Using English phrases in your everyday conversation and writing can take your English to a different level. In fact, phrases don’t just make your English look good and make you sound smart but also are great linguistic tools that help you express things better and in a different-sounding way.

What are Phrases and Why Would You Need Them?

Phrases are defined as: “a small group of words standing together as a conceptual unit, typically forming a component of a clause”. For example: “Birds of a feather flock together”, “A bull in a china shop” etc. You need to learn common phrases to ask how someone is, express how are you are, how to invite someone, or how to respond to different situations. It is also a great way by which you can improve your English Vocabulary and use these common English phrases when speaking in English.

List of 7 Frequently Used English Phrases:

There are many phrases in the English Language, and each serves a different purpose. However, some phrases are used more frequently than others. Here is a list of seven phrases that you can hear quite often:

1. ‘The best of both worlds’ – means you can enjoy two different opportunities at the same time.

Example: “By working part-time and looking after her kids two days a week she managed to get the best of both worlds.”

2. ‘Speak of the devil’ – this means that the person you’re just talking about actually appears at that moment.

Example: “Hi Tom, speak of the devil, I was just telling Sara about your new car.”

3. ‘See eye to eye’ – this means agreeing with someone.

Example: “They finally saw eye to eye on the business deal.”

4. ‘Once in a blue moon’ – an event that happens infrequently.

Example: “I only go to the cinema once in a blue moon.”

5. ‘When pigs fly’ – something that will never happen.

Example: “When pigs fly she’ll tidy up her room.”

6. ‘To cost an arm and a leg’– something is very expensive.

Example: “Fuel these days costs and arm and a leg.”

7. ‘A piece of cake’– something is very easy.

Example: “The English test was a piece of cake.”

How To Make Phrases Come Naturally In Your Everyday English?

Here’s what you could do every day to learn each phrase:

1.    Picture a situation in your mind where you could use the phrase. Imagine the other people in the scene and what they’re saying. See yourself saying the phrase.

2.    Listen/look for the phrase while you watch TV, listen to the radio, read blogs, etc.

3.    Then, use the phrase in casual writing. Write a tweet (on Twitter), a Facebook post or an email to a friend.

4.    Finally, use the phrase in 2-5 real conversations.

5.    Write on your list and check off each phrase as you learn it.

6.    If you have a conversation partner, ask your exchange partner to say the phrases while you record them on a smartphone, computer or recording device. That way you can listen to the recording and practice the pronunciation by yourself at home.

Phrases to Express Different Ideas:

As we discussed earlier, phrases come in handy when you want to say the same thing in different ways. It makes you sound smart and helps you create a sparkling impression. Following is a list of phrases you can use instead of the same old ones:

  1. Common phrases to ask how someone is:
  2. What’s up?
  3. What’s new?
  4. What have you been up to lately?
  5. How’s it going?
  6. How are things?
  7. How’s life?

2. Common phrases to say how you are:

  1. I’m fine, thanks. How about you?
  2. Pretty good.
  3. Same as always
  4. Not so great.
  5. Could be better
  6. Can’t complain

3. Common phrases to say I don’t know:

  1. I have no idea/clue.
  2. I can’t help you there.
  3. (informal) Beats me.
  4. I’m not really sure.
  5. I’ve been wondering that, too.

4. Common phrases for agreeing:

  1. Exactly.
  2. Absolutely.
  3. That’s so true.
  4. That’s for sure.
  5. I agree 100%
  6. I couldn’t agree with you more.
  7. (informal) Tell me about it! / You’re telling me!
  8. (informal) I’ll say!
  9. I suppose so. (use this phrase for weak agreement – you agree, but reluctantly)

5. Common phrases for price:

  1. It cost a fortune.
  2. It cost an arm and a leg.
  3. That’s a rip-off. (= overpriced; far more expensive than it should be)
  4. That’s a bit pricey.
  5. That’s quite reasonable. (= it’s a good price)
  6. That’s a good deal. (= a good value for the amount of money)
  7. It was a real bargain.
  8. It was dirt cheap. (= extremely inexpensive)

6. Common phrases for food:

  1. I’m starving! (= I’m very hungry)
  2. Let’s grab a bite to eat.
  3. How about eating out tonight? (eat out = eat at a restaurant)
  4. I’ll have… (use this phrase for ordering in a restaurant)

7. Common phrases to say I don’t know:

  1. I have no idea/clue.
  2. I can’t help you there.
  3. (informal) Beats me.
  4. I’m not really sure.
  5. I’ve been wondering that, too.

In A Nutshell:

Phrases are smart little tools that enhance your English by manifold. It is always a great idea to arm yourself with some good phrases whenever you are going to an interview. Knowing phrases and using them regularly in your conversation and writing will help you apply them in the right place. Take a look at this blog to learn more about how to speak about yourself in an interview.

About the Author

Indulekha Prabha

My name is Indulekha Prabha. I am an English teacher and a content writer by profession. When I'm not working you can find me writing fiction, reading poetry and painting.

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