Do you know these 10 English idioms?

You might be wondering…

“Do I really NEED to know idioms to be fluent in English?”

The answer is YES, definitely!

Native English speakers use idioms frequently every day when speaking and writing informally. If you want to be fluent, you have to be able to understand them!

Let’s try a fun little exercise:

Can you guess what these idioms mean?

(Correct answers are at the bottom of this lesson)

  1. Hey, cut him some slack – it’s his first day on the job.
  2. My wife got bent out of shape because she said I left a mess in the kitchen.
  3. Only a few more weeks left in the semester. Hang in there.
  4. We need some new classroom management strategies because the students’ behavior is getting out of hand.
  5. I only have 15 minutes before my next appointment, so I’d appreciate it if you could cut to the chase.
  6. There are scholarships that can help you study at a top college without breaking the bank.
  7. We got a late start this morning and made it to the airport by the skin of our teeth.
  8. Her art isn’t bad, but she needs to step up her game if she wants to make a living from it.
  9. Criticism can be hard to swallow, but you can learn from it and improve.
  10. It took a while for me to find my feet after I moved from the countryside to a big city.

⬇️ Now scroll all the way down for the answers to the exercise ⬇️



  1. cut someone some slack = don’t be so strict, relax the standards expected for that person
  2. get bent out of shape = get upset/angry
  3. hang in there = persist, keep going, don’t give up
  4. getting out of hand = getting out of control
  5. cut to the chase = get directly to the main point
  6. without breaking the bank = without being extremely expensive
  7. by the skin of one’s teeth = barely managed to do it just before the limit/deadline
  8. step up one’s game = perform at a higher level
  9. hard to swallow = difficult to accept/believe
  10. find one’s feet = reach a level of comfort in a new situation