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Idioms — A treasure that every student wants to find

Everyone at least once in their life didn’t understand the meaning of the words that native speakers use.

Sara Tadic
Sara Tadic

Everyone at least once in their life didn’t understand the meaning of the words that native speakers use. “Oh no, you said you won’t tell anybody, but you just let the cat out of the bag!” - what does that mean? What did I do? I have neither a cat nor a bag, that is for sure. The answer to this question is simple - the meaning of the sentence is not obvious from the individual words, it needs to be understood in a context. Then you will understand that the expression “to let the cat out of the bag” doesn’t have to do anything with a cat or a bag, but with revealing a secret. Those expressions are called idioms.

In this article, you will read about the must-know idioms about happiness and sadness that will make you sound like a native speaker! So, let’s dive into it!

JUMP FOR JOY

The meaning:  to be very happy and excited about something that has happened.

Helena jumped for joy when she heard that she’d won the first prize.

JUST GRIN AND BEAR IT

The meaning:  accept a situation you don’t like because you can’t change it.

I really don't want to go, but I guess I'll just have to grin and bear it.

GET A (REAL) KICK OUT OF SOMETHING

The meaning:  very much enjoy doing something (informal).

I get a real kick out of going for a run first thing in the morning before anyone else is up.

BE OUT OF SORTS

The meaning:  slightly unhappy or slightly ill.

I’ve been feeling tired and headachy and generally out of sorts.

BE FLOATING/WALKING ON AIR

The meaning:  be very happy about something good that has happened.

I’ve been walking on air ever since Chris and I are going out together.

A MISERY GUTS

The meaning:  someone who complains all the time and is never happy (very informal).

I don't like talking to Paul because he's such a misery guts and always squashes my good mood.

SOUR GRAPES

The meaning: being jealous about something you can’t have.

Pat is also suffering from sour grapes because I got the role in the school play that she wanted.

Correct the mistakes in these idioms

1) I felt as if I was floating in air as I ran down the hill into his arms.
2) Why does Mark look so out of sort today?
3) Why does Ben always have to be such a miserable guts?
4) His disapproving attitude toward cars is simply sour fruit; the fact is that he would like to have a car but can't afford to buy one.

Answer the questions:

1) Do you have to grin and bear it when you are happy or unhappy about something that has happened?
2) Do people usually enjoy or not enjoy being in the company of misery guts?
3) Are people more likely to get a kick out of hot-air ballooning or cleaning their boots?

Learning the idioms helps you understand the language more and see the whole richness of that language. Keep learning and practicing. That's the only way to unlock the enjoyment of fluent speaking. Good luck!

Video examples:

Quartet (2012)
Falling Down (1993)
Home Alone (1990)
Spirit of the Game (2016)
EnglishIdioms & expressions

Sara Tadic

My name is Sara Tadic and I’m an English and Russian tutor with teaching experience of 4 years and students from all around the globe. Enjoy reading my articles.


Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.

Valentina Dordevic

Hello! My name is Valentina. Book digesting is my specialty. I transform book ideas into easy-to-follow summaries, articles, study guides, reviews, essays, analyses, slides, or e-books.

Beth Taylor

Hello! My name is Beth. I'm from France. I'm a French and English native speaker and I really like writing.