What is an Idiom?
Why use an Idiom?
Does the use of Idioms increase score in the IELTS exam?
In simple words, Idioms are sentences, words or expressions that do not covey the literal meaning but act as an analogy or a metaphor to resemble something else.
What I mean by this is, to understand an Idiom, don’t go by its literal meaning. When one says “it is raining cats and dogs”, they do not actually mean that cats and dogs are falling from the sky but what they mean is, it is raining heavily.
Now, it is said that the correct use of Idioms in the IELTS Speaking Test can result in a band score of 7 or higher. If you use an Idiom with the proper inflection, then the examiner will spot it out and boost your IELTS Score, and to whom or what the idiom is directed.
Do not use an idiom while speaking or writing in IELTS Exam unless you have a full understanding of it. While speaking, you need to assert emphasis on certain words, fluctuate the voice tones, show your body language and emotions the way you want the message to be conveyed. Using the idiom in a flat manner or without any fluency will make it seem very unnaturally placed in the sentence.
In writing, unlike the verbal emphasis, here the examiner will themselves implicitly understand the tone, and the emphasised structure used in the sentence. So, in the IELTS Speaking, use an idiom while describing an event to the listener. In IELTS Writing, try to restrict the use of Idioms only to informal writing.
Now, it is good to use idioms in the IELTS Exam, but don’t use it if you don’t understand it. NEVER try to mug up idioms or try to fit it in a sentence purposely. Scoring a band score of 7 or more doesn’t solely depend on the use of idioms, there are also other factors playing a part. The examiner doesn’t want a person who can use an idiom but the way they use them- that’s the scoring part. If you don’t understand them, do not bother to use them in the exam otherwise you would just end up losing marks over them.
To raise your score in the IELTS Speaking Test, here are a few common Idioms you can employ.
and then some. – in addition to. He paid hundreds of dollars and then some.
over the moon– to be extremely happy or pleased. She was over the moon when she heard the news.
a piece of cake– very easy. Climbing this hill will be a piece of cake for me.
burn the midnight oil– to stay up late. I’ll have to burn the midnight oil to finish this report.
found my feet– to be comfortable in a situation. I asked Alex whether I could stay with him until I found my feet.
go the extra mile– to make more efforts. Are you willing to go the extra mile for her?
call it a day– to end the work for the day. I’m very exhausted, I’m going to call it a day.
dicey– the situation is not certain, a gamble. The future of this company looks a bit dicey.
set in their ways– stubborn, not ready to change. My grandparents are quite set in their ways.
cost an arm and a leg– quite expensive. Those bags can cost you an arm and a leg.
So, these were some of the commonly used idioms you can take advantage of in the IELTS Exam but again would like to remind you that it’s not necessary to use any idiom unless it perfectly fits in the sentence, and is fluently spoken. Remember you don’t have to try to become a master when you’re not even naïve. Just focus on laying down one brick at a time and correctly. You don’t have to worry about the wall, just focus on the brick. So, you need to practise speaking every day and inculcate idioms in your daily life. For IELTS Speaking tips, make sure to read this blog Boost your IELTS Speaking Score to Band 7 or Higher.
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About the Author:
With almost a decade of experience in the Education and Immigration Department, Mr Milan Patel have raised Aussizz Group on to a high peak of success. With his expert guidance and knowledge, IELTS Tutorials have been able to impart education to hundreds of IELTS aspirants and have made their dream of going abroad true.