Essential idioms and phrases for students



Essential idioms and phrases for students


Check out these idioms and phrases, which can be used when talking about school and learning.


Bite off more than you can chew

Meaning: to take on more than you can handle

Example: I bit off more than I could chew when I signed up for the extracurricular activities after school.


Blow off steam

Meaning: to do something to get rid of stress, to do something to relax after a period of hard work

Example: After two weeks of exams Andrew and his friends went camping for the weekend to blow off steam.



Meaning: Someone who reads a lot.

Example: Everyone knows she’s a real bookworm so she only got books for her birthday.



Meaning: to think of new ideas

Example: Annie didn’t have a clue how to get started with the project so she decided to brainstorm with her group.


Burn the midnight oil

Meaning: to work or read late into the night

Example: I had to burn the midnight oil to get ready for the test.


By heart

Meaning: from memory

Example: Jane knows all the idioms by heart.


Cut to the chase

Meaning: get straight to the point

Example: Cut to the chase – what’s your idea for the project?


Eager beaver

Meaning: someone who is enthusiastic about school or work and works very hard

Example: She’s such an eager beaver, she never missed a lesson and always does her homework.


Hit the books

Meaning: to study

Example: I can’t go out this weekend, I have to hit the books because an exam is coming up.


Piece of cake

Meaning: something easy

Example: This test was a piece of cake, I didn’t have to study so much!


Pitch in

Meaning: contribute, help out

Example: Although Mary was in our group she didn’t pitch in with the project.


Ring a bell

Meaning: sound familiar

Example: Ben didn’t cover all the material for the exam, most questions didn’t ring a bell for him.


Skip class

Meaning: not go to class

Example: Lee had to go to the doctor’s this morning so he skipped class.


Teacher’s pet

Meaning: a student who is favored by the teacher

Example: Nobody likes a teacher’s pet.


To be under the weather

Meaning: to fill ill

Example: I’m under the weather, I think I’ll skip class.


With flying colours

Meaning: with distinction, successfully

Example: I passed my final exam with flying colours.



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