English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Showing 1-50 of 153 results for letter 'I'
I hereby give notice of my intention
Hereby is used sometimes in formal, official declarations and statements to give greater force to the speaker' or the writer's affirmation. People will say it sometimes to emphasise their sincerity and correctness.
I may be daft, but I'm not stupid
I might do or say silly things occasionally, but in this instance I know what I am doing (Usually used when someone questions your application of common-sense).
I should cocoa
(UK) This idiom comes from 'I should think so', but is normally used sarcastically to mean the opposite.
I'll be a monkey's uncle
I'll be a monkey's uncle is used as an expression of surprise.
I'll cross that road when I come to it
I'll think about something just when it happens, not in advance.
I'll eat my hat
You can say this when you are absolutely sure that you are right to let the other person know that there is no chance of your being wrong.
I've got a bone to pick with you
If somebody says this, they mean that they have some complaint to make against the person they are addressing.
I've got your number
You have made a mistake and I am going to call you on it. You are in trouble (a threat). I have a disagreement with you. I understand your true nature.
Icing on the cake
This expression is used to refer to something good that happens on top of an already good thing or situation.
Idle hands are the devil's handiwork
When someone is not busy, or being productive, trouble is bound to follow.
If at first you don't succeed try try again
When you fail, try until you get it right!
If I had a nickel for every time
(USA) When someone uses this expression, they mean that the specific thing happens a lot. It is an abbreviation of the statement 'If I had a nickel for every time that happened, I would be rich'
If it ain't broke, don't fix it
Any attempt to improve on a system that already works is pointless and may even hurt it.
If Mohammed won't come to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed
If something cannot or will not happen the easy way, then sometimes it must be done the hard way.
If the cap fits, wear it
This idiom means that if the description is correct, then it is describing the truth, often when someone is being criticised. ('If the shoe fits, wear it' is an alternative)
If the shoe fits, wear it
This is used to suggest that something that has been said might apply to a person.
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
This means that wishing for something or wanting it is not the same as getting or having it.
If worst comes to worst
This isused to show the worst that could happen in a situation: If worst comes to worst and the hotels are full, we can sleep in the car.('If the worst comes to the worst'  is also  used.)
If you are given lemons make lemonade
Always try and make the best out of a bad situation. With some ingenuity you can make a bad situation useful.
If you can't run with the big dogs, you'd better stay on the porch
If you can't keep up with what others are doing, then it is best not to attempt it.  
If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen
Originally a Harry S. Truman quote, this means that if you can't take the pressure, then you should remove yourself from the situation.
If you fly with the crows, you get shot with the crows
If you wish to be associated with a particular high risk and/or high profile situation and benefit from the rewards of that association, you have to accept the consequences if things go wrong - you cannot dissociate yourself.
If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas
This means that if you become involved with bad company, there will be negative consequences.
If you lie down with the Devil, you will wake up in hell
This means that if you become involved with bad company, there will be negative consequences.
If you will
'If you will' is used as a way of making a concession in a sentence: He wasn't a very honest person, a liar if you will. Here, it is used a way of accepting that the reader or listener might think of the person as a liar, but without commit the writer or speaker to that position fully.
If you'll pardon my French
(UK) This idiom is used as a way of apologising for swearing.
Ill at ease
If someone is ill at ease, they are worried or uncomfortable.
Ill-gotten gains
Ill-gotten gains are profits or benefits that are made either illegally or unfairly.
In a cleft stick
If you are in a cleft stick, you are in a difficult situation, caught between choices.
In a coon's age
A long time. Example: I haven't seen her in a coon's age.
In a dog's age
I you haven't done something in a dog's age, you haven't done it for a very long time.
In a fix
If you are in a fix, you are in trouble.
In a flash
If something happens in a flash, it happens very quickly indeed.
In a fog
If you're in a fog, you are confused, dazed or unaware.
In a heartbeat
If something happens very quickly or immediately, it happens in a heartbeat.
In a jam
If you are in a jam, you are in some trouble.  If you get out of a jam, you avoid trouble.
In a jiffy
If something happens in a jiffy, it happens very quickly.
In a nutshell
This idiom is used to introduce a concise summary.
In a pickle
If you are in a pickle, you are in some trouble or a mess.
In a rut
In a settled or established pattern, habit or course of action, especially a boring one.
In a tick
(UK) If someone will do something in a tick, they'll do it very soon or very quickly.
In a tight spot
If you're in a tight spot, you're in a difficult situation.
In all honesty
If you say something in all honesty, you are telling the complete truth. It can be used as a way of introducing a negative opinion whilst trying to be polite; in all honesty, I have to say that I wasn't very impressed.
In an instant
If something happens in an instant, it happens very rapidly.
In another's shoes
It is difficult to know what another person's life is really like, so we don't know what it is like to be in someone's shoes.
In apple-pie order
If something is in apple-pie order, it is very neat and organised.
In broad daylight
If a crime or problem happens in broad daylight, it happens during the day and should have been seen and stopped.
In cahoots
If people are in cahoots, they are conspiring together.
In cold blood
If something is done in cold blood, it is done ruthlessly, without any emotion.
In dire straits
If you're in dire straits, you're in serious trouble or difficulties.

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