Top 100 Idioms and Phrases for Primary 5
As your child progresses through primary school, English language instruction intensifies. In Primary 5, children begin to learn more complex language skills, such as the usage of idioms and phrases. This article will provide you with a list of the top 100 idioms and phrases for Primary 5, along with some strategies to help your child grasp these nuances of English language.
Top 100 Idioms and Phrases
Below are the top 100 idioms and phrases your child should be familiar with in Primary 5:
Week 1: Slow and Steady, Get the momentum and physics right, and start feeling it.
Here are the top 100 idioms and phrases for a Primary 5 student broken down into four tables:
|A dime a dozen||Common, easy to get||Good ideas are a dime a dozen, but it takes hard work to turn them into a reality.|
|Beat around the bush||To avoid getting to the point||Stop beating around the bush and tell me what you want.|
|Bite the bullet||To face a difficult situation bravely||When the time comes, you’ll just have to bite the bullet and take your exams.|
|Break a leg||Good luck||Break a leg in your performance tonight!|
|Barking up the wrong tree||Making a false assumption or accusation||He’s barking up the wrong tree if he thinks I took his lunch.|
|Burn the midnight oil||To work late into the night||To finish this project on time, we might have to burn the midnight oil.|
|Catch someone’s eye||To attract someone’s attention||The bright red dress really caught my eye.|
|Cut to the chase||To get to the point||Let’s cut to the chase, why did you call this meeting?|
|Draw the line||To set a limit||We have to draw the line somewhere or we’ll end up doing all the work.|
|Fit as a fiddle||In good health||Even at 80 years old, my grandfather is as fit as a fiddle.|
|Go the extra mile||To make an extra effort||She always goes the extra mile to make her customers feel welcome.|
|Hit the nail on the head||To get something exactly right||You really hit the nail on the head with that answer.|
|In hot water||In trouble||He got in hot water for missing the deadline.|
|Jump the gun||To act before it’s the appropriate time||You jumped the gun by announcing the deal before it was final.|
|Keep your chin up||Stay positive||Things are tough now, but keep your chin up. They will get better.|
|Let the cat out of the bag||To reveal a secret||I accidentally let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party.|
|Make a long story short||To summarize||To make a long story short, we missed the train and had to take a cab.|
|No pain, no gain||Improvement requires hard work||I’ve been training every day for the competition. No pain, no gain.|
|On the ball||Alert, competent||She’s really on the ball. Nothing gets past her.|
|Pull someone’s leg||To joke or tease someone||Don’t take him seriously, he’s just pulling your leg.|
|Raining cats and dogs||Raining heavily||I forgot my umbrella, and it’s raining cats and dogs out there!|
|Spill the beans||Reveal a secret||I hope he doesn’t spill the beans about the party.|
|Take it with a grain of salt||To consider something to be not completely true or right||I’d take anything he says with a grain of salt.|
|Under the weather||Feeling ill or sick||I think I’m coming down with a cold, I’m feeling a bit under the weather.|
|You can’t judge a book by its cover||You can’t judge someone or something solely by appearance||He might not look very athletic, but you can’t judge a book by its cover.|
Week 2: In step, get ready, Go!
|Zip your lip||To remain silent, to stop talking||My little brother wouldn’t stop talking during the movie, so I told him to zip his lip.|
|Out of the blue||Unexpectedly||My old friend called me out of the blue yesterday.|
|Hit the books||To study hard||With exams coming up, it’s time to hit the books.|
|When pigs fly||Something that will never happen||He’ll clean his room when pigs fly!|
|Cut corners||Doing something poorly to save time or money||If you cut corners when you’re painting, the room will look sloppy.|
|Kick the bucket||To die||I want to travel the world before I kick the bucket.|
|Hit the road||To begin a journey||We hit the road early to beat the morning traffic.|
|A piece of cake||Easy, not requiring much effort||This homework is a piece of cake.|
|The ball is in your court||It is up to you to take the next step||I’ve done all I can; the ball is in your court now.|
|Kill two birds with one stone||To solve two problems at once||By taking the bus, I save money and get to read my book, killing two birds with one stone.|
|Bite off more than you can chew||To take on a task that is too big||He bit off more than he could chew when he agreed to paint the house in one day.|
|Costs an arm and a leg||Very expensive||This car costs an arm and a leg.|
|Feel under the weather||Feel sick||I’m feeling under the weather, so I’m going to bed early.|
|Give the benefit of the doubt||Believe someone’s statement, without proof||She couldn’t prove her innocence, but we gave her the benefit of the doubt.|
|In the heat of the moment||Overwhelmed by what is happening in the moment||In the heat of the moment, he said things he later regretted.|
|Once in a blue moon||Very rarely||He only visits his parents once in a blue moon.|
|See eye to eye||Agree||They don’t see eye to eye on many things, but they’re still best friends.|
|The last straw||The final problem in a series of problems||Missing my bus was the last straw. I decided to buy a car.|
|Take with a grain of salt||Not take something too seriously||I take everything he says with a grain of salt because he tends to exaggerate.|
|Straight from the horse’s mouth||From a reliable source||I know it’s true; I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth.|
|Throw in the towel||To give up||After hours of trying to solve the problem, he finally threw in the towel.|
|Miss the boat||To miss an opportunity||If we don’t act now, we might miss the boat.|
|Get your act together||Start to organize yourself||You need to get your act together or you’ll fail the class.|
|Off the hook||No longer have to deal with a tough situation||The teacher let me off the hook when she extended the deadline.|
|Sit on the fence||To not make a decision||I was sitting on the fence about the job offer, because the pay was lower than I wanted.|
Week 3: Strength is the absence of weakness, Don’t Stop now!
|Take a rain check||Postpone a plan||I have a lot of homework, can we take a rain check on going to the movies?|
|Every cloud has a silver lining||Every bad situation has some good aspect||He failed his test, but every cloud has a silver lining; he now knows he needs to study harder.|
|Don’t cry over spilled milk||Don’t be upset about something that has already happened and cannot be changed||Yes, you made a mistake, but don’t cry over spilled milk. Just try to fix it.|
|Bite the hand that feeds you||Act ungratefully towards someone who helps you||Complaining about your boss’s fair decision is like biting the hand that feeds you.|
|Go back to the drawing board||Start over||Our plan didn’t work out, so it’s time to go back to the drawing board.|
|Let sleeping dogs lie||Avoid restarting a conflict||I know you want to talk about it, but it might be better to let sleeping dogs lie.|
|At the drop of a hat||Immediately||If you need help, I’ll be there at the drop of a hat.|
|Read between the lines||Understand the hidden meaning||She said she wasn’t upset, but reading between the lines, I could tell she was.|
|Throw someone under the bus||Sacrifice someone else to save oneself||I can’t believe he threw me under the bus to save his own job.|
|Have a chip on your shoulder||Hold a grudge||He has had a chip on his shoulder since he didn’t get the promotion.|
|Play devil’s advocate||To argue against an idea for debate||Let me play devil’s advocate and see if your plan holds up.|
|Up in the air||Uncertain||Our holiday plans are still up in the air.|
|The early bird gets the worm||The person who takes the earliest opportunity will gain the advantage||She started studying for the exams early; the early bird gets the worm.|
|Spitting image||Looks exactly like another person||You are the spitting image of your mother.|
|Take the bull by the horns||To face a problem head-on||He decided to take the bull by the horns and confront his bully.|
|Through thick and thin||In all situations, good or bad||We’ve been best friends for years, through thick and thin.|
|On thin ice||In a risky situation||If you continue to come late, you’ll be on thin ice with the boss.|
|Put all your eggs in one basket||Rely completely on one course of action||Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; apply to a few different colleges.|
|Beat a dead horse||Waste time on a lost cause or unalterable situation||Arguing about this is like beating a dead horse. Let’s move on.|
|Put your foot in your mouth||Say something embarrassing or wrong||I really put my foot in my mouth when I asked about her job, not knowing she’d been fired.|
|Bury the hatchet||Make peace||After years of rivalry, the two companies decided to bury the hatchet.|
|Out of the frying pan and into the fire||Move from a bad situation to a worse one||After quitting his job, he couldn’t pay his bills. He really went out of the frying pan and into the fire.|
|A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush||What you already have is worth more than what you might get||I was offered a better job, but a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.|
|Hit the nail on the head||Be exactly right||Your explanation hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly what happened.|
Week 4: Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!
|Off the beaten track||Not known or popular||For our vacation, we went off the beaten track and explored some less-known towns.|
|As cool as a cucumber||Very calm and composed||Despite the stressful situation, she remained as cool as a cucumber.|
|Hold your horses||Wait and be patient||Hold your horses, the dinner isn’t ready yet.|
|Make ends meet||To have enough money to cover expenses||After losing his job, he had to work odd jobs to make ends meet.|
|Easier said than done||Not as easy as it appears to be||Cleaning the entire house in one day is easier said than done.|
|The whole nine yards||Everything, all of it||He decided to clean the house and went the whole nine yards, doing every single room.|
|Cut someone some slack||Give someone an extra amount of leeway||He’s been having a tough time recently, let’s cut him some slack.|
|Speak of the devil||The person we were just talking about showed up||We were just talking about you, speak of the devil!|
|Apple of my eye||Someone very precious or dear||My youngest daughter is the apple of my eye.|
|Get a kick out of something||Enjoy something very much||I get a kick out of watching old sitcoms.|
|A penny for your thoughts||A way of asking what someone is thinking||You seem preoccupied, a penny for your thoughts?|
|Back to square one||Back to the beginning||Our project didn’t work, so it’s back to square one.|
|Cross your fingers||To hope for good luck||Cross your fingers that it doesn’t rain during our trip.|
|Have a heart of gold||Be very kind and good-natured||My grandmother has a heart of gold; she always helps anyone in need.|
|Over the moon||Extremely happy||I was over the moon when I got accepted into my dream college.|
|Paint the town red||Go out and enjoy oneself flamboyantly||After the final exam, we decided to paint the town red.|
|The ball is in your court||It is your decision or responsibility to do something now||I’ve told you how I feel, now the ball is in your court.|
|To smell a rat||To suspect foul play||The deal was too good to be true; I smelled a rat.|
|Throw in the towel||Give up||After many failed attempts, he finally decided to throw in the towel.|
|Turn a blind eye||Refuse to acknowledge something you know is real or happening||The teacher turned a blind eye to the cheating student, which surprised us all.|
|Cost an arm and a leg||To be very expensive||This designer bag cost me an arm and a leg.|
|Hit the hay||Go to bed||It’s been a long day. I think it’s time to hit the hay.|
|The tip of the iceberg||A small part of a larger, more complex issue||These symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg. The patient has more underlying health issues.|
|Take the plunge||To commit oneself to a course of action that is momentous or challenging||After thinking about it for years, he finally took the plunge and started his own business.|
By introducing these idioms and phrases to your child, you are helping to build their comprehension skills as well as their ability to express themselves more creatively and accurately.
1. What are idioms and phrases?Idioms are expressions whose meanings are not predictable from the usual meanings of their constituent elements. Phrases are small groups of words that function as a unit and have a particular meaning
.2. Why is it essential for Primary 5 students to learn idioms and phrases?Learning idioms and phrases helps Primary 5 students enhance their understanding of the English language. It aids in the development of their vocabulary, comprehension, and expressive language skills.
3. How can idioms and phrases improve English skills?Idioms and phrases can enhance vocabulary, comprehension, and expressive language skills. They offer insights into cultural context, help with understanding nuanced meanings, and add creativity to speech and writing
.4. When is the right time to start teaching idioms and phrases to kids?There is no strict age limit to start teaching idioms. However, the concept is often introduced at the primary level, around Primary 5, when children have developed a certain level of language comprehension.
5. How to teach idioms and phrases in an engaging way?You can teach idioms and phrases through storytelling, games, flashcards, and drawings. Implementing them in daily conversation and explaining the context or origin can also make learning fun and interesting.
6. Which idioms and phrases should my child learn first?Start with simpler, commonly used idioms and phrases like “Piece of cake”, “Break a leg”, “Kick the bucket”. Gradually move towards complex ones as your child gets comfortable with the concept.
7. How to practice idioms and phrases at home?Make it a part of daily conversation, ask your child to write stories using the learned idioms, or encourage them to identify idioms while reading books or watching shows.
8. Can learning idioms and phrases help in exams?Yes, understanding idioms and phrases can improve reading comprehension, writing, and spoken English skills, which can contribute to better performance in exams.
9. Where can I find resources to teach idioms and phrases?You can find resources in children’s books, online platforms, educational apps, and this website, which has an extensive list of top 100 idioms and phrases for Primary 5.
10. How to explain the meaning of idioms to kids?You can explain it through examples, stories, or by breaking down the idiom into parts. Visual aids can also be useful in teaching idioms.
11. What are some common mistakes kids make while learning idioms?Kids may often take idioms literally or use them in the wrong context. They might also mix up words, which alters the idiom’s meaning.
12. How to correct mistakes while learning idioms and phrases?Corrections should be done gently. Explain the correct usage, encourage them to try again, and provide lots of practice opportunities.
13. How many idioms and phrases should my child learn each week?It depends on the child’s learning pace. Starting with one idiom a day can be a good approach. The focus should be on understanding and proper usage rather than quantity.
14. Can understanding idioms and phrases enhance creative writing skills?Yes, idioms and phrases can add color, depth, and culture to writing, thereby enhancing creative writing skills.
15. Are there any fun games to teach idioms and phrases?Yes, games like idiom charades, idiom matching, and ‘idiom of the day’ can make learning fun and interactive.
16. How long does it take to learn an idiom or phrase?The time to learn an idiom or phrase varies depending on the complexity of the idiom and the child’s language skills. Consistent practice will lead to improvement over time.
17. Are there specific idioms and phrases that are important for Primary 5?While there’s no strict list, the top 100 idioms and phrases provided on this website are tailored for Primary 5 and are a great starting point.
18. Why do some idioms and phrases not make sense when taken literally?Idioms often originate from cultural, historical, or literary contexts and have evolved over time. Their meanings cannot be deduced from the literal meanings of their constituent words.
19. Can idioms and phrases be used in formal writing?While idioms can add color to language, it’s important to use them sparingly in formal writing as they can sometimes make the text informal and unclear.
20. How can I motivate my child to learn idioms and phrases?You can motivate them by making learning fun, setting realistic goals, providing positive feedback, and showing the practical use of idioms and phrases in daily life.
These idioms and phrases will give your child a richer vocabulary and will help them better understand and engage in English conversations. Keep practicing and learning!
The Best Strategies for Learning Idioms and Phrases
- Contextual learning: Introduce idioms and phrases in the context of a sentence or a story. It helps students understand their meaning and usage.
- Regular practice: Regular revision is key. Encourage your child to use newly learned idioms and phrases in their conversations and writings.
- Flashcards: Visual aids can help children remember and understand idioms better. Use flashcards with the idiom on one side and its meaning and example on the other.
- Games and quizzes: Learning can be fun. Use games and quizzes to help your child remember idioms and phrases.
- Consistent exposure: Make sure your child encounters these idioms and phrases in reading materials, conversations, and media.
Useful Websites for Learning Idioms and Phrases
There are several online resources available to assist your child in understanding and learning idioms and phrases. Here are a few recommended ones:
- Idioms and Phrases: This website offers a plethora of idioms and phrases, complete with their meanings and examples.
- Learn English Today: A great source of idioms, phrases, and proverbs, suitable for primary 5 students.
- Cambridge Dictionary: The “Idioms” section provides a comprehensive list of idioms along with their meanings and usage in sentences.
- Phrasemix: This site provides a large collection of common English idioms and phrases, complete with explanations and examples.
- British Council: Their resource page for idioms is very interactive and educational, perfect for primary 5 students.
Remember, learning idioms and phrases can be a fun and rewarding experience for your child. Using the strategies listed above and accessing the resources provided, your child will be well on their way to mastering idioms and phrases in no time.
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