+500 English Phrases You Didn’t Learn in School

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, You teach best what you most need to learn, which is why I know that many teachers are still learning English in one way or another. While your school curriculum may not have included these essential phrases, it’s never too late to expand your vocabulary and improve your grammar skills! All you need to do is memorize these 10 English phrases you didn’t learn in school, and before long you’ll sound like a native speaker!

As the crow flies
This phrase is used to describe the most direct route between two points. It’s often used when giving directions, as in The quickest way to get there is by car, but if you want to go the shortest distance, it’s best to take the train.

On your toes
This phrase means to be alert and ready for anything. It’s often used when someone is about to do something dangerous or difficult. If you’re on your toes, you’re prepared for whatever comes your way.

Et cetera
This phrase is used to indicate that there are more of the same thing. For example, if you’re listing off a bunch of items and you run out of space, you can say and so on, et cetera.

Baker’s dozen
A baker’s dozen is 13, not 12. The phrase is thought to originate from medieval England, when bakers were often fined for selling short weight. To avoid this, they would give 13 for the price of 12, just to be safe.

In my book, …
In my book, I talk about the importance of learning new phrases. I believe that learning new phrases can help you improve your communication skills. I also think that it can help you better understand the people around you. Here are 10 English phrases that you didn’t learn in school

Once bitten, twice shy
This phrase means that if you’ve been hurt or disappointed before, you’re likely to be more cautious in the future. It’s often used when talking about someone who is hesitant to try something new because they’re afraid of being disappointed again.

Part and parcel
This phrase is used to describe something that is an essential part of something else. For example, A sense of humor is part and parcel of being a good friend. In other words, you can’t have one without the other.

Apple of your eye
The phrase apple of your eye is used to describe someone who is cherished above all others. The phrase is derived from the Bible, specifically the Book of Deuteronomy. In the book, God instructs Moses to take special care of the Israelites, as they are the apple of his eye. Today, we use the phrase to describe anyone who is precious to us.

Under lock and key
If something is under lock and key, it’s being kept safe and secure. This phrase can be used to describe physical objects, like when you put your valuables in a safe, or abstract concepts, like when a company keeps its trade secrets under lock and key.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing
This phrase is used to describe someone who seems harmless, but is actually dangerous. It’s often used to describe people who are dishonest or up to no good. The phrase comes from a story in which a wolf tries to trick people by dressing up in sheep’s clothing.


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