The most impactful way ECSD students can improve their English is by talking and practicing with local San Diegans. One thing an ESL student may notice about these conversations is a bunch of strange phrases that seem to mean different things from what they say. But fear not, these people (or you!) are not crazy or irrelevant; these strange sayings are called “idioms.” Idioms are popular phrases or words that have a different meaning than what they may seem to say at face value. Learning English also means learning these idioms so you can fully understand what someone might be saying.
Immerse yourself further into the San Diegan culture by learning these phrases. To help our EC San Diego students get started, we have prepared a list of common sayings. They’re a “piece of cake” to learn!
“Actions speak louder than words“: Don’t just talk about something – do something about it.
“All in the same boat“: Everyone is in the same situation.
“Costs an arm and a leg“: It is very expensive.
“Bite off more than you can chew“: To take on a task that is way too large or overwhelming.
“Break a leg!”: Good luck! or Do well!
“Crack someone up“: To make someone laugh
“Sweet tooth“: A fondness for sweets
“On cloud nine“: Extremely happy or giddy
“Cross your fingers“: Hope that something works out the way you hope
“Cup of joe“: Cup of coffee
“From rags to riches“: Going from being very poor to very wealthy
“Head over heels“: To be extremely giddy from having fallen in love
“Go out on a limb“: To take a risk
“Rise and shine!“: To get up in the morning. Good morning!
“Third time’s a charm“: After two unsuccessful tries, the third time will work
“Feeling under the weather“: Feeling sick
“Your guess is as good as mine“: I have no clue, either!
“Never been better“: I am doing very well
With your new repertoire of idiom goodness, go and practice using these phrases in your English conversations!