Download Idioms and Phrases PDF with Examples for Class 10

Essential Idioms and Phrases

The English component of many competitive tests, including the SSC, RRB, Bank, and other government exams, heavily relies on idioms and phrases. If candidates are familiar with key idioms and phrases and their definitions and English speech topics, they can easily score highly in the English section.

Students must thoroughly master the idioms and phrases if they plan to take any of the aforementioned government exams. These exams consist of four to five questions covering significant idioms and phrases, and naturally, given the intense competition, nobody can afford to lose even a single mark.

In this article, students can find the 50 most frequently asked idioms & phrases in exams. Students can also download the Idioms & Phrases pdf containing 50 important idioms & phrases with definitions.

List of 50 Essential Idioms And Phrases

Students can review the list of idioms and phrases below. These are the words and phrases that show up on a lot of competitive tests and can help you better learn grammar. If students want to breeze through the English section, they can download the PDF to learn more idioms and phrases by heart.

1.A piece of cakeSomething very easy to doThe math test was a piece of cake.
2.Bite the bulletTo endure a painful experience with courageI had to bite the bullet and tell my boss I was resigning.
3.Break a legGood luckBefore the performance, the director told the actors to break a leg.
4.Hit the nail on the headTo describe exactly what is causing a situation or problemYou really hit the nail on the head with that analysis.
5.Burn the midnight oilTo work late into the nightI had to burn the midnight oil to finish the report.

6.Cost an arm and a leg

Very expensive

Buying a new car can cost an arm and a leg.
7.Cry over spilled milkTo lament what cannot be undoneI made a mistake, but there’s no use crying over spilled milk.
8.Cut to the chase

Get to the pointLet’s cut to the chase and discuss the main issue.
9.Don’t count your chickens before they hatchDon’t make plans for something that might not happenShe’s already planning her vacation, but she hasn’t been approved for leave yet. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
10.Fish out of waterSomeone who is out of their elementAt the fancy party, he felt like a fish out of water.
11.Green thumbA talent for gardeningMy grandmother has a green thumb; her garden is always flourishing.
12.Head in the cloudsSomeone who is not paying attentionJohn always has his head in the clouds during math class.

13.Jump on the bandwagonTo adopt a popular activity or trendAfter seeing the success, many companies decided to jump on the bandwagon and create their own version of the product.
14.Kick the bucketTo dieHe’s not going to kick the bucket anytime soon; he’s in good health.
15.Let the cat out of the bagTo reveal a secretSarah accidentally let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party.
16.Miss the boatTo miss an opportunityI missed the boat on getting tickets to the concert; they sold out in minutes.
17.On the ballSomeone who is alert and quick to understandThe new employee is really on the ball; she learned the job in record time.
18.Out of the blueUnexpectedlyHe called me out of the blue to invite me to the wedding.
19.Put all your eggs in one basketTo invest everything in one planDiversify your investments; don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
20.Rain cats and dogsHeavy rainWe had to cancel the picnic because it started raining cats and dogs.
21.Spill the beansTo disclose a secretI won’t spill the beans about the surprise party; I promise.
22.Take the bull by the hornsTo face a problem directlyInstead of avoiding the issue, she decided to take the bull by the horns and address it.
23.Under the weatherFeeling sickI can’t come to work today; I’m feeling a bit under the weather.
24.Wild goose chaseA futile pursuitSearching for his lost keys in the park turned into a wild goose chase.
25.X marks the spotThe exact locationWe finally found the treasure; X marks the spot on the map.
26.You can’t have your cake and eat it tooYou can’t have everythingIf you spend all your money on clothes, you won’t have any left for entertainment. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
27.Zip your lipBe quietThe teacher told the students to zip their lips during the exam.
28.A dime a dozen

Very commonThose souvenirs are a dime a dozen; you can find them anywhere.
29.Back to the drawing boardTo start overThe project didn’t work out, so it’s back to the drawing board.
30.Cold feetNervous or hesitantHe got cold feet and decided not to go through with the plan.
31.Don’t cry over spilled milkDon’t waste time worrying about things that have already happened and cannot be changed.Yes, you made a mistake, but don’t cry over spilled milk. Learn from it and move on.
32.Elephant in the roomAn obvious problem that people are avoidingThe financial issues were the elephant in the room during the family meeting.
33.Feather in one’s capAn achievement to be proud ofWinning the championship was a feather in his cap.
Get the ball rollingTo start a processLet’s get the ball rolling on this project; we’ve wasted enough time.
35.Hit the hayTo go to bedI’m tired; I think it’s time to hit the hay.
36.In hot waterIn troubleHe found himself in hot water after missing the deadline.
37.Jumping on the bandwagonJoining others in doing something popular or trendyMany companies are jumping on the bandwagon and incorporating sustainable practices.
38.Kill two birds with one stoneAccomplish two things with a single actionBy working from home, she could kill two birds with one stone—save time on commuting and spend more time with her family.
39.Leave no stone unturnedExamine every possible optionThe detective promised to leave no stone unturned in the investigation.
40.Make a long story shortSummarize a lengthy explanationTo make a long story short, we missed the train and had to take a taxi to the airport.
41.Nip it in the budStop a problem at an early stageWhen you notice a conflict arising, it’s best to nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand.
42.Out of the frying pan and into the fireEscaping one problem, only to find yourself in anotherI thought changing jobs would solve my stress, but it was like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.
43Play it by earHandle a situation without a definite planWe don’t have a schedule; let’s just play it by ear and see where the day takes us.
44.Quick as a catVery fast or agileThe new sports car can accelerate as quickly as a cat.
45.Raining bucketsHeavy rainWe had to postpone the outdoor event because it was raining buckets.
46.See the light at the end of the tunnelTo see signs of improvement or the end of a difficult situationAfter months of hard work, I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel with this project.
47.The ball is in your courtIt’s your turn to make a decision or take actionI’ve given you all the information; now the ball is in your court.
48Up in the airUncertain or undecidedThe date for the meeting is still up in the air; we need to confirm everyone’s availability.
49.Veg outTo relax or do nothingAfter a busy week, I just want to veg out on the couch and watch movies.
50.When pigs flySomething that will never happenIf I ever voluntarily go skydiving, you can expect me to do so when pigs fly.


Although they can be difficult for pupils to master, idioms and phrases are an important component of the English language. This extensive PDF offers samples of 50 typical idioms and phrases used in everyday discourse, along with a clear and succinct explanation of each one. Students who use this resource will be able to become proficient in these expressions and idioms and be able to write and speak with confidence.

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