10 Useful Idioms and Phrases for IELTS Speaking Prep

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Idioms and phrases are an essential component of the English language, and they play a crucial role in the IELTS Speaking exam. The use of idioms and phrases can greatly enhance your language proficiency and help you express yourself more naturally and fluently.  Idioms are expressions that have a figurative meaning, while phrases are a group of words that convey a particular idea.

Both idioms and phrases can be used to add emphasis, clarity, and creativity to your speech. This can ultimately improve your score. However, it’s important to use them appropriately and effectively, as misusing them can also negatively affect your score. In this blog, we will provide you with a structured approach to learning and using idioms and phrases for the IELTS Speaking exam.

What are Idioms and Phrases?

Idioms and phrases are common expressions used in everyday language that have a figurative meaning. Idiom is a type of expression that has a figurative meaning that differs from the literal meaning of its individual words. They are often used to describe a situation or convey a message more effectively. 

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A phrase or verb Phrase consists of a main verb and a helping verb. On the other hand, a phrasal verb consists of a verb followed by an adverb or a preposition. Phrases are essential building blocks of a sentence.

Idioms and Phrases for IELTS Speaking: Meaning

Candidates preparing for IELTS must have a good understanding and usage of Idioms and phrases for IELTS speaking. These are helpful to answer any question in English proficiency exams like IELTS, TOEFL, etc.

10 Idioms and Phrases

Let us look at some examples and the meaning of these idioms.

Idiom/ Phrases For IELTSMeaning
A drop in the oceanA small amount compared to the amount needed
An arm and a legVery high price for an item or service
A blessing in disguiseBad things that turn out to be good
Back to the drawing boardTime to start all over again
Action speaks louder than wordsDo something rather than just talking
Keep an eye on himTo watch something or someone closely
Smell a ratTo suspect something is wrong
Until the cow comes homeFor a very long time
Working against the clockTrying to finish something before a particular time
Water under the bridgeSomething from the past that can now be forgotten

Idioms and Phrases for IELTS Speaking: Tips 

Now that you know what idioms and phrases are let us look at how you can improve your IELTS score by using them correctly. Here are some tips to help you use idioms and phrases to score well in the IELTS exam.

  1. Learn Common Idioms and Phrases– To use idioms and phrases effectively, you need to learn the common ones that are used in everyday conversations. You can start by reading books, articles, and newspapers to familiarize yourself with the common idioms and phrases.
  2. Use Idioms and Phrases in Context– It is important to use idioms and phrases in the right context. The best way to do this is to practice using them in your everyday conversations with native speakers.
  3. Using Idioms and Phrases appropriately– It is essential to use idioms and phrases appropriately to convey the intended meaning. Using them out of context or inappropriately can lead to misunderstanding or confusion.
  4. Practice– The key to mastering idioms and phrases is practice. The more you use them in context, the more comfortable and confident you will become. You can practice by listening to native speakers, watching movies or TV shows, and practising with study partners.


What is the importance of idioms in IELTS speaking?

Aspirants can greatly enhance their academic written English if they master idiomatic vocabulary. This will in turn help them improve their IELTS score.

Can you give some examples of idioms asked in the IELTS exam?

Some examples of idioms asked in IELTS are “Smell a rat, under the weather”, “The ball’s in your court”, “Rule of thumb” etc.

What is the difference between idioms and phrases?

An idiom is a type of expression that has a figurative meaning that differs from the literal meaning of its individual word. Whereas, a phrase consists of a main verb and a helping verb.

This leads to the end of this blog, we talked about the importance of idioms and phrases for IELTS speaking. We also discussed some tips and examples of idioms and phrases. We hope that candidates preparing for IELTS will find this blog useful.

If you are preparing for IELTS and want to know the essential things to keep in mind, our Leverage Edu experts can guide you throughout the exam preparation mentoring you to successfully ace this exam.

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