Top 100 Idioms and Phrases for Primary 4 Students

Top 100 Idioms and Phrases for Primary 4 Students: A Comprehensive Guide

Week 1: Let’s Go!

Table 1: Idioms 1-25

1. Bite the bulletFace a painful situation bravelyDespite her fear, she decided to bite the bullet and give her presentation.
2. The ball is in your courtIt’s up to you to make the next moveI’ve done all I can; now the ball is in your court.
3. Barking up the wrong treeLooking in the wrong placeAccusing Tom of the mistake is like barking up the wrong tree; he wasn’t even there.
4. Beat around the bushAvoid discussing the matter at handStop beating around the bush and tell me what you really think.
5. Burst your bubbleTo disappoint someone by revealing the truthSorry to burst your bubble, but summer vacation isn’t as long as you think.
6. Burn bridgesRuin relationshipsDon’t burn bridges with your old classmates; you never know when you’ll need them.
7. Cry over spilt milkWorry about things that can’t be changedThere’s no use crying over spilt milk; you can’t change the past.
8. Cut to the chaseGet to the pointLet’s cut to the chase and discuss the real issues.
9. Feeling under the weatherFeeling sickI’m feeling a bit under the weather today, so I’ll stay home.
10. Go the extra mileDo more than expectedShe always goes the extra mile to help her friends.
11. Hit the nail on the headGet something exactly rightYou hit the nail on the head with that answer.
12. In hot waterIn troubleIf you don’t do your homework, you’ll be in hot water.
13. Keep your chin upStay positiveEven though you failed this time, keep your chin up.
14. Let the cat out of the bagReveal a secretI didn’t mean to let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party.
15. Miss the boatMiss an opportunityIf you don’t apply today, you might miss the boat.
16. No pain, no gainYou have to work hard to achieve somethingRemember, no pain, no gain. Keep practicing.
17. On cloud nineVery happyWhen I found out I passed the test, I was on cloud nine.
18. Pull someone’s legTease or joke with someoneDon’t worry, I’m just pulling your leg.
19. See eye to eyeAgreeWe don’t always see eye to eye, but we respect each other.
20. Take it with a grain of saltBe skepticalTake his advice with a grain of salt; he doesn’t always know what he’s talking about.
21. Under the weatherNot feeling wellShe didn’t come to school today because she’s under the weather.
22. Go out on a limbTake a riskI’m going to go out on a limb and say that our team will win.
23. Break a legGood luckBreak a leg on your spelling test tomorrow!
24. Out of the blueUnexpectedlyOut of the blue, she asked if I wanted to move to a new city.
25. Take the bull by the hornsDeal with a problem directlyI decided to take the bull by the horns and confront him about the issue.

Week 2: And we are back!

Table 2: Idioms 26-50

26. Rain on someone’s paradeSpoil someone’s plansI hate to rain on your parade, but we can’t go to the zoo in this weather.
27. Hit the booksTo study hardIf you want to ace the test, you’ll need to hit the books.
28. Back to the drawing boardStart overOur plan didn’t work, so it’s back to the drawing board.
29. The early bird catches the wormThose who start early have an advantageShe wakes up at dawn to study; as they say, the early bird catches the worm.
30. Get a kick out of somethingEnjoy something a lotI get a kick out of reading comic books.
31. It takes two to tangoBoth parties involved in a situation are responsibleRemember, it takes two to tango; you’re not innocent either.
32. Beat a dead horseWaste effort on something that has already ended or been decidedArguing about this now is like beating a dead horse.
33. A picture is worth a thousand wordsAn image can tell a story better than wordsThe photos from the trip were so good, truly a picture is worth a thousand words.
34. Every cloud has a silver liningThere’s always something good in bad timesEven though she lost her job, she found a better one. Every cloud has a silver lining.
35. Feel like a million bucksFeel wonderfulAfter winning the competition, I felt like a million bucks.
36. Give someone the cold shoulderIgnore someoneShe gave me the cold shoulder when I tried to apologize.
37. A dime a dozenVery commonThese kinds of toys are a dime a dozen at the dollar store.
38. On thin iceIn a risky situationIf you keep breaking the rules, you’re on thin ice.
39. Piece of cakeEasyThis math problem is a piece of cake.
40. Spill the beansReveal a secretWho spilled the beans about the surprise party?
41. Kick the bucketTo pass awayThe old man down the street kicked the bucket.
42. Take it easyRelaxYou’ve been working hard all day. Take it easy.
43. Through thick and thinIn good times and badMy best friend has been with me through thick and thin.
44. Go with the flowTake things as they comeWhen we travel, we like to go with the flow.
45. Cost an arm and a legBe very expensiveThe new phone costs an arm and a leg.
46. Biting off more than you can chewTake on more than you can handleBy volunteering for the extra project, he bit off more than he could chew.
47. Head in the cloudsNot paying attentionHe had his head in the clouds during the meeting.
48. The apple doesn’t fall far from the treeChildren are often like their parentsShe’s a great musician, just like her dad. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
49. A penny for your thoughtsAsking what someone is thinkingYou seem quiet. A penny for your thoughts?
50. Out of the frying pan and into the fireFrom a bad situation to a worse oneAfter escaping the cat, the mouse ran straight into the dog. It jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Week 3: Keep on training and we are almost there!

Table 3: Idioms 51-75

51. Put all your eggs in one basketRely on a single opportunityDon’t put all your eggs in one basket; apply to several schools.
52. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bushIt’s better to have a certain advantage than the possibility of a greater oneI took the job offer because a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
53. A leopard can’t change its spotsYou can’t change a person’s real natureHe promised he’d be more reliable, but a leopard can’t change its spots.
54. Don’t judge a book by its coverDon’t judge someone or something by appearance aloneShe seemed quiet, but you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; she was very lively once you got to know her.
55. Hit the sackGo to bedIt’s late. I think it’s time to hit the sack.
56. The icing on the cakeAn extra benefit or enhancementI was delighted with the gift, and the card was icing on the cake.
57. In the nick of timeJust in timeI got to the bus stop in the nick of time.
58. Kill two birds with one stoneAccomplish two tasks with one actionI can pick up the laundry and the groceries on the way home and kill two birds with one stone.
59. Left in the lurchLeft in a difficult positionWhen my ride didn’t show up, I was left in the lurch.
60. Make a long story shortTell something brieflyTo make a long story short, I ended up missing the train.
61. Not playing with a full deckNot mentally soundHe’s not playing with a full deck if he thinks that plan will work.
62. Off the hookFreed from an obligationI thought I’d have to work this weekend, but I got off the hook.
63. Put your foot in your mouthSay something embarrassing or wrongI really put my foot in my mouth when I asked about her old job, not knowing she’d been fired.
64. The pot calling the kettle blackCriticizing others for the very fault one possessesYou’re calling me lazy? That’s the pot calling the kettle black!
65. Raining cats and dogsRaining heavilyBring your umbrella; it’s raining cats and dogs out there.
66. Steal someone’s thunderTake the attention or credit from someoneShe unveiled her new dress before the party and completely stole my thunder.
67. Take with a grain of saltDon’t take what someone says too seriouslyI take everything he says with a grain of salt because he often exaggerates.
68. Up in the airUndecided or unsettledOur vacation plans are still up in the air.
69. You can’t judge a book by its coverDon’t base your opinion of something (or someone) on the way it (or one) looksHe doesn’t look very intelligent, but you can’t judge a book by its cover.
70. At the drop of a hatImmediatelyShe would help anyone at the drop of a hat.
71. Bite off more than you can chewTake on a task that is too bigDon’t bite off more than you can chew by accepting that extra project.
72. Heart in your mouthVery scared or anxiousI had my heart in my mouth when I walked onto the stage.
73. Cut cornersDo something the easiest or cheapest wayIt’s not good to cut corners when it comes to safety.
74. Get out of handTo get out of controlThe party got out of hand when the police arrived.
75. Through the grapevineThrough an informal means of informationI heard through the grapevine that she’s planning to relocate.

Stay tuned for the last 25 idioms in the next response!

Week 4: Finish this and have a good holiday!

Table 4: Idioms 76-100

76. The last strawThe final problem in a series of problemsNot cleaning his room was the last straw; he was grounded after that.
77. Actions speak louder than wordsWhat you do means more than what you sayHe always promises to help, but actions speak louder than words, and he never does.
78. Add insult to injuryTo make a bad situation worseHe was late, and to add insult to injury, he forgot his homework.
79. A drop in the bucketA very small part of something bigMy savings is only a drop in the bucket if we want to buy a house.
80. An arm and a legVery expensiveThe painting must have cost an arm and a leg.
81. Barking up the wrong treeLooking in the wrong place. Accusing the wrong personIf you think I took your book, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
82. Bite off more than you can chewTo take on a task that is way too bigShe bit off more than she could chew when she volunteered to manage three projects.
83. Break a legGood luckBreak a leg at your performance tonight!
84. Burn the midnight oilTo work late into the nightHe was burning the midnight oil to finish his report.
85. Comparing apples to orangesComparing two things that cannot be comparedYou can’t compare swimming to running; it’s like comparing apples to oranges.
86. Cross that bridge when you come to itDeal with a problem if and when it becomes necessaryWe don’t know whether we’ll need a bigger car, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
87. Cry over spilled milkComplain about a loss from the pastStop crying over spilled milk. We can’t undo the past.
88. Cut somebody some slackDon’t be so criticalCut her some slack, she’s new to the job.
89. Devil’s advocateTo present a counter argumentLet me play devil’s advocate and say what would happen if we didn’t follow your plan.
90. Don’t count your chickens before they hatchDon’t make plans for something that might not happenYou might not get the job, so don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
91. Don’t put all your eggs in one basketDon’t put all your resources in one placeI’m applying to several colleges so I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket.
92. Feeling a bit under the weatherFeeling slightly illI’m feeling a bit under the weather so I won’t go to the cinema tonight.
93. Hit the nail on the headDo or say something exactly rightYou hit the nail on the head when you said the company’s biggest problem is lack of communication.
94. Kill two birds with one stoneTo solve two problems at onceI’ll pick up the laundry on my way home from work and kill two birds with one stone.
95. Last but not leastAn introduction phrase to let the audience know that the last person mentioned is no less importantLast but not least, I want to introduce our wonderful janitorial staff.
96. Let someone off the hookTo not hold someone responsible for somethingI was supposed to wash the dishes but my dad let me off the hook.
97. Miss the boatIt’s too lateHe applied too late and missed the boat.
98. No pain, no gainYou have to work for what you wantIf you want to improve your language skills, you have to practice every day. No pain, no gain.
99. On the ballDoing a good jobShe’s really on the ball. She finished the project in record time.
100. Pulling someone’s legJokingAre you pulling my leg or are we really going to Disneyland?

That completes our list of 100 idioms suitable for Primary 4 students. Each idiom is an enriching addition to their vocabulary, enhancing their language skills and making them more effective communicators.

Have a look at some of our English Tutorial materials here: 

Learning Idioms and Phrases are integral component of English language

When learning English, idioms and phrases are integral components that boost understanding and expression. They give the language its spice and color, making it more intriguing and fascinating. For Primary 4 students, mastering idioms and phrases is a significant step towards becoming proficient English speakers.Before we dive into our Top 100 Idioms and Phrases, let’s discuss the best strategies to employ in teaching and learning these elements:

  • Consistent Practice: Encourage your child to use newly learned idioms and phrases in their day-to-day communication.
  • Contextual Learning: Teach idioms and phrases in context. This strategy makes it easier to remember and understand their usage.
  • Flashcards: Utilize flashcards to review idioms and phrases regularly.
  • Storytelling: Incorporate idioms and phrases into stories. This method makes learning more engaging and memorable.
  • Online Games and Quizzes: Utilize online resources to make learning fun and interactive.

Top 100 Idioms and Phrases for Primary 4 Students

Now, let’s unravel our list of idioms and phrases, carefully curated to challenge Primary 4 students while keeping their understanding and interest level in mind.

  1. A Piece of Cake: Something that is easy to understand or do.
  2. Actions Speak Louder Than Words: What someone does is more important than what they say.
  3. Bite the Bullet: To endure a painful or difficult situation courageously.
  4. Break the Ice: To initiate a conversation or make a start.
  5. Couch Potato: A lazy person who spends most of their time watching TV and doing nothing productive.
  6. Down in the Dumps: Feeling depressed or unhappy.
  7. Eye Candy: Something or someone that is visually attractive or pleasing to look at.
  8. Feeling Blue: Feeling sad or depressed.
  9. Green Thumb: A natural skill for gardening or growing plants.
  10. Hit the Books: To begin studying seriously.

And many more. For the full list, refer to the attached document at the end of this article.

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Online Resources for Learning Idioms and Phrases

Online resources play a pivotal role in the teaching and learning process of idioms and phrases. Here are some great websites that Primary 4 students can use:

  1. IdiomSite is a fantastic website that provides meanings and origins of thousands of idioms. It’s an excellent resource for learning idioms contextually.
  2. Phrase Finder: The Phrase Finder offers meanings for phrases and sayings. It also includes their origins, making it fun and informative.
  3. ESL Games Plus: ESL Games Plus provides interactive games for learning idioms. This site makes learning fun and engaging.
  4. offers printable worksheets and online games focused on idioms, perfect for reinforcement and practice.

Wrap Up

Mastering idioms and phrases is not an overnight process, but with persistent effort and the right resources, Primary 4 students can surely achieve it. The journey of learning idioms and phrases can be fascinating and full of discoveries.Remember, the key is consistent practice, and using these idioms in everyday communication will immensely aid your child’s grasp of the English language. Let’s make learning fun and interactive with the strategies and resources shared in this guide!

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