish
- Explanation: When you drink like a fish, you drink a large amount of alcoholic drinks.
- Example: Cathy’s a nice person, but she drinks like a fish.
green around the gills
- How to use it: [someone] is green around the gills
- Explanation: Someone who is green around the gills is ill.
- Example: Joe looked a little green around the gills so the boss sent him home.
- How to use it: [two people] lock horns
- Explanation: When you lock horns with someone you argue intensly.
- Example: Tom and his wife locked horns about the household budget again.
- How to use it: [someone] is a night owl
- Explanation: Someone who is a night owl likes to stay up very late at night and sleep during the day.
- Example: Kathy is a night owl, so she is usually on Skype until 3am.
- How to use it: [someone] is a party animal
- Explanation: Someone who is a party animal really enoys going to clubs and bars, drinking and having fun.
- Example: Jane is a real party animal. She’s been out late every night this week!
stuffed to the gills
- How to use it: [someone] is stuffed to the gills
- Explanation: When you are stuffed to the gills, you have eaten a lot of food.
- Example: I was stuffed to the gills after eating the pizza, but it was yummy!
Hey, Michael. How’s it going? Well, we have been struggling with a lot of dog days of summer here in Brazil since last November… It’s the hottest smmer in ages and it’s not even summer anymore but I am writing this comment at 10 pm and it feels like 25 Celcius, so right now getting better means getting worst!
Hi Ana, Wow. We have plenty of cold weather I can send you!
Here in New York we have been stuck in the deep freeze – the winter just hasn’t wanted to let go and go away so that spring can come. I think the weather this weekend will finally be warm. I hope it cools down for you soon!.