5+ Essential Idioms for the IELTS Speaking Test in 2024

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5+ Essential Idioms for the IELTS Speaking Test in 2024

Idioms for IELTS Speaking: Idioms and phrasal verbs, which are frequently utilised in colloquial jargon, are largely used for self-expression. ‘Idioms’ and ‘Phrasal Verbs’ take up a majority of weightage in the IELTS Speaking section. 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 idioms which can help you ace your IELTS speaking assessment. 


10+ Most Common Idioms for IELTS Speaking

IELTS Speaking Idioms: Idioms play a major role in helping test takers secure a band 9 score in IELTS speaking. 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 speaking. That being said, here are some of the most common idioms used in IELTS Speaking you should know to score better. 

Out of the blueSomething unexpected Rahul, out of the blue, gifted her a bag yesterday. 
Over the MoonExtreme Happiness She was over the moon when he asked her out on a date. 
Day and Night Working endlessly without stopping I worked day and night to prepare my presentation. 
Pass with flying coloursTo pass a test with a high gradeShe passed her IIT JEE Main exam with flying colours. 
Bookworm Someone who reads a lot. Monika was a bookworm since she was 6 years old.  
Child’s Play Monika has been a bookworm since she was 6 years old.  Learning Spanish was child’s play for Rahul. 
Pulling your LegTeasing or joking Rahul pulled my leg for spending too much money on useless things.
Keep an eye on himWatching someone in a careful mannerThe man seems dubious. Keep an eye on him. 
Rule of ThumbA principle As a rule of thumb, keep the word count limited to 100 words. 
Smell a ratSensing something that is not rightI smelled a rat when Rahul was blatantly lying in front of me, 
Kicked the bucket DiedMy grandfather kicked the bucket in a major car accident. 
Learn By Heart To memoriseI learned all the math formulas by heart. 
As sick as a dogFeeling very illI was as sick as a dog last night. 
Piece of Cake Very EasyScoring a 9 band score in IELTS was a piece of cake for me. 

What’s a Phrasal Verb? 

Phrasal Verb in IELTS: A phrasal verb is a verb that has been conjugated with an adverb or a preposition. Their formation may result in the production of an idiomatic phrase. For example, when the verb ‘Look’ and the preposition ‘After’ are combined, the word ‘Look After’ is formed, which signifies ‘taking care’. Now you see how we implement idiomatic language now and then to express ourselves. 

Let’s look at the list of phrasal verbs/phrases which can help you ace your IELTS speaking assessment. 

5+ Phrases for IELTS Speaking Test in 2024

Phrases for IELTS Speaking: Students prospecting to pursue their education from the best institutes abroad are required to partake in the IELTS Exam to prove their proficiency in the English Language. The Speaking section carries a lot of weightage in the said exam, hence prospective candidates are advised to give much emphasis on the segment. 

‘Idioms & phrases’ is the highest-scoring section of the speaking test. While attempting the speaking test, candidates are required to incorporate the correct usage of words and vocabulary. Such crucial parameters are kept in mind by the authorities while evaluating and assessing a candidate’s answers. It must be kept in mind by students to maintain a conversational tone while attempting the segment. In such a case, individuals must ensure the correct usage of grammar and linguistics. To help you ace your IELTS Speaking Test, we have curated and shortlisted some phrases for practice. Have a look.

WordMeaning Example
Find my feetIt means being familiar with an activity.I took some time to find my feet in this new profession. 
And then someThis refers to more than just the number or figure being discussed. 5,000 cartons and then some were shipped to the designated place.
Before LongSmall durationHe will be gone before long, but I hope you will always remember him. 
Read your/my/his/her mindTo read someone’s mind.He knew almost everything about her as if he could read her mind. 
Set in their waysPeople or institutions are obstinate and do not wish to change. My family is conservative with their temperament and set in their ways. 
Cost an arm and a legHugely expensiveThe shoes sure do look nice, but it did cost me an arm and a leg. 
Burn the midnight oilIt means working late into the night and staying up to accomplish any taskYou will have to burn the midnight oil and complete the assignment by tomorrow. 

What is the Importance of Collocation in IELTS Speaking?

Mastering collocation is key to score better in IELTS Speaking. Collocation primarily refers to sequences of words that naturally go together. These pairings are so common that using them in the correct order sounds fluent and native-like. Think of it this way: would you ever say “Machine Time” in a sentence? It just doesn’t feel right. That’s because the natural order is “Time Machine.” This example highlights how collocation isn’t just about individual words, but about how they flow together.

Furthermore, when it comes to incorporating idiomatic expressions, collocation is crucial. The specific words you choose and the order you place them in are both vital for conveying the intended meaning and sounding natural.

Phrases IELTS Speaking Tests: Do’s and Don’ts 

Idioms can be tricky to incorporate into conversations. One must know their context before filling them randomly amidst conversations. Apart from that, one must show spontaneity while using them, or it will just seem fake and forced. 

Do’s Don’ts 
One must be as spontaneous and natural while using phrases as one can. This will convey the message to the examiner that the candidate is affluent in the language and knows the context behind the phrase. Don’t go overboard with the usage of idioms. This will only sabotage the coherence of your sentences and make them difficult to comprehend. 
One must be well versed with phrases, and where/when to use them. The examiner should have clarity about the message you are trying to convey through the phrases. Don’t repeat the same phrase over and over.
One must incorporate the usage of phrases that are diverse and not similar contextually. Avoid formal phrases for simple generic questions. 
It is recommended that candidates incorporate the use of phrases in daily conversations to enhance their vocabulary skills. 

Tips for Using Idioms in IELTS Speaking

IELTS Preparation: Idioms can be used as a tool to convey your feelings and ideas in IELTS speaking. Albeit a powerful tool, you must be cautious whilst using them in the exam. Overusing them can hamper your fluency and your overall score.

 Here are some tips to use idioms in IELTS speaking. 

  • While a sprinkle of well-chosen idioms can enhance your IELTS Speaking, overuse can disrupt fluency and coherence. Stick to strategic, context-appropriate expressions to showcase your command of idiomatic language.
  • Avoid using irregular verbs. Even if you tend to use irregular verbs, try altering them to the correct sentences. 
  • Clichéd idioms, overused and predictable, can expose a lack of preparation.
  • Opt for impactful, contextually relevant expressions that demonstrate your vocabulary range and understanding of register.
  • Finally, avoid idioms inappropriate for the situation. Misused idioms can disrupt flow and create a jarring impression.

By following these guidelines, you can leverage the power of idioms to elevate your IELTS Speaking score without sacrificing clarity or authenticity. So that was all about idioms for IELTS speaking. Hope the blog has answered your queries about the topic. 

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Q1. What are the common idioms for IELTS Speaking?  

Ans. Out of the Blue, Over the Moon, Day and Night, and Pulling Your Leg are some of the most common idioms for IELTS speaking. 

Q2. How to get 8.0 in IELTS speaking?

Ans. For those undertaking the speaking section of the IELTS exam, prioritising clear and well-paced speech is paramount. Ensure your words reach the examiner with perfect clarity, preventing confusion or disengagement. Remember, clarity and pace are fundamental elements of successful communication in the IELTS speaking test. Mastering these aspects will not only ensure understanding but also demonstrate your fluency and confidence.

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

Ans. The IELTS Speaking Task 1 requires individuals to complete the task within 11-14 minutes. 

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