Question: Are you one of those students who want to know if idioms are necessary for daily conversations?

Answer: These expressions may sound foreign and confusing for English learners, but these are common for native speakers in spoken and written communication. As an English learner, you have to know their meanings and context.Furthermore, idioms are said to be culture-based as they portray a unique aspect of the culture, history and experiences of the people.

Question:Should I use idioms during my IELTS Speaking test?

Answer:Learning idioms and phrasal verbs and using them in the proper context would give the IELTS examiner an impression that you have a rich lexical resource that leads to a higher band score. In this case, you may use idiomatic expressions, but make sure to know their use in context for them to sound like a natural part of your answer. Don’t force yourself to use idioms when you are unsure of the context validity.

Turn Over a New Leaf

Meaning: To start a new life or to behave in a better way

How to Use it: This phrase is used to describe someone who changed positively and is acting more responsibly.

Situation#1: Clean Up Act

A: He promises that he’ll turn over a new leaf if I gave him another chance in our relationship.

B: Have you seen any change in him?

A: He has stopped smoking and drinking ever since we broke up. What should I do?

B: Well, I have my doubts but it’s up to you.

Situation#2: Starting a new life/ Reinventing oneself

A: I know it’s hard for you to be leaving the company, but I’m happy that you are doing it with the person you love.

B: Yes, turning over a new leaf with Ben has always been my dream. So many things have happened during the pandemic, but we still managed to get our visa approved for us to finally move in together in the US.

Weigh the pros and cons

Meaning: To consider the disadvantages and advantages of something.

How to Use it: This phrase is used when you want to say that someone should think about the good and bad parts of a decision or situation.

Situation#1: Considering a job offer

A: Should I accept Morgan Stanley’s offer? I just got a company raise and promotion last month.

B: Weigh the pros and cons. I know that you are paid a lot in your current position, but it’s not also bad to consider a new work environment.

Test the Waters

Meaning: To try something out

How to Use it: This phrase is used when you make an initial judgment about something before seriously getting involved in it or when you evaluate a situation before committing to a course of action.

Situation#1: Jane wants to check out if her research about the Instagram audience works in another country.

A: I need your help in testing the waters for my Instagram project.

B: What can I do for you?

A: Could you try posting about our product reels at 10 PM, Vietnam time in 2 straight weeks, and check how the audience insights go?

B: Sure!