Idiom Examples: Conversational Idiom Use

Look over the idiom examples in these conversations. Seeing the way idioms are used can help you understand them better than just studying a list of meanings.

Examples of Idioms: Phone Conversations

girl listening on a cell phone

Joan: “Hi, Susan. I need to get a hold of Mr. Anderson. Is he in?”

Susan: “Not right now. Would you like to leave a message?”

Joan: “That’s OK. I’ll try to get in touch with him next week. Thanks.”

_____________________

Mark: “Hey, Joe. How are things?”

Joe: “Going well, Mark. What’ve you been up to lately?”

Mark: “Oh, not much. Work’s been busy. Oh, by the way, did you get a hold of Jeff about that real estate deal we were talking about?”

Joe: “I haven’t been able to reach him yet. But the decision is really not up to him anyway. Let me know if you still want it. If you don’t, now is the time to back out. If you’re still interested, I’ll tell the real estate agent to go ahead and buy that office building. He’ll follow through with it right away. He should have all the paperwork filled out by Friday.”

Mark: “I was hoping Jeff could help me figure out a way to afford it. Our business is in the red right now, but we have some good contracts coming up. We should be in the black soon-- and that property would be ideal. I’ll try calling Jeff myself. If we can’t come up with a solution, we’ll have to call off the deal and do without the bigger office.”

Joe: “Well, good luck then. It’s hard to give up a dream! Let me know what you decide.”

Mark: “I will. Take care!”

More Idiom Examples: Talking About Relationships

Janice: “So how’s it going with your new boyfriend, Ann?”

Ann: “Not so well. I used to look up to Sam, but the better I know him, the less I like him. He doesn’t get along with his parents at all. If they bring up his grades, he blows up at them. So far, he hasn’t blown up at me, but he takes me for granted. I think the only reason he takes me out is to impress his friends.”

Janice: “Don’t put up with that! Why don’t you just break up with him?”

Ann: “I’m sure thinking about it. Do you know any good places to meet guys?”

Idiom Examples in Daily Routines

2 young men chatting on a park bench

Jim: “Hey, Mark! I heard you just got a new job. What’s your routine like now?”

Mark: “Well, when I wake up, I get up right away-- no time to daydream anymore! I shower, shave, and put on my suit, grab a cup of coffee and a sandwich, and am out the door before 7 A.M.

I catch the bus about 7:10, get off downtown at 7:35, and am at my desk going through my emails before 8.

I make a few calls, check the figures in our latest report, and then often have to make a presentation for some new customers. Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon we have a staff meeting, and our boss goes over everything we should be doing to make those sales.

He wants a report every week or so to find out if we followed through on his suggestions, and to make sure we’re on track. He hands out new assignments every Thursday, too.

Fridays at 5 on the dot they pass out the paychecks, and you should see the rush out the door!

When I get home I can’t wait to take off my tie! I kiss Susie and collapse on the sofa while she makes dinner.

After dinner I usually have to finish up a report or go over the plans for a meeting the next day. Then maybe I’ll look at the news or a sit com for a few minutes with Susie. By 11 P.M. I’ve run out of steam and am heading for bed. The pillow never felt better!”

Jim: “Wow! That’s a busy schedule! So what do you do to relax?”

Mark: “Sometimes I take Susie out to eat, or to a movie. But I’d be happy to spend every Saturday out at the lake, catching fish or napping...”


To check the meaning of these idiom examples and other idioms, see List of Idioms- A-F ,  Idiom Definitions G-L, and Idiom Meanings, M-S, and Idioms List T-Z,

Practice some of them on the Idioms Worksheet.

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