Idioms for IELTS Speaking: Most Common Idioms, How to Use Idioms in IELTS Speaking and More

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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

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 Very Easy to DoLearning 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 bucketDiedMy 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? 

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. 

Best Phrases to help you in the IELTS Speaking Exam 

Here are some of the best phrases that can help you score better in IELTS Speaking. 

Guess You Could SayYou can use this when you do not know much about the subject. I guess you could say redensyl is a better alternative to minoxidil. 
Yes definitely, there are a few reasons for this, firstly….   and secondly…Is it okay to speak about …?Do you think we need more CCTVs today? Yes definitely, there are a few reasons for this, firstly the rate of crime has increased incrementally over the years. 
Secondly, CCTVS can be used to keep a close eye on any suspicious activity happening in the city.  
If my memory serves me wellYou can use this phrase whilst reminiscing about your past. If my memory serves well, there were around half a lakh people in the concert. 
I’ve forgotten the name of the place but I often visited there during my yesteryears. You can use this phrase when you are trying to talk about something controversial. Is it okay to speak about childhood trauma and abuse? 
I’ve forgotten…but…You can use this phrase to convey information about something you’ve forgotten about. I’ve forgotten the name of the place but I often visited there during my yesteryears. 

Importance of Collocation 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.

Tips for Using Idioms in IELTS Speaking

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. 


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. 

Related Reads:

IELTS Syllabus 2023 & Section-Wise Exam PatternIELTS Marking Scheme | IELTS Scoring System & Grading
IELTS Preparation Tips: General Tips and Section WiseIELTS Exam 2023 Dates, Registration, Result, Preparation
IELTS Eligibility: IELTS Exam Age Limit & QualificationIELTS Sample Tests: PDF (Download), Exam Pattern

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