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The Most Helpful Idioms With Meaning and Examples. Topic – Consequences – Effects

English idioms are the spice of language, offering a unique flavor to everyday communication. These common idioms serve as gems, each carrying a distinctive meaning beyond their literal interpretation. Let’s explore the fascinating world of idioms with an idiom example. Consider the phrase “burning the midnight oil,” depicting intense effort or working late into the night. In this idiom sample, the image of a lamp burning late symbolizes diligence and commitment. Understanding idioms with meaning is like deciphering a secret code, unlocking a deeper layer of expression. So, whether you’re “walking on eggshells” or “seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” incorporating these idiomatic expressions into your language repertoire adds flair and nuance, transforming ordinary conversations into rich tapestries of communication.

answer for If someone has to answer for something, they have to accept responsibility for their actions. He will have to answer for his dishonesty.
be that as it may This expression means that what the speaker says may be true but it will not change the situation. OK. Fewer people may come because of the bad weather, but be that as it may, it’s too late to cancel the show.
can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs This expression means that it is impossible to make important changes without causing some unpleasant effects. Some people will lose their jobs after the merger, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.
change the face of something When an innovation, discovery or event changes the face of something, it alters it completely or in a major way. Social networks have changed the face of modern communication.
chickens come home to roost If you say that chickens have come home to roost, you mean that bad or embarrassing things done in the past by someone are now causing problems for that person. As tenants the couple were noisy and disorderly. Now they can’t find a place to rent. The chickens have come home to roost!
come to a bad end If someone comes to a bad end, their actions lead to disastrous consequences which are sometimes deserved or predictable. If that boy doesn’t change his ways, he’ll come to a bad end.
come with the territory To say that something comes with the territory means that it has to be accepted as part of a job or responsibility, even if it is unpleasant. A successful actor has to expect intensive media coverage – that comes with the territory!
come what may If you declare that you will do something come what may, you are saying that you will do it whatever the consequences may be. Come what may, I’m going to tell my mother-in-law what I think of her!
(get) comeuppance When someone gets their comeuppance, they receive the treatment they deserve (usually punishment or retribution) for their behaviour or actions. Any pupils found bullying the newcomers will soon get their comeuppance.
cut both ways Something that cuts both ways has both a positive and a negative effect at the same time. Banning cars in the town centre can cut both ways: less traffic congestion but fewer customers in the shops.
(the) devil to pay This is a way of announcing that there will be trouble if something happens. Be careful. There’ll be the devil to pay if you break anything!
even the score When a person decides to even the score, they try to get their revenge on someone who has cheated or done them harm. When Jack discovered that Bob had cheated, he was determined to even the score.
face the music If you have to face the music, you have to accept the unpleasant consequences of your actions. He was caught stealing. Now he has to face the music.
fall from grace To say that someone has fallen from grace means that they have done something wrong, immoral or unacceptable, and as a result  have lost their good reputation. The Finance Minister fell from grace as a result of a sex scandal.
fall on one’s sword If you fall on your sword, you accept the consequences of an unsuccessful or wrong action. The organiser of the referendum resigned when the poor results were announced. It was said that he ‘fell on his sword’.
get your fingers burnt If someone gets their fingers burnt, they suffer as a result of an unsuccessful action and are nervous about trying again. He got his fingers burnt so badly in the last elections that he decided to withdraw from politics.
open doors to/for If something opens doors, it provides opportunities or possibilities for the future. A degree from a top university generally opens doors to major companies.
one’s own undoing If you do something that is the cause of your own failure, loss or downfall, it is your own undoing. If he continues to gamble like that, it will be his own undoing.
pay dearly (for something) If you pay dearly for something that you door say, you suffer a lot as a result of it. If you leave your job now, you may have to pay dearly for it.
pay dividends If something you do pays dividends, it brings advantages or rewards at a later date. The time he spent learning English paid dividends when he started looking for a job.
(the) price you have to pay The price you have to pay is what you have to endure in return for something you gain or achieve. Lack of privacy is the price you have to pay for being a celebrity.
reap the harvest If you reap the harvest, you benefit or suffer as a direct result of past actions. When he won his first match, he began to reap the harvest of all the hard training.
(a) ripple effect When an action has an effect on something, which in turn effects something else, it is said to have a ripple effect. An increase in the price of oil will have a ripple effect on the economy as a whole.
(a) slap on the wrist If you get a slap on the wrist, you receive mild punishment, or you are reprimanded for something you have done. I got a slap on the wrist from my wife for leaving the kitchen in a mess.
stand in good stead To say that a skill, an ability or previous experience will stand you in good stead means that it will be beneficial to you in the future. Being able to speak another language will stand you in good stead when looking for a job.
stew in your own juice If you let someone stew in their own juice, you leave them to worry about the consequences of their own actions. Ricky spent last night in prison for starting a fight – let him just stew in his own juice!
take the rap If you take the rap, you accept blame or punishment for something, even if you are not responsible. The whole class had to the take the rap for the disorder.
tit for tat This expression refers to an injury or insult given in return for one received. He kicked me, so I kicked him – it was tit for tat!
you can’t unring a bell! This expression means that you cannot undo what has been done, so you must live with the consequences of your actions. Be careful. Once you make the declaration it can’t be changed. You can’t unring a bell!
  1. What are idioms? Idioms are expressions or phrases that hold a figurative meaning beyond their literal interpretation. They add color and depth to language.

  2. Why are idioms important in English? Idioms help convey complex ideas succinctly and vividly, enhancing communication and offering cultural insights.

  3. Can you provide some examples of idioms? Certainly! Examples include “raining cats and dogs” (heavy rain), “kick the bucket” (pass away), and “bite the bullet” (face a difficult situation).

  4. How do I understand the meaning of idioms? Understanding idioms often requires context and cultural familiarity. Exploring their origins and usage in sentences helps grasp their meanings.

  5. Are all idioms universal or do they vary by region? Idioms can vary across regions and cultures. While some idioms are universal, many are culturally specific.

  6. Are there common idioms used in everyday conversation? Yes, several idioms, like “break a leg” (good luck) or “piece of cake” (easy task), are frequently used in daily conversations.

  7. Do idioms have fixed meanings? Generally, yes. However, some idioms might have slight variations in meaning or usage based on context or region.

  8. How can I incorporate idioms into my writing or speech? Using idioms contextually and accurately can add richness to your language. Start by understanding their meanings and then applying them naturally.

  9. Are idioms only found in English? No, idioms exist in many languages. Each language has its own set of colorful expressions and phrases.

  10. Where can I learn more idioms and their meanings? Online resources, books on idioms, and even language learning platforms offer extensive lists of idioms with explanations of their meanings and origins.

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