English phrases and idioms with life

English Idioms Course

“I can’t for the life of me remember his name.”

The expression “I can’t for the life of me” emphasizes that you COMPLETELY CAN’T do something. There is absolutely no possibility of you being able to do it.

English phrases with life

“I can’t for the life of me remember his name…” (Image source)

“My sister’s always the life of the party.”

If you describe someone as “the life of the party,” it means that person is fun, exciting, and full of energy. This is a person who makes a party enjoyable and is often the center of attention.

“He seems to lead a charmed life – I’ve never seen him experience a setback.”

If someone “leads a charmed life,” it means that person always seems to have good luck and good opportunities. Everything goes well for the person and they do not appear to face problems or difficulties.

“These firefighters put their lives on the line to save a child.”

To “put your life on the line” means to put yourself in a dangerous situation where you could potentially die. A similar expression is “risk life and limb,” meaning to take the risk of experiencing injury or death.

"The firefighters put their lives on the line."

“The firefighters put their lives on the line.”

“During the boat ride, I held onto the railing for dear life.”

To “hold on (or hang on) for dear life” means to grasp something tightly with your hand, hold it, and not release it. You might do this in a truly dangerous situation – for example, if you are going to fall off a cliff and you manage to grab a tree branch, you would hold onto it for dear life. However, you might also do this in a situation where there is no real danger, but you are simply scared.

“The students had the time of their lives on spring break.”

The phrase “have the time of your life” means to have an extremely enjoyable experience.

“When I changed jobs, I felt like I had a new lease on life.”

If you have “a new lease on life,” it means you have renewed your energy and you are feeling good and optimistic about your life. You are newly excited about the future. This phrase can be used when someone recovers from an illness or gets out of a bad situation, and is now starting fresh.

English phrases with life

“I felt like I had a new lease on life!” (Image source)

“Would you go out with Jason if he asked you?”
“Not on your life!”

“Not on your life!” is a very strong way to say “absolutely not!”

“My mother calls me multiple times a day. I wish she’d get a life!

If you tell someone to “get a life,” you are telling them to develop their own hobbies, activities, and relationships. This is slightly rude, because it implies that the person currently has nothing useful to do.

“I’m sad that I didn’t get the interview, but that’s life.”

When you use the expressions “that’s life” and “such is life,” it means that you accept the way things are, when it’s not what you hoped or wanted.

English phrases with life

“That’s life.” (Image source)

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