Idioms, or figures of speech (e.g., “It’s raining cats and dogs”), are so common, that people rarely realize they’re using them in their native language. However, when trying to master a new language in a professional setting, idioms suddenly seem to be everywhere. If you’re not familiar with common idioms in English, you may often find yourself scratching your head when they come up in conversation. For a non-native English speaker, idioms can make it difficult to understand a speaker’s message. Learning a few basic idioms can make following the flow of a conversation in the workplace much easier. As a bonus, adding in the occasional idiom to your own speech can make it much more colorful, fluent, and native-like.
Take a look at these common idioms you’re likely to hear in the workplace:
- To go back to square one: Starting over after an attempt at something fails
- Hit the nail on the head: Do or say something exactly right
- Kill two birds with one stone: To accomplish two different things at the same time.
- Beat around the bush: Avoiding the main topic. Not speaking directly about the issue.
- The ball is in your court: It is up to you to make the next decision or step.
- Cross that bridge when you come to it: Deal with a problem if and when it becomes necessary, not before.
- To play devil’s advocate: To present a counter argument, even if you don’t necessarily believe it
- A far cry from: Very different from.
If you’re looking for more ways to craft a strong, confident image that will help you to achieve your professional goals, make sure to pick up a free copy of my e-book “Communicate with Clarity and Confidence!” by subscribing to our newsletter community on our website. In this free resource, I break down the myriad factors that contribute to confident communication and guide you through how to use each aspect to your advantage.
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