Idioms are a key component to getting a 7 or higher on the IELTS exam. Therefore I am going to go over some of my favorite IELTS idioms. I’ve grouped them together to help you be able to use them with ease, and I’ll give you some tips on how to use them in a way that is grammatically correct. Remember idioms often describe how someone feels, therefore the more details you give in your answers the easier it will be to use idioms.
Throughout this article I will give you an example sentence of how to use these idioms, as well as how to form grammatically correct sentences. I will use the pronoun “I”, but you can replace “I” with, he, she, we, and they. I also use “it”, which can be replaced by any noun. These aren’t the only ways to use these idioms, theses are just some simple ways to do it while being grammatically correct.
IELTS Idioms that mean happy
All of these idioms can be used to describe an experience that make you or someone happy.
Over the moon
- I really enjoyed spending the day at the beach. I had the best time, I was over the moon the entire afternoon.
- Key grammar phrase- I was over the moon or I felt over the moon.
On top of the world
- Spending time with my family was amazing. The trip was so exciting, I felt like I was on top of the world
- Key grammar phrase- I felt like I was on top of the world or I was on top of the world.
- Winning the competition made me feel amazing, I was flying high the whole night.
- Key grammar phrase- I was flying high or I felt like I was flying high
On cloud nine
- That was one of the best nights of my life, I was on cloud nine.
- Key grammar phrase- I was on cloud nine or I felt like I was on cloud nine
Happy as a clam
- Being able to spend this time with my friends was awesome, I was happy as a clam.
- Key grammar phrase- I was happy as a clam or I felt as happy as a clam.
In seventh heaven
- We climbed to the top of the mountain and when we got to the top the view was incredible, I was in seventh heaven.
- Key grammar phrase- I was in seventh heaven, I felt like I was in seventh heaven
Filled with the joys of spring
- It was such a beautiful day, I was overjoyed and filled with the joys of spring.
- Key grammar phrase- I was filled with the joys of spring or I felt like I was filled with the joys of spring.
Light up my day
- Hanging out with my friends is awesome it always lights up my day.
- Key grammar phrase- it lights up my day (it lite up her day), or I feel like it lights up my day
IELTS Idioms that mean relaxed
All of these idioms can be used to describe an experience that make you or someone feel relaxed.
Let my hair down
- I enjoy cooking, it doesn’t feel like work to me. It allows me to relax and let my hair down.
- Key grammar phrase- It allows me to let me hair down or it helps me let my hair down or I get to let my hair down
- I love vegging out and chilling out on the couch. I love the weekends it gives me a chance to chill out.
- Key grammar phrase- I like to chill out or I get to chill out, I wan to chill out
- The weekends are the best because they give me an opportunity to hang loose.
- Key grammar phrase- It gives me an opportunity to hang loose or I can hang loose or they let me hang loose.
Take it easy
- The weekends give me a chance to take it easy. The vacation was great because it allowed me to take it easy.
- to take it easy or It let(‘s) me take it easy or it gives me a chance to take it easy or it allows me to take it easy
IELTS Idioms that are easy to use
These idioms are easy to use on the exam. At least one of them can be used, not matter which questions are asked.
Cup of tea- to like something
- I like to live big cities, they are my cup of tea.
- Key grammar phrase-it’s my cup of tea
Not my cup of tea- to not like something
- I’m not a big fan of the countryside, it’s not my cup of tea.
- Key grammar phrase- it’s not my cup of tea
Piece of cake- easy
- The test was a piece of cake.
- Key grammar phrase- was a piece of cake
Easy as pie- easy
- Finding this place was easy as pie
- Key grammar phrase- was/is easy as pie
Things on my plate- things to do
- I’m so busy I have a lot of things on my plate
- I have a lot of things only plate or There is nothing on my plate (I have nothing to do)
IELTS Idioms that mean one looks good or bad
All of these idioms refer to someone looking good or bad.
Look like a mullion bucks
- I put on my new dress and looked into the mirror. I was impressed by what I saw, I looked like a million bucks.
- Key grammar phrase-I look(ed) like a million bucks
Put my best face forward
- It’s important for me to look good, I like to put my best face forward.
- Key grammar phrase- I like to put my best face forward or I want to put my best face forward or it’s important to put your best face forward
Dressed to kill
- She looked incredible, she was dressed to kill.
- Key grammar phrase- I was dressed to kill
Dressed to the nines
- I wore a beautiful ball gown, I was dressed to the nines.
Pretty as a picture
- She looked so cute in her dress, she was pretty as a picture
- Key grammar phrase- I was pretty as a picture or I looked pretty as a picture
Ugly as sin
- He looked terrible, he looked ugly as sin.
- Key grammar phrase- I looked ugly as sin or I was ugly as sin
IELTS Idioms that mean feeling good or bad
All of these idioms refer to someone feeling good or bad.
Feel like a million bucks
- It was a great night, I felt amazing. I felt like a million bucks.
- Key grammar phrase- I felt/feel like a million bucks
Down in the dumps
- I was having a rough day, I was really down in the dumps.
- I was down in the dumps or I felt down in the dumps
Had a sinking feeling
- When I saw what time is was I had a sinking feeling. I knew I was going to be late and I knew I would get in trouble for it.
- Key grammar phrase- I have a sinking feeling
Made my day
- I was thrilled when I saw that my parents had gotten me a new car, it made my day.
- Key grammar phrase- It made my day
Jump(ed) for joy
- I jumped for joy when I saw the new puppy.
- Key grammar phrase- I jumped for joy
IELTS Idioms that mean good friend
These idioms refer to being close to someone, knowing them well, or being best friends
Two peas in a pod
- My sister and I do everything together, we’re like two peas in a pod.
- Key grammar phrase- We’re like two peas in a pod or we’re two peas in a pod
Get on like a house on fire
- I love hanging out with her, we get on like a house on fire.
- Key grammar phrase- We get on like a house on fire or We get along like ahouse on fire
Know someone inside out
- We spend so much time together I know her inside out.
- Key grammar phrase- I know him/her inside out
IELTS Idioms that describe places
All of these idioms can be used to describe a place
Clean as a whistle- very clean
- Her room was clean as a whistle
- Key grammar phrase- it was as clean as a whistle
Creature comforts- material comforts that contribute to physical ease, comfort, and well-being
- I don’t think I could leave the city, I love my creature comforts too much.
- Key grammar phrase- I love creature comforts or I need creature comforts
Hustle and bustle- A large amount of activity and work, usually in a noisy surrounding.
- I enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city or I hate the hustle and bustle of the city.
- Key grammar phrase- hustle and bustle of the city
Middle of nowhere- A place that is isolate and remote
- When I’m in the countryside, I feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere.
- Key grammar phrase- in the middle of nowhere or it is the middle of nowhere
Steeped in history- full of, surrounded by, greatly influenced by history
- My city is steeped in history.
- Key grammar phrase- it is steeped in history
City slicker- a person with the sophistication and tastes or values generally associated with city life, typically regarded as unprincipled and untrustworthy.
- I don’t like the city because it’s full of city slickers, and I just want to be around people who speak plainly and say what they mean.
- Key grammar phrase- full of city slickers or I like or don’t like city slickers or I don’t want to be around city slickers
Country bumpkin- An unsophisticated person from the rural area of a country.
- Perhaps it would be nice to let go of the pressure of the city and become a country bumpkin.
- Key grammar phrase- be a country bumpkin or become a country bumpkin
IELTS Idioms that mean quick
Step on it- move faster
- I was running late, and I knew I needed to step on it.
- Key grammar phrase- needed to step on it or had to setp on it
Quick and dirty- A quick method, especially one that is done until you have enough time or money to do it correctly
- I need to get this fixed right this time, I wasn’t looking for a quick and dirty solution.
- Key grammar phrase a quick and dirty solution or something quick and dirty, get it done, quick and dirty
In the blink of an eye- very quickly
- This all has to be done in the blink of an eye, so hurry up.
- Key grammar phrase- finish in the blink of an eye or be done in a blink of an eye
Get a move on- move faster
- Let’s get a move on, we’re going to be late.
- Key grammar phrase- let’s get a move on or get a move on
In two shakes of a lambs tail- very quick
- Stay right here, I’ll be back in two shakes of a lambs tail.
- Key grammar phrase- I’ll be back in two shakes of a lambs talk or I’ll be there in two shakes of a lambs tail.