25+ Common Idioms for IELTS Writing Task 2

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Common Idioms for IELTS Writing: Idioms play a major role in helping test takers secure a band 9 score in IELTS Writing. Hence, it is ideal for students to broaden their range of idioms and phrases. Having a stronghold of a wide array of idioms and knowing their correct implementation can help test takers ace their IELTS Writing. That being said, here are some of the most common idioms used in IELTS Writing you should know to score better. 

25 Common Idioms for IELTS Writing

As a student pursuing education abroad, one of the most pertinent and pressing issues you may face is the inability to ‘Break the Ice’ and start a conversation with your peers. We know we have been ‘Beating Around the Bush’ and not getting to the point in the previous lines, but you get the idea, right?  Okay, enough with the idiom puns; let’s get back on track and delve into the topic. 

We often use these combinations of words in our day-to-day blathers and discourses to enunciate certain intangible elements such as ideas or feelings. Albeit it may not be required for everyone to understand or know every idiom in existence, if you want to pass your IELTS Writing assessment, you must have a firm grasp of such phrases. 

Idioms and phrasal verbs, which are frequently utilised in colloquial jargon, are largely used for self-expression. That being said, you must have a solid grasp of the most common Idioms to score better in IELTS Writing. Here is a curated list of some of the most common idioms for IELTS writing that you use in your answers.                                                                                                              

IdiomMeaningExample
Over the moonTo be pleased.I was over the moon when I passed the test. 
Once in a blue moonHappens very rarely.She shows up to college once in a blue moon. 
A piece of cakeVery EasyScoring 100 runs in the match was a piece of cake for him. 
A drop in the oceanA very small part of something much bigger.Just learning the mathematic formulas  is a drop in the ocean when it comes to preparing for the exam.
Actions speak louder than words It is better to actually do something than just talk about it.You should actually do something about it rather than just talking. As they say, actions speak louder than words. 
Back to the drawing boardWhen you attempt to do something but fail and have to try again.I failed my math exam. I am back to the drawing board. 
Put all your eggs in one basketPut all your money or effort into one thing.Never put all your eggs in one basket when applying for jobs. 
The in thingSomething fashionableCargo pants and oversized t-shirts are the in thing at the moment. 
The real McCoyGenuineMy Nike Air Jordans are the real McCoy. I bought them from the offline store of Nike in Amsterdam. 
Off the top of my headSaying something without thinking first.Please do not mind my words. I say stuff that comes off the top of my head. 
Run of the millAverageThe clothes that I purchased from the thrift store were very run-of-the-mill items. 
SoulmateSomeone you trust very deeplyAfter so many years, Monika finally found her soulmate. 
Down in the dumpsSadAfter suffering a major heartbreak, she went down in the dumps. 
Found my feetTo become comfortable doing something
After hustling for so many months in the organisation, I finally found my feet in doing the work correctly. 
Set in their waysNot wanting to changeMy grandparents are quite traditional and set in their ways.
Go the extra mileDo much more than is requiredIf you wish to thrive in the market, you will have to go the extra mile and take your business to the next level. 
A hot potatoA controversial topicThe story of the princess’s scandal became a hot potato in the country. 
Miss the boatMiss an opportunityI sent my application in late and I think I missed the boat
Costs an arm and a leg Really expensive The new iPhone that I bought cost me an arm and a leg. 
Sit on the fenceTo be undecidedI am still sitting on the fence on that matter. I’ll have to ponder upon it. 
Throw in the towel To give upHe threw in the towel and left the job. 
A watched pot never boilsA situation or event can take far longer than expected. A watched pot never boils when you are waiting for something to cook more quickly.
Better late than neverIt is better to finish something no matter how long it takes to do.It took him 6 months to complete his script. I guess it was better late than ever as it due last month. 
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do todayFinish what needs to be finished today rather than tomorrow.Don’t put it off until tomorrow – finish the project today.
Good things come to those who waitBe patientBe patient with the new intern. She will learn eventually. Good things come to those who wait. 

50 Most Common Idioms for IELTS Academic  Writing Task 2:  Idioms and Phrases for Different Question Types 

Common Idioms for IELTS Writing Task 2: ‘Idioms’ and ‘Phrasal Verbs’ take up a majority of weightage in the IELT Writing Task 2. Thereby, one must be well-versed in the topic as it is scoring and equally easy to understand. Let’s look at the list of some of the most common idioms and phrases that can help you ace your IELTS Writing Task 2.  

Agreeing and Disagreeing

IELTS General Writing Task 2 presents a challenge for test takers to craft comprehensive essays. One of the most recurring topics in this segment is the agree/disagree essays. Such essays prompt you to articulate your stance on a given topic, demanding concise, clear, and precise expression. 

Essentially, you must aim to present your reasoned opinions with clarity and avoid redundancy or errors in grammar and spelling.  For those seeking to delve deeper into the art of crafting impactful agree/disagree essays for IELTS writing task 2, this comprehensive list of common idioms and phrases will help you out. Have a look. 

Idiom/ PhraseExample
I strongly agree with…I strongly agree with the notion that the government should implement a ban on the usage and selling of tobacco.  
I completely disagree with…I vehemently disagree with the idea that online education is detrimental to the growth of children.  
I am of the same opinion that…I am of the same opinion that technology has improved our lives.
While I agree with some aspects…While I agree with some aspects of the argument, I disagree with its overall conclusion.
I concur with the viewpoint that…I concur with the viewpoint that social media has a negative impact on mental health.

Expressing Causes and Effects

Such essay topics in IELTS Writing Task 2 require students to identify the causes or reasons of an issue or problem and discuss their effects. Having a solid grasp of certain phrases majorly used in such tasks can help students come up with coherent and comprehensive essay answers with ease. Here are some of the most common idioms and phrases used in ‘Causes and Effects’ questions in IELTS Writing Task 2. 

Idiom/ PhraseExample
…due to…The increase in the covid cases is due to the negligence of common people. 
As a result of…Her website thrives as a result of her hard work, dedication and correct knowledge of the market. 
One of the main reasons for… is…One of the main reasons for the increase in the suicide rate in Kota is the extreme pressure that parents put on their children. 
…caused by…The decline in bee populations is caused by the use of pesticides.
The consequences of… are…The consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent.

Contrasting and Comparing

Compare and contrast essays in IELTS writing task 2 require students to analyse the differences and similarities between two distinct subjects. Students must have a strong grasp of commonly used idioms and phrases to construct strong arguments and responses while attempting such essays. Here is a comprehensive list of common idioms and phrases which you can use to come up with coherent and solid responses in contrast/compare essay questions. 

Idiom/PhraseExample 
In the same way that…It is the same way that eating junk is bad for your health, watching bad films is bad for your mental health. 
In a similar vein,…Many people enjoy listening to music to relax. In a similar vein, reading can also be a great way to unwind.
In contrast to…In contrast to the earlier versions of the film, it is now more refined and suave. 
While…, the opposite is…While some people prefer living in the countryside, the opposite is true for others who enjoy the bustling city life.
There are both similarities and differences between…There are both similarities and differences between the two novels, as they both deal with themes of love and loss, but are set in different historical contexts.

Introducing Examples

While attempting essay questions in IELTS Writing Task 2, students may often be required to write solid introductions. That being said, one must have a solid grasp of a list of phrases and idioms that are often used in IELTS essay introductions. Here is a curated list of some of the most common phrases and idioms that you can use for your introductions in IELTS Writing Task 2. 

Phrases/Idioms Example 
For instance,…I think the consumption of junk food must be avoided in general. For instance, my friend once consumed a lot of junk food and fell ill throughout the week. 
A case in point is…A case in point is the recent breakdown of the global economy, which has resulted in innumerable job losses across the world.  
To illustrate,…The rise of drug usage has stunted the growth of the Mexican society. To illustrate, the youth in Mexico today spend more time using drugs and causing harm to their health rather than doing something productive. 
As a case in point,…Many countries have implemented successful public transportation systems. As a case in point, the city of Tokyo has one of the most extensive and efficient train systems in the world.
One instance that exemplifies this is…One instance that exemplifies this is the success of the Scandinavian countries in implementing sustainable practices and achieving high levels of human development.

Explaining and Clarifying Ideas

While writing essays in IELTS Writing Task 2, you will often be required to explain your arguments or clarify your ideas articulately and coherently. This is where idioms and phrases can help you. You can use these phrases and idioms to construct well-articled and coherent essays while explaining and clarifying your ideas appropriately. Look at the table below to go through a list of some of the most commonly used phrases and idioms for explaining/clarifying ideas in IELTS writing task 2. 

Idiom/ PhraseExample 
In other words,…In other words, consuming green tea on a regular basis can result in weight loss. 
To put it another way,…Some people enjoy being surrounded by people. To put it another way, not everyone prefers living in isolation or solitude. 
This can be explained by the fact that…The traffic on the highway was heavy because of an accident. This can be explained by the fact that accidents cause delays and congestion.
In essence,…In essence, I believe that the consumption of coffee regularly should be curbed by individuals. 
That is to say,…Many people are worried about the impact of automation on job security. That is to say, they are concerned that machines will replace human workers.

Expressing Personal Opinion

The following list of idioms and phrases can be used to express your personal opinions in essay questions of IELTS writing task 2. Have a look. 

Phrase/IdiomExample 
I am of the opinion that…I am of the opinion that AI is going to take over our jobs someday. 
From my point of viewFrom my point of view, the government should ban adult websites. 
It is my belief that…It is my belief that tobacco consumption should be banned in each and every state of our country. 
As far as I’m concerned,…As far as I’m concerned, online shopping is more convenient than traditional in-store shopping.
I would argue that…I would argue that the merits of using social media is much lower than its cons. 

 Emphasizing Importance

Refer to the table below to go through the list of idioms and phrases that can be used to emphasise importance or value in essay questions of IELTS writing task 2. 

Idiom/PhraseExample 
Vitally important…Reducing smoking is vitally important to preventing lung cancer. 
It is essential that…It is essential that the government takes action against filmmakers who make inciting content for the sake of views and money. 
This is of paramount importance because…This is of paramount importance because accurate data collection is crucial for making informed decisions in the field of medicine.
It is worth noting that…It is worth noting that India won their first World Cup with very little hope of winning the title in the first place.  
It is crucial to understand that…It is crucial to understand that good time management skills are essential for academic success.

Giving Reasons

You can use the following list of phrases and idioms to give reasons in your IELTS writing task 2 essays. Have a look. 

Idiom/ PhraseExample 
The primary factor behind… is…The primary factor behind the rise in suicide rates is our negligent behaviour towards our mental health.  
The reason for this is that…The reason for this is that overconsumption of sugar has a detrimental effect on human health.
The underlying reason for…The underlying reason for the rise in crime rates against women is the repressive temperament of men in society. 
on account of…The company’s profits have declined on account of the increase in production costs.
The root cause of… is…The root cause of the environmental crisis is the unsustainable consumption patterns of humans.

Providing Solutions

IELTS problem-solution tasks require students to explain the given problem(s) and come up with relevant suggestions or solutions. To ace such questions, you must have a strong grasp of a wide array of idioms and phrases. These will help you construct better responses that are not only coherent but also comprehensible and articulated. 

Idiom/PhraseExample 
One potential solution is…One potential solution is to decrease the production of firecrackers. This will curb the pollution in the area. 
To tackle this issue, one approach is…To tackle this issue, one approach is to provide more education and awareness programmes to prevent the spread of STDs.
A possible way to solve this is to…A possible way to solve this is to curb the production of plastic materials. 
This could be addressed by…This could be addressed by implementing more stringent rules for controlling traffic. 
One effective strategy could be…One effective strategy could be to encourage a culture of recycling and reduce waste in households and businesses.

Supporting Arguments

Refer to the table below to go through the list of phrases and idioms that can be used to construct solid supporting arguments in IELTS essays. Have a look.

Idioms/PhraseExample 
This is supported by the fact that…This is supported by the fact that many countries have seen a decrease in alcohol consumption after the implementation of more stringent rules regarding the sale of alcohol.
is further evidenced by…The negative impact of smoking is further evidenced by the rise in lung cancer cases among the youth. 
Research has shown that…Research has shown that regular exercise can improve mental health and reduce the risk of depression.
As evidence shows,…As evidence shows, increasing access to healthcare can lead to improved health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs.
This is reinforced by the fact that…This is reinforced by the fact that many film stars prioritize having a second source of income rather than just clutching onto their film projects to stay safe in the long run. 

Tips for Using Idioms in IELTS Writing 

Idioms can be used as a tool to convey and articulate your feelings and ideas in IELTS Writing. Albeit a powerful tool, you must be cautious whilst using them in the exam. Overusing them can hamper your fluency and your overall score. Have a look at the creative below to use idioms in IELTS Writing. 

So that was all about the most common idioms for IELTS Writing. Hope the blog has answered your queries regarding the topic. 

5+ to using idioms in IELTS writing
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FAQs

Q1. What are the common idioms for IELTS Writing?  

Ans: Out of the Blue, Over the Moon, Put all your eggs in one basket, The ‘in’ thing are some of the most common idioms for IELTS speaking. 

Q2. How to get 8.0 in IELTS writing?

Ans: For those undertaking the writing section of the IELTS exam, having a solid grasp of vocabulary and idioms is paramount. Ensure your words reach the examiner with perfect clarity, preventing confusion or disengagement. Remember, clarity and pace are fundamental elements of successful writing in the IELTS writing tasks. Mastering these aspects will not only ensure understanding but also demonstrate your fluency and confidence.

Q3. What is the duration of the IELTS Writing Task? 

Ans: The IELTS  Writing Task requires individuals to complete the task within 60 minutes. 

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