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'Piece' Idioms

Average: 3.6 (44 votes)

a piece of cake

When something is a piece of cake, it is very easy to do.

Jane passed her driving test. She said it was a piece of cake.

Taking exams is a piece of cake if you are prepared.

Finding the way to your house was a piece of cake thanks to your instructions.

give someone a piece of your mind

When you give someone a piece of your mind you speak angrily with them because they have done something wrong.

I'm so angry with Tamara. The next time I see her, I'm going to give her a piece of my mind.

If he doesn't start behaving himself, I'm going to give him a piece of my mind.

She gave me a piece of her mind for being late again.

go to pieces / fall to pieces

You fall to pieces when you cannot control your emotions (or think clearly) because something bad/unpleasant has happened to you.

She fell to pieces when her mother died.

He tried hard not to fall to pieces when his wife left him.

The last time I had to speak in front of a crowd I totally fell to pieces.

pick up the pieces

You pick up the pieces when you try to return back to your normal life after a very bad experience.

After breaking up with her boyfriend, Sara found it difficult to pick up the pieces and carry on with her life.

If you fail in business, pick up the pieces and try again.

James helped me pick up the pieces when things went bad for me. He's a good friend.

pull someone/something to pieces

When you pull something or someone to pieces you criticise it/them, usually strongly. 'Pull' can be replaced with 'tear' and the meaning stays the same: 'tear something to pieces'.

They pulled his report to pieces, but I actually thought it was good.

I don't think I'll watch that new Tom Cruise movie. All the reviews I've read have pulled it to pieces.

The interviewer pulled the politician to pieces during the TV debate.

To check your understanding of these idioms, try the quiz below:

  • 1) He expects me to ___ up the pieces every time he makes a mistake.

  • 2) She almost ___ to pieces when she got the bad news.

  • 3) I can't believe how simple this is. It's a piece of ___.

  • 4) I'm going to give her a piece of my ___ if she's not careful.

  • 5) They didn't like my business proposal, in fact they ___ it to pieces.