- television setHe sits in front of the idiot box all
day and never gets any work done.
if the shoe fits, wear it
- if what is being said in general describes you then it
probably means youHe was complaining that most of the workers at his
company were lazy. However his friend looked at him and said that if the shoe
fits, wear it.
if worst comes to worst
- if the worst possible thing happensIf worst comes
to worst we can cancel our holiday and go next year.
ill at ease
- feel nervous/uncomfortableHe appeared to be ill at
ease during the interview.
in a bind
- in troubleThey will really be in a bind if they
can`t sell their house by next month.
- ahead of timeThey bought the tickets in advance so
that they could get a good seat.
in a family way
- pregnant, going to have a babyOur new secretary is
in a family way and plans to take a few months off from work soon.
in a fog (haze)
- confused, not sure what is happeningHe is always in
a fog and never seems to know what is going on.
in a hole
- in some trouble, in an embarrassing or difficult
positionHe is really in a hole now that he has problems both at work
and at home.
in a hurry
- a need to move or act quicklyHe is very busy and
always in a hurry.
in a jam
- in troubleHe is really in a jam now that his car is
not working properly.
in a kind (sort) of way
- to a certain extent, a little, somewhatI would like
to go in a kind of way but still I don`t think that I will bother going today.
in and out
- coming in and going out oftenHe has been in and out
all day but I don`t know where he is at the moment.
in a nutshell
- brieflyI tried to explain the problem to him in a
nutshell but there still wasn`t enough time.
in any case (event)
- no matter what happens, surely, without failI may
not be able to meet you next week but in any case I will still give you the
books before then.
in a pig`s eye
- hardly, unlikely, not soIn a pig`s eye will I let
him borrow my car next weekend.
in a pinch
- okay when nothing else is availableThat other tool
will do in a pinch if we can`t find the correct one.
- armed, ready to fightThey are all in arms since
they found out about the wage decrease.
in a rush
- in a hurryThey got the job done in a big rush so I
am a little worried about the quality.
in a rut
- always doing the same thingShe feels that she is in
a rut after doing the same job for seven years.
in a spot
- in some trouble, in an embarrassing or difficult
positionShe is really in a tight spot right now since she was unable
to enter university and also has no job.
in a way
- to a certain extent, a little, somewhatIn a way I
would like to go but basically I don`t care.
in a word
- briefly, to sum upIn a word, the problem with the
car is that it needs a new motor.
in a world of one`s own
- in deep thought or concentration, not caring about other
peopleHe is always in a world of his own and doesn`t notice what
other people say or think.
in black and white
- in writingI want to get the information in black
and white before I go to the meeting.
in cahoots with
- in secret agreement or partnership with someoneThe
supermarket was in cahoots with the vegetable producer to try and keep the
- as a precaution, in order to be preparedIn case
there is a fire you should leave the building right away.
- as usual, typical, in the way that a person usually
behavesSupporting the other members of the staff is in character with
her usual actions.
- in control or authority, responsibleHe is charge of
the sales department at his company.
- under control, kept quiet or backThe violence was
kept in check by the police department and the army.
- rich or successful, having a pleasant or easy
lifeThey are in clover now that they have sold their business and
in cold blood
- without feeling or pity, cooly and deliberatelyThe
family was murdered in cold blood by the criminal gang.
- shared together or equally, in use or ownership by
allWe had to use the bathroom in common with the other people in the
- seriously mixed up in something like debt or
troubleHe owes a lot of money and is in very deep with his new house
in due course
- in the usual amount of time, at the right timeWe
will send the information to you in due course.
- actually, the truth isHe`s been to China before. In
fact he`s been there three times.
- unable to avoid, sure to getHe is in for a lot of
trouble now that he is unable to finish his graduation essay.
in good time
- a little early, sooner than necessaryI will try and
get the information to you in good time so that you will be able to decide what
- under controlThe teacher had the class in hand when
the principal came to visit the classroom.
in hot water
- in troubleI am in hot water over the extra expenses
that I used during the conference.
in keeping with
- going well together, agreeing, similarIn keeping
with our tradition of letting the visiting team kick first we will do it for
this game as well.
- in a similar way, with the same kind of thingWe
will pay them back in kind for the use of their sailboat.
in league with
- in secret agreement or partnership with someoneThe
union has been in league with management in trying to build the new factory.
in light of
- as a result of new information, because ofIn light
of his contribution to the company we decided to give him a large summer bonus.
- doing or being what people expect or accept, within ordinary
limitsIt was difficult to keep the children in line at the picnic but
somehow we managed.
- liking very much, lovingHe has been in love with
his girlfriend ever since he met her in high school.
- having good luck, finding something good by chanceI
think that we are in luck. I have found two tickets for the concert.
in memory of
- as a reminder of, as a memorial toWe decided to put
our money together and buy a painting in memory of our grandfather.
in nothing flat
- quicklyI will have this information printed out for
you in nothing flat.
in no time
- soon, quicklyI will have this done for you in no
time and then you can go for lunch.
- joining together for somethingWe went in on a
present for our father for Father`s Day.
- told about, having knowledge ofI was finally let in
on the secret about why she left our company.
in one`s element
- in an environment or situation that comes naturally to
someoneShe is in her element being in charge of the new sales
in one`s face
- abruptly, unexpectedlyThe plan blew up in our face
just as we were ready to start.
in one`s good books (graces)
- approved of by someone, liked by someoneI have been
in her good books since I helped her with her work last month.
in one`s hair
- annoying someoneShe has been in my hair all morning
because she is on her summer holiday starting this week.
in one`s mind`s eye
- in one`s imaginationIn your mind`s eye try and
imagine that you are on a nice sunny beach in Hawaii.
in one`s shell
- withdrawn, silent, not sociableWe have been trying
to get her out of her shell but it is of no use. She doesn`t want to talk to
in one`s shoes
- in someone elses place or positionI wish that I was
in his shoes with his great job and new car.
in one`s tracks
- abruptly, immediately, just where one is at the
momentI was forced to stop in my tracks when I saw the snake on the
in order to
- for the purpose ofWe have decided to close down the
school for the summer in order to do some major repairs.
in other words
- say something in a different (usually more direct)
wayIn other words if you don`t finish the assignment by Wednesday you
will not pass the course.
- to some extent, partlyI think the reason he is not
golfing well this year is in part due to his problem with his back.
in point of fact
- really, truthfullyIn point of fact there were not
enough people at the meeting to vote on the proposal.
ins and outs
- all the detailsHe knows all the ins and outs of the
in seventh heaven
- very happyI have been in seventh heaven since I
started my new job.
in short supply
- not enough, in less than the amount or number
neededChairs were in short supply so some of the guests had to sit on
inside and out
- in every part, completelyWe looked through the room
inside and out for my lost wallet.
- so that the inside is turned outsideShe turned her
purse inside out in order to look for her lost key.
- an advantage, shortest distance around a racetrackI
think that he has the inside track on getting the new job at the computer
in spite of
- in opposition to, despiteIn spite of the terrible
weather we went to the beach for a picnic.
- in place ofLet`s meet at the restaurant instead of
the department store as we had planned.
- laughingThey were in stitches over their teacher`s
- having something ready to sell or useThe store
didn`t have any computer discs in stock so we bought some over the Internet.
- ready to happen, waitingI don`t really know what
the future has in store for me but I will be ready for anything.
in the air
- current, exerting an influenceIt is in the air that
we will be getting a new president next week.
in the bag
- certain, sureThe new contract will be in the bag if
we put in a good proposal.
in the black
- have a credit balance, make a profitThe company has
been in the black for over three years now.
in the cards
- to be expected, likely to happen, predictableI
think that a new company structure is in the cards but I can`t be sure.
in the charge of
- under the care or supervision ofShe has been in the
charge of her grandmother since her mother and father died.
in the clear
- with nothing to limit action, free of anything that makes
moving or seeing difficultWe seem to be in the clear now so it should
be safe to cross the road.
in the clear
- free of blame or suspicionThe police talked to the
three boys for a few minutes but they seem to be in the clear now.
in the clouds
- far from real life, in dreams, in thoughtHe is
usually in the clouds so you may have trouble finding out what you want to know
in the course of
- duringIn the course of his life he visited over 45
in the dark
- having no information about somethingHe is still in
the dark about my plans to quit my job.
in the doghouse
- in troubleHe is in the doghouse with his wife after
staying out drinking last night.
in the first place
- firstly, to begin withOf course I can`t go. In the
first place I must work on Saturday. In the second place I have no money.
in the groove
- at one`s best, doing something very wellWe are
finally getting in the groove and should be able to finish this job by early
in the hole
- having a score lower than zero in a game, a score below
zeroAt the beginning of the card game I was in the hole but later I
began to do well.
in the hole
- in debt, behind financiallyAlthough he is always
working he always seems to be in the hole.
in the line of duty
- done or happening as part of a jobThe police
officer was killed in the line of duty during the bank robbery.
in the long run
- the distant future, in the endFor now he is losing
money on his stocks but in the long run he should make money.
in the market for
- wanting or ready to buy somethingI am in the market
for a new computer as my old one is too slow.
in the red
- lose money, not make a profitThe company has been
in the red for three years now.
in the saddle
- in command, in controlThe president is back in the
saddle again after being ill for several months.
in the same boat
- in a similar situationWe are all in the same boat
now that our company has gone out of business.
in the soup
- in serious trouble, in disorderShe is in the soup
now that she has had a big fight with her boss.
in the swim
- active in or knowing what is going onHe is
definitely in the swim. He has information about everybody.
in the wake of
- as a result of, followingIn the wake of the large
number of people who have recently left our company we will need to hire some
in the wind
- soon to happen, being plannedIt is in the wind that
they are planning to open a new store next year.
in the works
- in preparation, being planned or worked onDon`t
worry about whether or not we will be building the new computer lab. It is
definitely in the works.
in the wrong
- wrong; against justice, truth or factThe driver was
in the wrong and was arrested by the police after the accident.
- early enoughI didn`t come home in time to meet my
into thin air
- completely, without anything leftThe group of
hikers vanished into thin air and were never heard of again.
- talking or writing to each other, giving or getting
newsWe are still in touch even though we have been out of school for
- being pulledThe truck had a trailer in tow when it
went off the highway.
- being taken from place to place, along with
someoneShe spent the morning at the shopping center with her child in
- going well together, in agreement, matchingWe have
been in tune with each other ever since we met at our high school graduation
- each following anotherWe went up to the front of
the class in turn in order to pick up our diplomas.
in two shakes of a lamb`s tail
- quickly, in no time at allI will have this finished
in two shakes of a lamb`s tail and then I will give it to you.
- without effect, without successWe tried in vain to
find a good job but it was impossible.
in view of
- after thinking about, because ofIn view of the
large number of people who have come I think that we will need a bigger room.
- in friendship, favor or closeness withI think that
he was in with the wrong group of people when he was in high school.
- work outWe have ironed out all of our problems and
are finally doing better.
irons in the fire
- things one is doing, projects with which a person is
busyRecently he has too many irons in the fire. That is why he has
- a wish for money, greedThe guard at the border
crossing has an itching palm so be careful of him.
Idiom Quizzes - I