Top 100 Idioms and Phrases for Primary 5

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:

Table 1

A dime a dozenCommon, easy to getGood ideas are a dime a dozen, but it takes hard work to turn them into a reality.
Beat around the bushTo avoid getting to the pointStop beating around the bush and tell me what you want.
Bite the bulletTo face a difficult situation bravelyWhen the time comes, you’ll just have to bite the bullet and take your exams.
Break a legGood luckBreak a leg in your performance tonight!
Barking up the wrong treeMaking a false assumption or accusationHe’s barking up the wrong tree if he thinks I took his lunch.
Burn the midnight oilTo work late into the nightTo finish this project on time, we might have to burn the midnight oil.
Catch someone’s eyeTo attract someone’s attentionThe bright red dress really caught my eye.
Cut to the chaseTo get to the pointLet’s cut to the chase, why did you call this meeting?
Draw the lineTo set a limitWe have to draw the line somewhere or we’ll end up doing all the work.
Fit as a fiddleIn good healthEven at 80 years old, my grandfather is as fit as a fiddle.
Go the extra mileTo make an extra effortShe always goes the extra mile to make her customers feel welcome.
Hit the nail on the headTo get something exactly rightYou really hit the nail on the head with that answer.
In hot waterIn troubleHe got in hot water for missing the deadline.
Jump the gunTo act before it’s the appropriate timeYou jumped the gun by announcing the deal before it was final.
Keep your chin upStay positiveThings are tough now, but keep your chin up. They will get better.
Let the cat out of the bagTo reveal a secretI accidentally let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party.
Make a long story shortTo summarizeTo make a long story short, we missed the train and had to take a cab.
No pain, no gainImprovement requires hard workI’ve been training every day for the competition. No pain, no gain.
On the ballAlert, competentShe’s really on the ball. Nothing gets past her.
Pull someone’s legTo joke or tease someoneDon’t take him seriously, he’s just pulling your leg.
Raining cats and dogsRaining heavilyI forgot my umbrella, and it’s raining cats and dogs out there!
Spill the beansReveal a secretI hope he doesn’t spill the beans about the party.
Take it with a grain of saltTo consider something to be not completely true or rightI’d take anything he says with a grain of salt.
Under the weatherFeeling ill or sickI think I’m coming down with a cold, I’m feeling a bit under the weather.
You can’t judge a book by its coverYou can’t judge someone or something solely by appearanceHe might not look very athletic, but you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Week 2: In step, get ready, Go!

Table 2

Zip your lipTo remain silent, to stop talkingMy little brother wouldn’t stop talking during the movie, so I told him to zip his lip.
Out of the blueUnexpectedlyMy old friend called me out of the blue yesterday.
Hit the booksTo study hardWith exams coming up, it’s time to hit the books.
When pigs flySomething that will never happenHe’ll clean his room when pigs fly!
Cut cornersDoing something poorly to save time or moneyIf you cut corners when you’re painting, the room will look sloppy.
Kick the bucketTo dieI want to travel the world before I kick the bucket.
Hit the roadTo begin a journeyWe hit the road early to beat the morning traffic.
A piece of cakeEasy, not requiring much effortThis homework is a piece of cake.
The ball is in your courtIt is up to you to take the next stepI’ve done all I can; the ball is in your court now.
Kill two birds with one stoneTo solve two problems at onceBy taking the bus, I save money and get to read my book, killing two birds with one stone.
Bite off more than you can chewTo take on a task that is too bigHe bit off more than he could chew when he agreed to paint the house in one day.
Costs an arm and a legVery expensiveThis car costs an arm and a leg.
Feel under the weatherFeel sickI’m feeling under the weather, so I’m going to bed early.
Give the benefit of the doubtBelieve someone’s statement, without proofShe couldn’t prove her innocence, but we gave her the benefit of the doubt.
In the heat of the momentOverwhelmed by what is happening in the momentIn the heat of the moment, he said things he later regretted.
Once in a blue moonVery rarelyHe only visits his parents once in a blue moon.
See eye to eyeAgreeThey don’t see eye to eye on many things, but they’re still best friends.
The last strawThe final problem in a series of problemsMissing my bus was the last straw. I decided to buy a car.
Take with a grain of saltNot take something too seriouslyI take everything he says with a grain of salt because he tends to exaggerate.
Straight from the horse’s mouthFrom a reliable sourceI know it’s true; I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth.
Throw in the towelTo give upAfter hours of trying to solve the problem, he finally threw in the towel.
Miss the boatTo miss an opportunityIf we don’t act now, we might miss the boat.
Get your act togetherStart to organize yourselfYou need to get your act together or you’ll fail the class.
Off the hookNo longer have to deal with a tough situationThe teacher let me off the hook when she extended the deadline.
Sit on the fenceTo not make a decisionI 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!

Table 3

Take a rain checkPostpone a planI have a lot of homework, can we take a rain check on going to the movies?
Every cloud has a silver liningEvery bad situation has some good aspectHe failed his test, but every cloud has a silver lining; he now knows he needs to study harder.
Don’t cry over spilled milkDon’t be upset about something that has already happened and cannot be changedYes, you made a mistake, but don’t cry over spilled milk. Just try to fix it.
Bite the hand that feeds youAct ungratefully towards someone who helps youComplaining about your boss’s fair decision is like biting the hand that feeds you.
Go back to the drawing boardStart overOur plan didn’t work out, so it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
Let sleeping dogs lieAvoid restarting a conflictI know you want to talk about it, but it might be better to let sleeping dogs lie.
At the drop of a hatImmediatelyIf you need help, I’ll be there at the drop of a hat.
Read between the linesUnderstand the hidden meaningShe said she wasn’t upset, but reading between the lines, I could tell she was.
Throw someone under the busSacrifice someone else to save oneselfI can’t believe he threw me under the bus to save his own job.
Have a chip on your shoulderHold a grudgeHe has had a chip on his shoulder since he didn’t get the promotion.
Play devil’s advocateTo argue against an idea for debateLet me play devil’s advocate and see if your plan holds up.
Up in the airUncertainOur holiday plans are still up in the air.
The early bird gets the wormThe person who takes the earliest opportunity will gain the advantageShe started studying for the exams early; the early bird gets the worm.
Spitting imageLooks exactly like another personYou are the spitting image of your mother.
Take the bull by the hornsTo face a problem head-onHe decided to take the bull by the horns and confront his bully.
Through thick and thinIn all situations, good or badWe’ve been best friends for years, through thick and thin.
On thin iceIn a risky situationIf you continue to come late, you’ll be on thin ice with the boss.
Put all your eggs in one basketRely completely on one course of actionDon’t put all your eggs in one basket; apply to a few different colleges.
Beat a dead horseWaste time on a lost cause or unalterable situationArguing about this is like beating a dead horse. Let’s move on.
Put your foot in your mouthSay something embarrassing or wrongI really put my foot in my mouth when I asked about her job, not knowing she’d been fired.
Bury the hatchetMake peaceAfter years of rivalry, the two companies decided to bury the hatchet.
Out of the frying pan and into the fireMove from a bad situation to a worse oneAfter 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 bushWhat you already have is worth more than what you might getI was offered a better job, but a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Hit the nail on the headBe exactly rightYour explanation hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly what happened.

Week 4: Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Table 4

Off the beaten trackNot known or popularFor our vacation, we went off the beaten track and explored some less-known towns.
As cool as a cucumberVery calm and composedDespite the stressful situation, she remained as cool as a cucumber.
Hold your horsesWait and be patientHold your horses, the dinner isn’t ready yet.
Make ends meetTo have enough money to cover expensesAfter losing his job, he had to work odd jobs to make ends meet.
Easier said than doneNot as easy as it appears to beCleaning the entire house in one day is easier said than done.
The whole nine yardsEverything, all of itHe decided to clean the house and went the whole nine yards, doing every single room.
Cut someone some slackGive someone an extra amount of leewayHe’s been having a tough time recently, let’s cut him some slack.
Speak of the devilThe person we were just talking about showed upWe were just talking about you, speak of the devil!
Apple of my eyeSomeone very precious or dearMy youngest daughter is the apple of my eye.
Get a kick out of somethingEnjoy something very muchI get a kick out of watching old sitcoms.
A penny for your thoughtsA way of asking what someone is thinkingYou seem preoccupied, a penny for your thoughts?
Back to square oneBack to the beginningOur project didn’t work, so it’s back to square one.
Cross your fingersTo hope for good luckCross your fingers that it doesn’t rain during our trip.
Have a heart of goldBe very kind and good-naturedMy grandmother has a heart of gold; she always helps anyone in need.
Over the moonExtremely happyI was over the moon when I got accepted into my dream college.
Paint the town redGo out and enjoy oneself flamboyantlyAfter the final exam, we decided to paint the town red.
The ball is in your courtIt is your decision or responsibility to do something nowI’ve told you how I feel, now the ball is in your court.
To smell a ratTo suspect foul playThe deal was too good to be true; I smelled a rat.
Throw in the towelGive upAfter many failed attempts, he finally decided to throw in the towel.
Turn a blind eyeRefuse to acknowledge something you know is real or happeningThe teacher turned a blind eye to the cheating student, which surprised us all.
Cost an arm and a legTo be very expensiveThis designer bag cost me an arm and a leg.
Hit the hayGo to bedIt’s been a long day. I think it’s time to hit the hay.
The tip of the icebergA small part of a larger, more complex issueThese symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg. The patient has more underlying health issues.
Take the plungeTo commit oneself to a course of action that is momentous or challengingAfter 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

  1. Contextual learning: Introduce idioms and phrases in the context of a sentence or a story. It helps students understand their meaning and usage.
  2. Regular practice: Regular revision is key. Encourage your child to use newly learned idioms and phrases in their conversations and writings.
  3. 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.
  4. Games and quizzes: Learning can be fun. Use games and quizzes to help your child remember idioms and phrases.
  5. 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:

  1. Idioms and Phrases: This website offers a plethora of idioms and phrases, complete with their meanings and examples.
  2. Learn English Today: A great source of idioms, phrases, and proverbs, suitable for primary 5 students.
  3. Cambridge Dictionary: The “Idioms” section provides a comprehensive list of idioms along with their meanings and usage in sentences.
  4. Phrasemix: This site provides a large collection of common English idioms and phrases, complete with explanations and examples.
  5. 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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