Idioms for IELTS Speaking -

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Trending Idioms for IELTS Speaking Section to Score 8 Bands

IELTS speaking is one of the most overwhelming sections of all. Thus, students need to prepare their communication skills well to ace this. To do this, they need to work on ielts vocabulary, phrases and idioms. So, in this blog, you will learn about the idioms. An idiom is a phrase or an expression with a non-literal meaning. Using idioms in communication is an art that can help you score high on the IELTS speaking test. Here, we will discover how idioms for IELTS speaking can enhance your language proficiency. Thus, you will be learning everything about idioms to use in the IELTS speaking section and score a bank score of 8. Read ahead to explore.

What Are Idioms in IELTS Speaking?

An idiom is a group of words that combine to create a specific meaning about a subject. However, if the group of words is separated, the meaning would be lost.

To understand what is an idiom in IELTS speaking, here is a checklist:

  • It is a group of words.
  • It is used in everyday conversation.
  • It cannot be understood literally.
  • It conveys emotions.
  • It has cultural relevance.
  • It adds elegance in language.

So, If you have a strong command of the idiomatic expressions, you will be easily able to impress the examiners and crack the test. With some practice, you can get used to adding these to your conversation. You can also get assistance from online IELTS coaching to get the best results. Moving ahead to explore the necessity of the idioms in the speaking section of the exam.

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What Is the Importance of Idioms in the IELTS Speaking Section?

A lot of non-native English-speaking candidates who wish to study abroad or work in English-speaking countries have to take IELTS (International English Language Testing System). One of the important factors in the IELTS speaking section which can help you score more than a band 7 score proper placement of idioms for IELTS speaking, you can easily achieve your target.

Here are the points of importance of idioms in IELTS speaking:

  • Language proficiency
  • Expressiveness
  • Natural flow in conversation
  • Impress the examiner
  • Stand out from basics
  • Reflects cultural awareness

By using idioms in your IELTS exam, you are able to express a higher level of expressive fluency in your speech. They are a part of the culture of the country, and thus, using common idioms for IELTS speakingat the right time will showcase your cultural awareness and prepare you to study in UK. In the following section, we'll look into real-world scenarios to use idioms during your IELTS Speaking test.

Commonly Used IELTS Idioms: Meaning and Examples

Here some common idioms for IELTS speaking which can add depth to your communication. Join us here to explore the meanings and learn real-world examples.


Meaning and Example

Once in a blue moon

Meaning - An act that rarely happens.

Example - I only go to meet my friends once in a blue moon.

Go down in flames

Meaning - To fail suddenly and spectacularly.

Example - If you will not study, your career will go down in flames

Cry over spilt milk

Meaning - Complain about a loss from the past.

Example - You didn’t qualify because you didn’t learn IELTS idioms for speaking. Now, don’t cry over split milk.

Speak of the Devil

Meaning - Used when a person who was just mentioned suddenly appears.

Example - Speak of the devil! We were just talking about you, Sonia!

See eye to eye

Meaning - To have the same opinion.

Example - Finally, I and my partner see eye to eye on our future plans.

Miss the boat

Meaning - To miss an opportunity.

Example - He missed the boat when he didn’t reach for the interview on time.

Beat around the bush

Meaning - Avoiding the main topic or matter.

Example - He started beating around the bush when I asked him if he wanted to study in the UK.

Through thick and thin

Meaning - Being faithful and loyal in all circumstances.

Example - My best friend was always with me through thick and thin.

Blessing in disguise

Meaning - Something that seems unfortunate earlier but later comes out to be advantageous.

Example - Missing my flight was a blessing in disguise as it crashed on its way.

The ball is in your court

Meaning - It's now your turn to make a decision or take action.

Example - I have told you about the job. The ball is in your court now.

Having explored the meanings and examples of some common idioms, we're now ready to learn some impressive ones to make a deeper impact as per the IELTS exam pattern followed by the developing agencies.

Top 10 Idioms to Use in IELTS Speaking

Here, we will discuss some idioms that will make your speaking more impressive and you have a greater chance of scoring 8 bands in the IELTS exam.


Meaning and Example

Actions speak louder than words

Meaning - What you do is more important than what you say.

Example - The politicians speak a lot about the country, but their actions speak louder than words.

Spill the beans

Meaning - To reveal a secret.

Example - We were planning a surprise party and Saumya spilled the beans by telling it to my mother.

Kill two birds with one stone

Meaning - To solve two problems with one act.

Example - He killed two birds with one stone by completing his online language course during daily commute.

Judge a book by its cover

Meaning - To make an opinion just on the appearance.

Example - At a glance, I thought the food would be horrible; but was wrong. I should not judge a book by its cover.

An arm and a leg

Meaning - Very costly

Example - The dinner last night cost me an arm and a leg.

Turn a blind eye

Meaning - To ignore something

Example - I turned a blind eye when I saw my neighbor at a party.

Barking up the wrong tree

Meaning - Directing effort toward the wrong person or thing.

Example - In accusing her of theft, you're barking up the wrong tree.

Hit the nail on the head

Meaning - To accurately identify the main point of a matter.

Example - During the meeting, Sanaya hit the nail on the head by pointing out the exact issue.

Bite the bullet

Meaning - To face a difficult situation with courage.

Example - Due to a financial crisis, he had to bite the bullet to run his family.

Under the weather

Meaning - Feeling unwell

Example - Despite being under the weather, she attended the meeting.

Let us continue our linguistic adventure by exploring some advanced idioms that can add more power to your speaking skills.

As we already know, using idioms can add a layer of finesse to your responses. But apart from the common idioms for IELTS speaking, there are some advanced idioms. Here, we are going to see some IELTS idioms which you can use during your exam.


Meaning and Example

Be in the Same Boat

Meaning - To be in the same situation as others

Example - When I talked to my friends before exams, I found out that we all are in the same boat.

To Play Devil's Advocate

Meaning - To argue against an idea to stimulate discussion.

Example - I knew the truth but I was laying devil’s advocate to know more.

Be on Cloud Nine

Meaning - Extremely happy

Example - When I saw band 9 score in my IELTS exam by using IELTS idioms for speaking, I was on cloud nine.

To Read Between the Lines

Meaning - To understand the hidden meaning in a conversation or text.

Example - Sometimes, you have to read between the lines to know others’ intentions.

Burning the Midnight Oil

Meaning - Working late into the night

Example - Students often burn the midnight oil to prepare thoroughly for the exams.

How to Use Idioms During IELTS Speaking Test?

During the IELTS speaking test, you should use idiomatic expressions to show sophistication and add flair to your speaking. There are various idioms, but you have to be careful while using them. Make sure that you know the correct meaning of the idiom for IELTS speaking you want to use so that you are able to align it correctly with the topic.

Here’s how to use idioms in IELTS speaking section:

  • Select Correct Idiom
  • Understand the Meaning
  • Include it Naturally
  • Know Clear Pronunciation
  • Maintain Connectivity

Be selective about the idioms you are using. If you're new to using idioms, start with simpler ones. The correct pronunciation is crucial when you have idioms to use in IELTS speaking. The key to using the idioms in the right way is balance. Do not overuse them, and speak the idioms in such a way that they enhance your message rather than overshadow it.

Questions to Prepare for IELTS Speaking Section

Here are some general questions asked by the interviewers in the IELTS speaking section. Preparing these with the correct use of idioms can help you to score an 8 band score in the test.

Part 1: Introduction

  • Can you introduce yourself with some background information?
  • Tell me about your hometown. What do you like most about it?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • How do you generally spend your weekends?

Part 2: Long Turn

  • Describe a memorable event from your school days.
  • Talk about an event that left a lasting impression on you.
  • Discuss a person who has had a significant influence on your life.

Part 3: Discussion

  • How do you think technology has impacted communication within families?
  • Does education play any role in shaping a person's future?
  • Discuss the pros and cons of globalization.

It is clear that using idioms in your IELTS speaking test can significantly improve your band score. But you must use idioms for IELTS speaking judiciously as they play a vital role in improving the clarity and expressiveness of your responses in the IELTS Speaking test. If you want to study in a foreign country where IELTS is mandatory, you can go for IELTS coaching from experts like They will guide you in all the aspects of IELTS.

Frequently Asked Questions

You should know the IELTS syllabus to appear for the test which might make you confused. So, let us discuss some commonly asked questions about IELTS to clear all the doubts.

Q1. What is a Good IELTS Band Score?

Different institutions or organizations may have specific score criteria and IELTS eligibility. Therefore, the definition of a good score varies based on individual goals and requirements. You must check the guidelines to find out what is best for you.

Q2. What is the Structure of the IELTS Test?

The IELTS test consists of four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. These are designed to assess the different language skills of the students.

Q3. Where Can I Use Idioms in the IELTS Speaking Test?

You can use IELTS idioms for speaking in all three parts of your IELTS speaking test. But make sure that you use them at the right time and in the right place. Using idioms wisely will have a huge impact on what your impression will be on the examiner.

Q4. Can Using Many Idioms Negatively Impact My Score?

Note that, if you are using too many idioms for IELTS speaking, it can make your speech sound unnatural. Therefore, you must strike a balance and use idioms appropriately during the test. They must enhance your speaking and not hinder communication.

Q5. Are There Any Specific Idioms to Use During the IELTS Speaking Test?

No, there are no specific idioms to use. You can use a variety of idioms for speaking based on the topic you are speaking. To be on the safer side, you can practice some idioms that can be used in common IELTS topics.

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