In English, when conversing, communicating, or expressing a certain issue, native speakers add English phrases & idioms, and proverbs to spice up the story or protect their ideas. This is a pretty cool way to speak English better and become more likable with native speakers.
Therefore, today’s English tivi introduces 180+ Common English Phrases & Idioms for Intermediate by topic to help you be more confident in communicating.
10 Phrases for Describing Relationships
- I’m single.
- I have a boyfriend/girlfriend.
- We’re engaged. (= going to get married)
- We’re getting married in June.
- I’m married.
- I’ve been married for… [10 years].
- I’m divorced.
- I’m widowed. (= my husband/wife has died)
- I’m not looking for anything serious.
- I’m not quite over my ex. (= I still have feelings for my ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or ex-husband/wife)
5 Ways to Ask for Clarification
- Pardon? (if you didn’t hear or understand what the person said)
- Would you mind repeating that?
- What do you mean? (asking for more information)
- I’m not sure I follow you. (= I don’t understand)
- Could you explain… ?
5 Ways to Check if the Other Person Understands You
- Do you understand what I’m saying?
- Does that make sense?
- Do you know what I mean?
- Are you with me so far? (often used in the middle of a long explanation or instructions)
- Is that clear? (often used after giving orders, or expressing disapproval or another negative attitude)
5 Ways to Ask for Help
- I need a little help.
- Could you help me out?
- Could you give me a hand? (usually used for physical tasks)
- Could you spare a couple minutes?
- Could you do me a favor?
5 Ways to Ask Someone Else to Do Something
- (more formal) Would you mind…[opening the window]?
- Could you please… [turn off the lights]?
- (informal) Can you…[pass me the chicken]?
- Please… [send me the information].
- I’d appreciate it if you could… [wash the dishes].
5 Ways to Interrupt Someone
- Sorry to interrupt, but…
- Excuse me – could I talk to you for a minute? / do you have a minute? (when interrupting a conversation between two other people, to talk to one of them)
- Could I jump in here? (use this when interrupting a discussion among many people)
- Sorry – I just want to say that…
- (formal) May I have a word?
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10 Ways to Encourage Someone
- Keep up the good work!
- That was a nice try. (say this after someone made a good effort but failed)
- That’s a real improvement.
- You’re on the right track.
- You’ve almost got it.
- You’re doing great.
- Don’t give up! / Hang in there! (when someone is currently having difficulties)
- You can do it!
- Give it your best shot. (best shot = best try, best effort)
- Nice job! / You did great! (after the person has done something good)
5 Phrases for Complaining
- I’m not happy about this.
- I am sorry, but this is unacceptable.
- I’m not very satisfied with… [ex. this product / this situation]
- (informal) I can’t stand it when… [ex. the internet is slow]
- (informal) This sucks.
10 Phrases for Remembering, Reminding, & Forgetting
- I’ll always remember… / I’ll never forget…
- If I remember correctly… / As far as I can recall…
- I have a vague recollection of…
- It’s on the tip of my tongue. (=I’m trying to remember, but I can’t quite remember)
- My mind went blank. (= I couldn’t remember/think of anything)
- It doesn’t ring a bell. (=it doesn’t sound familiar)
- Please remember to… / Please don’t forget to…
- I’d like to remind you about…
- You haven’t forgotten to/about… have you?
- It completely slipped my mind! (= I completely forgot about it!)
10 Phrases for Saying Something is Easy & Difficult
- It’s a piece of cake.
- It is a cinch.
- It’s a breeze.
- Anyone can do it.
- There’s nothing to it.
- It’s hard.
- It’s a bit tricky.
- It is really tough.
- It’s not a walk in the park.
- It’s very demanding. (= it takes a lot of time and energy)
10 Expressions about Age
- She’s in her early twenties. (=20-23 years old)
- He’s in his late thirties. (=37-39 years old)
- She just turned six.
- Act your age! (use this when an adult is being immature, acting like a child)
- I’m not as young as I used to be.
- I’m not over the hill yet! (over the hill = an informal expression to say “old”)
- He’s no spring chicken. (= he’s not young)
- She’s wise beyond her years. (she is young, but she has the wisdom of an older person)
- I’m having a senior moment. (= I’m being forgetful)
- He lived to a ripe old age. (= a very old age)
10 Phrases for Shopping
- Do you have… ?
- Where can I find… ?
- I’m just browsing. (browsing = looking casually)
- I’m looking for…
- How much is this?
- Is this on sale?
- Can I try it on? (use this to ask if you can put on clothing to see if it’s the right size)
- I’ll take it!
- Do you take credit cards?
- I’d like to return/exchange this.
10 Phrases for Talking about Food
- I’m starving! (= I’m very hungry)
- Let’s grab a bite to eat.
- How about eating out tonight? (eat out = eat at a restaurant)
- I brought some snacks.
- This soup is delicious!
- Could I have another helping of… [potatoes]? (another helping = another portion)
- I’ll have… (use this phrase for ordering in a restaurant)
- Could we get the check, please?
- I’m full. (= I’m satisfied)
- I’m stuffed. (= I ate a LOT, maybe too much!)
10 Phrases for Talking About TV
- Where’s the remote? (remote = remote control)
- Is there anything good on?
- Can I change the channel?
- I’ve already seen this episode.
- This is a rerun. (rerun = an old episode that was already shown on TV previously)
- I love this show!
- There are too many commercials.
- Stop channel-surfing. (channel-surfing = changing the channel quickly)
- Check the TV guide. (the TV guide has the information about the TV programming and schedule)
- It’s the season finale! (= the final episode of the season)
10 Phrases You’ll Hear in the Airport
- Do you have any bags to check?
- Would you like a window seat or an aisle seat? (aisle = corridor)
- Here’s your boarding pass. (boarding pass = the paper that permits you to enter the plane)
- Your flight leaves from gate 15.
- Your seat number is 8F.
- Flight 800 is now boarding. (boarding = passengers can enter the plane)
- Your flight has been delayed.
- Your flight has been canceled.
- This is the final call for flight 800.
- What is the purpose of your trip?
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10 Ways to Talk About Price
- It cost a fortune.
- It cost an arm and a leg.
- That’s a rip-off. (= overpriced; far more expensive than it should be)
- I can’t afford it. (= I don’t have enough money to buy it)
- That’s a bit pricey.
- That’s quite reasonable. (= it’s a good price)
- It’s 20% off. (= there’s a 20% discount)
- That’s a good deal. (= a good value for the amount of money)
- It was a real bargain.
- It was dirt cheap. (= extremely inexpensive)
5 Phrases for Hot Weather
- It’s nice and warm today.
- It’s absolutely boiling! (boiling = extremely hot)
- We’re having a real heat wave. (heat wave = many consecutive days of hot weather)
- The sun’s really strong today.
- It’s hot and humid.
5 Phrases for Cold Weather
- It’s a little chilly.
- It’s freezing. (= extremely cold)
- The temperature’s dropping.
- Make sure to bundle up. (bundle up = put on warm clothes for protection against the cold)
- We’re expecting some winter weather.(winter weather = snow, hail, sleet, ice, etc.)
5 Phrases for Talking about Rain
- It’s drizzling. (= raining lightly)
- It’s pouring. (= raining heavily)
- It’s raining cats and dogs. (= raining heavily)
- I got caught in a downpour.
- I think the rain’s letting up. (letting up = getting lighter and stopping)
10 Ways to Say You’re Tired
- I’m exhausted.
- I’m dead tired.
- I am pooped.
- I’m spent.
- I am beat.
- I’m running on fumes. / I’m running on empty.
- I can hardly keep my eyes open.
- I’m off to bed.
- I’m gonna hit the sack. (hit the sack = go to bed)
- It’s bedtime for me.
5 Phrases for Promises & Resolutions
- I really should…
- I swear I’ll / I won’t… (a very strong promise)
- No matter what happens, I’m going to…
- I promise that I’ll…
- Come hell or high water, I’ll…
#4 and #5 express your determination to do something, even if obstacles appear.
10 Excuses for Being Late
- Sorry I’m late.
- I overslept. (= I slept longer than I should have)
- My alarm didn’t go off.
- I had to wait ages for a bus. (ages = a very long time)
- The bus was late.
- I got lost coming here.
- The traffic was terrible.
- I couldn’t find a parking spot.
- I was tied up in a meeting. (tied up = occupied, impossible to escape)
- I just lost track of time.(= I didn’t notice what time it was)
5 Ways to Say Someone is Correct
- That’s right.
- That’s spot on.
- You’ve hit the nail on the head. / You’ve nailed it.
- I suppose so. (use this when you agree, but you are not completely convinced)
- I’m afraid you’re right. (use this in response to bad news, to say the bad news is correct)
5 Ways to Say Someone is Wrong
- I’m afraid that’s not quite right.
- I’m afraid you’re mistaken.
- No, you’ve got it wrong.
- No, that’s all wrong.
- (informal – rude) Baloney. / Bullshit.
5 Ways to Say Someone is Smart
- He’s really sharp.
- She’s brilliant.
- He’s very bright.
- She’s a genius.
- He’s a smart cookie.
5 Ways to Say Someone is Stupid
- He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.
- She’s a few cards short of a deck.
- He’s a bit slow.
- She’s a complete idiot.
- He’s really dumb.
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Above is a summary of common English Phrases & Idioms for Intermediate. Hopefully, we have contributed to help you learn English in general, become more accessible and more interesting. Good luck with your studies and soon!
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