You can easily get a 6 band score in the IELTS speaking exam. But it is quite difficult to get a band score of 7 or 7+. 

To achieve a band score of that level in IELTS speaking, you must use idioms. So in this blog, we will discuss the most important idioms for IELTS speaking to get a high band score in IELTS speaking. 

Here you will learn about the best category-wise idioms that you must use in your speaking to make it more interesting for the examiner. 

But one most important things about using idioms is that you don’t use them if you are not sure about the proper meaning of idioms. If you do that, you may end up using it all wrong.

Using idioms wrong may even cause a deduction of band score in your speaking test. In the end, we will even provide some easy idioms for IELTS speaking that even a beginner can use in his or her speaking.

But before you learn some of the best idioms for IELTS speaking questions, you must understand what idioms is.

What is an idiom?

An idiom is an expression or a phrase that specifically does not have a proper meaning, but when used in a sentence, it reflects a proper meaning.

You will not be able to understand the meaning of the idiom by just reading the word. For example, when you do not have the money, you can use the idiom “in the red”: “Sorry, I can’t buy it, I am in the red.” 

Here if you just read the idiom “in the red,” you can not tell its actual meaning, but after using it in a sentence, you can understand its meaning.

The importance of idioms

  • A short and simple message
  • Boost your conversational skills.

These are the two importance of idioms in English speech. 

In this post, you will get idioms along with their meanings and examples. You will get proper topic-wise idioms, which will help you understand idioms properly.

Idioms for IELTS Speaking

Here, you will find some common and useful idioms, category-wise, which you can understand and use easily in your speech. And also, if you want to improve your IELTS speaking, you can read our blog on tips for IELTS speaking.

So let’s move to the idioms for IELTS Speaking without wasting any more time.


  • Hive of activity

Meaning – a place where a lot is happening.

Example – Mumbai is a hive of activity in India. There is something to do for anyone at any time.

  • A stone’s throw (from)

Meaning – very close to

Example – My house is just a stone’s throw from the market.

  • Hustle and bustle

Meaning – a crowded and modern place

Example – Ram loves living in Mumbai. He always wanted the hustle and bustle of the big city.

  • Middle of nowhere

Meaning – a remote place far from the city.

Example – Ramesh lives in the middle of nowhere, the nearest shop is 20 miles away.

  • Second to none

Meaning – the best or better than everything else.

Example – Mumbai city is second to none. 


  • On the dole

Meaning – Receiving benefits from welfare for unemployment 

Example – I was on the dole for 3 months in between jobs.

  • Follow one’s heart

Meaning – Do what you think is good for you.

Example – After graduation, I decided to follow my heart and become a teacher.

  • Go the extra mile

Meaning – Do more than what is expected of you.

Example – Ram is dedicated to his work. He always goes the extra mile to help his team members.

  • Pull one’s weight

Meaning –  to contribute fairly to the task.

Example – Ram does not pull his weight at any cost.

Sport & fitness

  • In perfect shape

Meaning – be very fit.

Example – Sonu has been in perfect shape for the last three months.

  • Couch potato

Meaning – Lazy person who always lies on the sofa

Example – Most people have become couch potatoes during the lockdown.

  • Give it one’s best shot

Meaning – try one’s hardest.

Example – India’s women’s cricket team lost in the Commonwealth 2022 final, but they gave it their best shot.

  • Make the cut

Meaning – Get selected.

Example – I try for the local cricket team’s captain, and I think I can make the cut.


  • Fly the nest

Meaning – leave family home forever.

Example – Ram can never be ready to fly the nest.

  • Get homesick

Meaning – miss home badly.

Example – Mohit always gets homesick whenever he leaves his home.

  • There’s no place like home

Meaning – Home is the most important place.

Example – I love living in a hostel, but there’s no place like home.

  • Creature comforts

Meaning – Items in the home that give you extra comfort.

Example – Some people can’t do much work without creature comforts.

  • Get on the property ladder

Meaning – buy the first house.

Example – Ram gets on the property ladder.


  • Run out of steam

Meaning – lose momentum, decrease in popularity

Example – Instagram is more popular nowadays and Facebook has run out of steam.

  • Go viral

Meaning – Become popular on the internet

Example – The funny clip of two brothers fighting went viral.

  • Not rocket science

Meaning – not difficult.

Example – Some people say coding is super hard, but it’s not rocket science.


  • Be into (a type of music)

Meaning – like, enjoy listening to

Example – I am more into rock music than soft. 

  • One-hit wonder

Meaning – a person or band that had only one hit song.

Example – Many singers become popular for a hit song but are never seen again. I think they were just a one-hit wonder.

  • On full blast

Meaning – at maximum volume

Example – I love listening to music on full blast.


  • A household name

Meaning – A person who is famous and everyone knows him or her

Example – Virat Kohli is now a household name.

  • Be on the edge of one’s seat

Meaning – very excited, nervous

Example – New marvel movie had us on the edge of our seats.

  • Live up to the hype

Meaning – to be as good as people hoped it would be

Example – The new marvel movie lived up to the hype.


  • Black sheep

Meaning – to be different from others

Example – I am considered the black sheep of my family because I don’t want to join the family business.

  • Rule the roost

Meaning – to be in charge

Example – My elder brother ruled the roost in every game when I was young.

Keep reading to know more idioms for IELTS speaking.


  • Hit the road

Meaning – to start a journey

Example – I always try to hit the road early in the morning to avoid the traffic, whenever I have to go on a long journey.

  • Live out of a suitcase

Meaning – travel a lot.

Example – My job requires so much traveling, so I live out of a suitcase mostly.

  • Travel light

Meaning – to bring few items on a trip

Example – We are going out only for the weekend, so we plan to travel light.

  • Off the beaten track

Meaning – far from civilization

Example – I love to stay off the beaten track whenever I travel.

  • Everything but the kitchen sink

Meaning – a lot of items

Example – My brother came from Canada and he brought everything but the kitchen sink.


  • Bookworm

Meaning – someone who reads a lot

Example – My brother is a bookworm because he reads more than 6 hours per day.

  • Pass with flying colors

Meaning – pass a test with a high score.

Example – In school, I used to pass with flying colors in maths.

  • Hit the books

Meaning – to study

Example – I prefer to hit the books after a power nap in the evening.

  • Teacher’s pet

Meaning – Teacher’s favorite student

Example – I don’t like to be a teacher’s pet at school time.

  • Learn (something) by heart

Meaning – to memorize something.

Example – When I was in school, I used to learn math formulas by heart.

  • Take it one step at a time

Meaning – do something slowly.

Example – It is not easy to learn to code. You must take it one step at a time.


  • Turn over a new leaf

Meaning – Change yourself completely to become a better person

Example – After getting insulted by every for his behavior, Rajan decided to turn over a new leaf.

  • Kick the habit

Meaning – Something harmful that you have done for a long time but now stop doing that.

Example – After the last night’s incident Ram decided to kink the habit of driving very fast.

  • Find one’s feet

Meaning – Get used to a new place or situation or settle down.

Example – When I first went to the USA to study for my master’s degree, it took me around 3 to 4 months to find my feet.

  • Take stock (of something)

Meaning – Thinking about a situation carefully before reaching any decision or conclusion.

Example – I think that it is better to take stock of everything before deciding to do a new thing in life, so that we do not have to regret our decisions later.

  • Water under the bridge

Meaning – An event that has passed and no one remembers that now or forgets about that as that is not important now.

Example – I used to fight with my big brother in childhood but it is all water under the bridge now.

These are the top 11 common categories related to the questions being asked in the IELTS speaking exam. 

You can read these idioms for IELTS speaking and practice them in your speech to improve your IELTS speaking. 

Read our other blog to know about IELTS Speaking Part 2 Questions And Answers.

Other Useful Idioms For IELTS Speaking With Meaning

Out of the blueSomething that happened you do not expectYesterday, out of the blue, one of my seniors announced he is resigning.
A white lieTo speak a lie that is not seriousYesterday, when I went shopping with my friend and he tried on a new shirt and asked me how he look then I told a white lie that he is looking fine.
Green with envyTo be jealousRohit was green with envy when he come to know that I got a high score than him in the final exam.
Learn by heartTo memorizeI still remember the poems I learn by heart in school.
BookwormAnyone who reads a lotRam was a bookworm when he was in school but now he runs away from books.
Brought upRaised or nurturedI found an injured dog in front of my house, and I brought him up.
Child’s playEasy to doDriving is not a Child’s play for everyone
To run in the familyQualities and skills that are same in family membersRam can run very fast just like his father, it’s like this quality To run in their family.
Like a kid in a candy storeExcited about somethingRam gets excited about everything, just like a kid in a candy store.
Under the weatherNot feeling wellLast week, I was feeling a bit Under the weather, so I missed the trip I had planned with my friends.
On the mendgetting betterLast month, I was very ill, but now I am on the mend.
As sick as a dogFeeling very illRam can not even walk properly he is as sick as a dog.
To show promiseIndicate possible successRam is new in the business but he has a lot to promise.
Kick the bucketTo dieEvery person on the earth has to kick the bucket someday.
Break a legWish luck to someoneRam’s family told him to break a leg before his final exam.
Blind as a batbad eyesightWithout his glasses, Ram is blind as a bat.
Practice makes perfectImprove by practicing continuouslyAs everyone knows, Practice makes perfect, Ram is hardworking to be a good cricket player.
Driving me up the wallSomething that annoys or irritates youRohan hates children very much they drive him up to the wall.
To sit on the fenceBe indecisive about somethingRam is unsure about quitting the job, he is still on the fence.
To bite the bulletTo do a difficult jobRohan decides to bite the bullet by selling his car to fulfill his son’s dream of studying abroad.
To egg onTo generally encourage someone in an unintelligent wayRohit kept egging on Virat, but he refuse to steal the iPhone.
Full of beansA healthy and active personRam was full of beans before the match.

To know about the best IELTS Speaking Books, read our other blog.

Easy Idioms For IELTS Speaking For Beginners To Show Emotions

Here is a list of easy idioms for IELTS speaking that even a beginner student can use in his or her speaking without making many mistakes. 

So, let’s have a look at the easy IELTS-speaking idioms to show your emotions:

S. No.IdiomMeaningExample
1TO HAVE A WHALE OF A TIMETo have a very fun and exciting timeWhen I first visit the water park I had a whale of a time there.
2TO BE ON CLOUD NINEvery happy and joyful  When I get to know that I have passed my secondary education with good marks I was on cloud nine.
3TO BE ON TOP OF THE WORLD feeling amazing, wonderful, ecstatic I was at the top of the world when I heard that Salman Khan will be in my town on new year’s eve.
4TO BE OVER THE MOONextremely pleased and happy When I saw the senior secondary result I was over the moon at that time.
5TO BE LIKE A DOG WITH TWO TAILSvery happyWhenever me and my friend Ram decide to meet, we both look like a dog with two tails.
6IT MAKES MY BLOOD BOILto make you very angry One of my colleagues annoys me a lot that even listening to his voice makes my blood boil.
7IT DRIVES ME UP THE WALLit annoys you a lot Me and my friend decide to watch a new movie. Due to some reason, I was not able to watch that but my friend kept telling me the story of the movie to break the suspense and that drive me up to the wall.
8I HIT THE CEILING To get very angry and upsetOnce at a party a little boy throws a drink on my new shoes and at first I hit the ceiling but then he says sorry to me and I got relax later.
9HE/IT WINDS ME UPSomething or someone really annoys youI can not forget my first day at work because my boss wound me up as he was shouting at me over a small mistake.
10TO GET ON YOUR NERVES someone annoys you a lot It gets on my nerves that they forget to bring drinks at the party.

Tips to Use Idioms in IELTS Speaking

Using idioms is not an easy task for everyone, as we discussed above. To help you use idioms for IELTS speaking, we have brought some of the best tips for you. 

Look at some tips for using idioms:

  • To sound more like a native speaker, you must use cultural phrases and idioms in your answers.
  • You should know all 7 types of idioms. These are
  1. Pure idioms
  2. Prepositional idioms
  3. Partial idioms
  4. Binomial idioms
  5. Euphemisms
  6. Proverbs
  7. Clichés
  • When using idioms in your answer, you must know the concept of collocations.
  • Confidence is a very important part of IELTS speaking, so to sound confident, comfortably frame your answers.
  • It would be best if you sounded natural in your speaking, so use a limited range of idioms. Don’t use unnecessary idioms in your speaking.

Final words (Idioms For IELTS Speaking)

In this post, we discussed idioms for IELTS speaking, their meaning, and examples. These examples and their meanings will help you learn the idioms faster. 

You need to practice these idioms in your speech to become perfect. It also acts as vocabulary in your speaking.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this post about idioms. For more posts like this, visit our website regularly.

To learn about the best Vocabulary For IELTS Speaking, read our other blog.

Idioms For IELTS Speaking FAQs

Is it right to use idioms in speaking?

We use idioms informally most of the time, so we should avoid their use in IELTS writing. IELTS speaking, on the other hand, is not as formal as writing, so we can use idioms during our speaking to make our speech attractive.

Is it allowed to use idioms in IELTS?

Idioms are not allowed in IELTS writing, but you can use them in speaking.