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Idioms in IELTS Speaking task

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Using idiomatic expressions can increase the IELTS speaking score. However, it is a quite ambitious goal to use the idioms accurately as it requires a rather high level of skills in spoken English.  


In this article, I will introduce some common idioms and expressions, give useful examples and specify how they can be used during the IELTS speaking.

What are idioms?

Idioms are common phrases and expressions used to describe the action or emotion that do not have the same meaning as the actual words.

For example:

I will finish this essay in the long run.

Even though, you can’t take the words in the long run literally, you can guess the meaning. The phrase is used when someone wants to express the near future. In this case, it means:

I will finish this essay in the future (eventually).


 in the long run English idioms


How are idioms related to IELTS?

The one of higher IELTS score requirements is to include some idiomatic expressions during your speaking task. The examiner will note whether you could you these expressions to justify the ability to express yourself fluently.

 When should I use idioms?

Using idioms at the right time could be challenging and it requires advanced skills. Usually, native language users use idioms spontaneously and very naturally.

It takes time to use them without noticeable effort to include them in your speaking part. You need to be at a quite advanced level to use them naturally.

However, with the right training you can master and use idiomatic expressions successfully. During our IELTS training course we focus on most important grammar aspects and one of them is to practise idiomatic expressions.


Here are the most common idiomatic expressions with explanations:

We should take into account the years she spent abroad.

Meaning: We should consider the years she spent abroad.


The morning view from my kitchen window takes my breath away.

Meaning: The morning view from my kitchen window is incredible.


It’s like anything else; you have to put it down to experience.

Meaning: It’s like anything else, you have to learn from it instead of being upset about it.


Just take your time; we are not in a hurry.

Meaning: You can spend as much time as you need; we are not in a hurry.


It is just something to bear in mind.            

Meaning: It is just something to remember when you make decisions about this matter.


 bear in mind English idioms


I am over the moon about my next holiday destination.

Meaning: I am very excited about my next holiday destination.


 over the moon English idioms


I want to make the most of time spent here.

Meaning: I want to enjoy my time spent here as much as possible.