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ESL Learning: Food Idioms

Idioms make English more exciting and more fun to speak. Idioms and other slang can also be very valuable when writing essays or having IELTS or other types of interviews. When we can express ourselves in many different and creative ways, this gives our English more power.

Please see below a few food idioms that you can start using right away. Also, please note the IPA spelling to help you with your pronunciation.

bad apple

Example:  Get away from her!  She’s a bad apple.
Word Stress:  BAD, AP-
IPA:  [bæd ˈæp əl]couch-potato

Example:  Do not be a couch potato and just sit around and watch TV all the time.
Word Stress:  COUCH, -TA-
IPA:  [kaʊtʃ pə ˈteɪ do]

Example:  She can win the fight.  She’s a tough cookie.
Word Stress:  TOUGH, COOK-
IPA:  [tʊf ˈkʊ ki]


Example:  Since the big cheese told us to do it, we must do it.
Word Stress: Stress both words
IPA:  [bɪg tʃiz]

top dog big cheese

sour grapes

Example:  He thinks the game is all about luck and not skill because he didn’t win.  It sounds like sour grapes to me.
Word Stress: Stress both words
IPA:  [saʊəɹ gɹeɪps]

lemonlawLEMON LAW
Example:  The lemon law has protected me when I bought a lemon (bad car). I returned the lemon thanks to help from the lemon law.
Word Stress:  LEM-, LAW
IPA:  [ˈlɛm ən lɔ]

Don’t forget one thing:

Actually, go out and speak and write these idioms a few times so they are forever in your long term memory. And most importantly, do not forget to have fun using them ^__^

If you have never learned English online, but you want to try, please do not hesitate to book a free trial class with one of our professional ETO teachers today!

By: Luke 

ETO American English teacher

ETO English teacher

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1 responses on "ESL Learning: Food Idioms"

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