IELTS Speaking Exam can be a stressful experience. Speaking in English to a person who is judging your every word can feel a little scary to say the least.
That’s why we advise you to use as many idioms and collocations as you can. This will make your English language sound a lot more natural and fluent.
Although idioms and collocations are both very much alike, there is a difference between the two:
Collocations can still hold the same meaning when the words are separated. Idioms lose the meaning if the words are split.
You can find more detailed information here.
What is an idiom?
In other words, an idiom is a group of words that creates a specific meaning about a subject. If that group is separated, the meaning is lost.
In this Podcast Tutorial we cover 14 different idioms. Some of them are good for describing people – a usual task in the IELTS Speaking Exam. Others are useful for describing interests and activities.
Listening to this podcast will help you understand when and how to use these expressions, and most importantly, how to pronounce them.
At the end of this article you will also find all of the idioms we mention with explanations and examples.
Practising idioms for IELTS Speaking Exam
To practise idioms you can try doing this Mock IELTS Speaking Exam. You can time your answers and get a rough idea on how much time you get to answer a question.
If you would like more useful information to help you with your IELTS Speaking Exam, you can check out more speaking tips and mock IELTS Speaking Exams with Band 9 answers.
A list of idioms to help your IELTS Speaking Exam
Fresh as a daisy
Someone who is lively and attractive, in a clean, fresh way.
My sister has been travelling for almost 24 hours, and she’s still as fresh as a daisy.
Spending too much time on the internet or watching TV.
My uncle is such a couch potato! He often spends his Saturdays watching American football on TV.
Full of beans
A person who is lively, active and healthy.
My 6 year old nephew is full of beans! He has more energy than three adults.
A bad egg
Someone who is untrustworthy.
Hey, Sue, I think your neighbour is a bad egg. He has these scary looking guys in black leather hanging around his place all the time.
Down to earth
Someone who is practical and realistic.
My aunt Karen is so down to earth. She can figure out any difficult situation, and offer a good solution.
A person who is gloomy, and having no fun at a social gathering.
Listen, my friend, I’m so sorry to be a party pooper, but I have to study for my IELTS speaking exam tomorrow.
A person who is hardworking and enthusiastic.
My colleague drives me crazy! She is such an eager beaver that she always volunteers for overtime.
Ball in your court
It’s your decision or responsibility to do something now.
Well, my friend, the ball’s in your court. I’ll wait for your decision.
Throw in the towel
I’ve spent too much time on this project to throw in the towel now.
Get a head start
Start before all others.
Let’s get up early tomorrow to get a head start on our drive to Toronto.
Get a second wind
Have a burst of energy after tiring.
After having a coffee and a sandwich, he got his second wind, and finished painting the kitchen.
Jump the gun
Start too early.
I think I jumped the gun by buying my friends James and Susan a wedding gift. They just called off their engagement.
Give it my best shot
Try your hardest.
This test question is really tough! I’ll give it my best shot, and I’ll get some marks for doing my best.
On the ball
Ready and able.
Our department receptionist is really on the ball when it comes to fielding calls from annoyed students.
Download the podcast here: