6 Useful English Expressions That You Need To Learn

words Al Woods

English Expressions

You probably know how to say hello, goodbye and thank you in English. Although these are the most important sentences that everyone must know, knowing only that is not enough. To become fluent in English or just be able to speak it properly, there are many other expressions you should learn. Some of them even sound funny because they are not polite to say. Here are six of the most common ones that you should know:

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush  means that it is better to keep what you have than to risk losing it by trying to get more. This expression comes from Aesop’s Fables where the story of a crow and his friends illustrates this idea.

A crow was delighted when he managed to snatch up in his claws a piece of cheese that had fallen on the ground, but soon found it was not as easy to cope   with as he had supposed. He found it difficult to manage because it was so slippery, and before long he dropped it. His two friends could see the cheese lying on the ground but did not want to be tricked in the same way, so they just kept away from it.

The crow soon saw that one of them had secured a much larger piece of cheese, and called out to him to share it. He replied: “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.”

It was nice talking to you

This is another useful English expression that you need to learn. It can be used in various contexts, e.g., you are having a casual conversation with your friend who says something interesting about their current love life or past relationship. You can use this expression when you want to say goodbye politely. This expression can be used alternately as ‘it’s been nice talking to you’ but there perfect situation to use both expressions according to https://grammarhow.com/it-was-nice-talking-to-you/ which stated the differences between the two sentences and gave reasons why they should be used in different circumstances. Because they are both different ways of saying the same thing literally.

English language tips

I have a bone to pick with you

In this expression, ‘bone’ means a complaint. ‘I have a bone to pick with you.’ This expression is used in English conversation especially in American English and it means ‘I have something unpleasant for somebody’. It was originally said as ‘I have a bone in my pickle’. It is said to be used by American people in the 19th century. It means that you will sort out an issue . Today, it is used when one person brings up a bad matter with another person especially if they are friends or family.

Example: I can’t come out tonight because I have a bone to pick with my brother. He borrowed my laptop without asking me.

What do you think?

The English expression ‘What do you think? ‘ is used when the speaker wishes to obtain the person’s opinion on a matter. The literal meaning in question in this case is, ” what stands in your mind “. This expression in both British and American English is widely used in formal contexts.

The word ‘think’ first evolved as a verb in Middle English and has its roots in the Indo-European word, dheigh which means “to burn” or “to think”. The speaker might use this expression to seek an opinion on any particular matter after offering his own.

‘What do you think of this book? ‘ or ‘What do you think of the new restaurant in town? ‘ It is also used to gather another person’s opinion on something that one has planned to do. Though the origin of this phrase can be traced back to the 13th century or so, there is very little evidence on who used it first.

That sounds great

This expression is used when you are happy to hear the news that somebody has just given to you. For example, if your friend calls you up and says ‘I am coming over’, then it will be appropriate to say ‘ That sounds great ‘. It is important that this expression should not be used when somebody tells you sad news. Examples of sad news include ‘I have a terrible toothache’ and ‘ My boyfriend dumped me ‘. In such cases it is better to say something like ‘Oh that’s terrible’ or ‘That doesn’t sound good’.

If you want to make your English sound more natural, then it is good to use this expression with people whom you are familiar with. For example, a mother can say ‘that sounds great’ when her son tells her that he has been invited for a picnic by his friend.

What time is it?

This expression is so common, we don’t even think about it, but we use it to find out the time and date. Its origin is uncertain, but there are a few theories:

a) The first known use was in 1066 when King Harold used it before invading England.

b) Another theory is that the Romans (and the Greeks and Arabs) used it. It could even be as old as time itself!

c) Another theory, which is quite popular, is that this phrase originated because our ancestors were very superstitious and believed that asking for time was tempting fate or bad luck; therefore, they would ask “what date/day is it”, instead.

We use this phrase when we don’t have a watch or when we need to check the time. We can say it when we’re at school, when traveling, in a meeting, etc. Here are some examples:

– “What time is it?” he asked looking at his watch. “Err… I think it’s 8 o’clock,” she replied.

– “What time is it?” I asked my husband when he woke up late in the morning.

– “Hello! What time is it?” said the guest when they arrived at the party.

The above are six useful English expressions that you need to learn. They come in handy in situations where you need to be expressive while also showing your understanding of the language. 


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