On today’s podcast, you’ll learn 8 more colloquial expressions so that you can sound more like a native speaker.
8 more common colloquial expressions
Check out our other episodes about common colloquial expressions:
Episodes: 371, 373, 375, 379, 381, 382, 385, 391, 410, 448
- It’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other – when neither of two choices is better than the other
“Shall we give her chocolates or flowers?” “I don’t know, it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other.”
“Do you want olives or anchovies on your pizza?” – “It’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other”
- The big picture – the situation as a whole.
“I try to concentrate on the big picture and not be distracted by details.”
“Things might not be going well right at this moment, but look at the big picture – we’ve progressed a lot since we started.”
- Back to square one/back to the drawing board – back to where we started, with no progress having been made.
“If this doesn’t work, we’re back to square one – we’ve exhausted this line of research,” said the scientists.
“I was thinking about giving Patricia a necklace for her birthday, but then she said she never wears jewellery. Now what? Back to the drawing board!”
- To be down on your luck – to be experiencing a bad situation or to have very little money:
“He’s been down on his luck recently – just after his divorce he had a serious accident.”
- You took the words (right) out of my mouth – to say exactly what someone was thinking
“I agree! You took the words right out of my mouth!”
- A penny for your thoughts (What’s on your mind?)
“Hi Paul! You look really sad. Is something wrong? A penny for your thoughts.”
“If it’s a penny for your thoughts and you put in your two cents worth, then someone, somewhere is making a penny.” – Steven Wright
- to put/get/have your house in order – to make sure all your affairs are correctly organised
“The company should have had their house in order before the tax inspectors arrived, but didn’t. Now they’ve been fined for financial irregularities.” (similar to: “to have/get your ducks in a row”)
- Expressions with ‘spot’
Spot on! – completely accurate or correct (also, bang on!)
“I guessed Jane’s delayed flight would arrive between 1:30 and 1:40. She arrived at 1:35. Spot on!”
to hit the spot – to be exactly what is required.
“That cold beer really hit the spot.”
on the spot – immediately, at that moment
“He was arrested on the spot.
spot the difference
“Look at these two very similar pictures of the same place, which have one slightly different feature. Can you spot the difference?”
Spotlight – a lamp projecting a narrow, intense beam of light directly on to a place or person, especially a performer on stage, or, metaphorically, attention.
“The paparazzi never leave that film star alone – she’s always in the spotlight.”
a spot of bother – difficulty in a particular situation or doing a specific task
he had a spot of bother with the police
“My wife gave me a very specific shopping list. I had a spot of bother finding some of the items.”
a spot check – a quick examination of a few members of a group instead of the whole group:
The police are doing spot checks on motorists to test alcohol levels.
a spot of rain – a small amount or short spell of rain
“There may be a spot of light rain between six and ten o’clock this evening, according to the weather forecast.”
A hot spot – a place that is popular, for example, for vacations or entertainment:
“This summer’s vacation hot spot is Alaska.”
A place where war or other fighting is likely to happen
There are wi-fi hotspots in all our cafés.
a beauty spot – 1. a place known for its natural beauty. 2. A small mark on a woman’s face, which makes her more attractive
“The Grand Canyon is a world-famous beauty spot.”
“I love that beauty spot just above my girlfriend’s lip.”
Spotless – absolutely clean or pure; immaculate.
“a spotless white shirt or blouse”
“a spotless record”
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English.
Send us a voice message. https://www.speakpipe.com/inglespodcast
Send us an email with a comment or question to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
This podcast is sponsored, in part, by mansionIngles.com. Visit the online store: https://store.mansioningles.net/
Thank you to all of you who are helping us by supporting this podcast on Patreon. Join our Patreon program for as little as $1.50 per month (+ VAT) and you get instant access to recent transcriptions. https://www.patreon.com/inglespodcast
Welcome to our new Patreon supporters who have joined us recently:
Jaume Ferrer Muñoz
Luz Viviana Moreno
If you enjoyed this podcast, please tell your friends.
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’