Idiomatic expressions are an essential part of learning English and achieving fluency. They are also integral in the understanding of native speakers (HERE). Though idioms and expressions are usually believed to be quite informal, there are some that can be used in semi-formal texts.



Actions speak louder than words

What you do counts for more than what you say.

It is all well and good talking about it, but actions speak louder than words, so you will nee to demonstrate what you can do.


Best thing since sliced bread

Something amazing

I really love my new car, it´s the best thing since sliced bread


Don´t put all your eggs in one basket

Do not count on only one option; you need multiple things to achieve something

If you really want to be successful, you shouldn´t put all your eggs in one basket


Every cloud has a silver lining

Even bad things or things that seem to be bad can have a good outcome

Though the situation may seem ban now, it is important to remember that every cloud has a silver lining


Give the benefit of the doubt

When you are not sure about something, believe the person without the need for evidence

I´m not sure that is quite right, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt


Hit the nail on the head

Be correct about something

I think that was an excellent idea and I couldn´t agree more, you have hit the nail on the head


Method in your madness

Although the approach or way of doing something is strange, it will be effective

The way he finds the answer to the equations is strange, but there is method in this madness


Once in a blue moon

To occur very rarely

I only see my twin brother once in a blue moon


Pictures paint a thousand words

An image can be more informative than words alone

I don´t understand what you mean, show me as you know that pictures paint a thousand words


Take with a pinch of salt

Not take everything you hear too seriously, not believe everything you hear

He was angry yesterday and didn´t mean what he said, I would take it with a pinch of salt



The way you use idioms is important. It is clear that they are used in common speech and colloquial contexts, but you need to be careful with their includion in the writing of essays, reports, proposals and formal letters. The idioms included in this post can, however, be used in these types of texts.

Recommended Posts
pingbacks / trackbacks

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.