As I'm sure you know by now, English has A LOT of idioms. But although there are so many, we don't use them as often as learners of English think.

If you try to use them in the wrong place you sound, well, a bit strange. Knowing WHEN to use an idioms is difficult to say, but the more you listen to native speakers, the more you will learn about when to use them.

There are also some idioms that students learn in their classrooms in their own country which are SO old that when they use them in real life, native speakers just laugh. A good example of this is,

'It's raining cats and dogs.'

Yes, this idiom does exist. It means it is raining very hard. But here is the problem.

No native speaker uses this idiom any more.

Just like English people DO NOT have tea at 4 o'clock. It is a myth.

So you need to learn the idioms that people really use in everyday life so that you do not end up sounding ...weird.

One area where we get a lot of our idioms from is sport, and so I put together this little infographic for you with just a few. There is a meaning under the idiom, and an example to help you put it in a context and so be able to use it properly.

So, have a go and try to use some of these in your speaking. Or, if you are studying for the General IELTS, use one in your next informal letter. The examiner is looking for idioms.

Good luck!

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