[Phrases] 10 Informal But Useful Expressions


People cannot behave formally all the time because we tend to be casual or lazy now and then. Sometimes informal expressions are much more powerful in daily conversation.

1. Stay In Touch

= to continue having contact with someone even though they are at a distance

“I really enjoyed meeting you, Mark.  It’s too bad you can’t stay in Brazil for a few more days.”

“I know. You are a wonderful person, Asa. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure to stay in touchwith you by Skype and email.  Who knows?  Maybe we can arrange another visit soon!”

2. Jump To Conclusions 

= to make assumptions about a person or situation before you have learned all the details.

A: “Have you seen the way she dresses? I wouldn’t be surprised if she was trying to steal your boyfriend.”

B: “Oh Ana, don’t jump to conclusions! They’ve been friends since childhood and you don’t even know her.”

3. Sleep On It 

= take some time (especially a night and day) and think about something before making a decision.

A: “Are you going to come to Peru with me over the Christmas holiday?”

B: “I’m not sure yet. I need to sleep on it before giving you an answer. Can I let you know by next week?”

A: “Sure – but don’t wait too long. We have to buy our tickets.”

4. What A Small World! 

= an expression used when you realize you have a lot of things in common with someone, or something is an interesting coincidence

A: “Well, it’s really unusual nowadays, but I come from a family of eight children.”

B: “What a small world! I have seven brothers and sisters, too.”

A: “Seriously? That’s funny. Are you the oldest, youngest, or somewhere in between?”

5. Never Mind

= an expression used to tell someone to forget about something because it is not very important

A: “Did you pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, and your shower cap?”

B:  “Oh no! I forgot the toothpaste!”

A:  “Never mind. We will just but some at the gas station when we get into town.”

6. Come On 

= an exclamation used in different ways to express disbelief/frustration, or to encourage someone to do something

Example 1: Disbelief/frustration

A: “Oh, come on!

B: “What’s wrong?”

A:  “I’ve been on the phone for an hour, on hold with my bank, and now they disconnected me!”

Example 2: Encouraging someone to do something

A: “I don’t really feel like going out tonight.”

B: “Come on, Sheila. The band’s really great. You’ll love it.”

A:  “Okay. I guess it would be nice to get out of the house.”

7. It Slipped My Mind 

= a response you give when you have forgotten to do something

A: “Did you remember to make copies of all the documents, George?”

B:  “I’m sorry, it slipped my mind.  I’ll make sure to do it by the end of the day.”

You can also say it totally slipped my mind or it completely slipped my mind to give more emphasis to the fact that you forgot 100%!

8. I Owe You One

= a statement that you make when someone has done a favor for you that you want to repay

A: “My laptop’s broken, and I need to type up a document. Is there any chance I could borrow your computer tonight?”

B: “ Sure. No problem.”

A:  “Thanks. I owe you one.”

In fast spoken English, it sounds like: I owe ya one.

9. Hang In There 

= an expression used to encourage someone to keep going and to not give up, when the person is facing prolonged difficulties

A: “How was your interview today?”

B: “I think it went okay. This is my third interview this month. I really need a job.”

A:  “Hang in there, Stella.  I know you’ll get the job that’s right for you.  Everything will work out.”

10. It’s Up To You 

= use this expression to tell the other person that they can make the decision; you don’t have a strong opinion

A: “What movie do you wanna watch?”

B:  “It’s up to you. I don’t really have a preference.”


Come on, you can really make up your own sentence!

But never mind if you have any difficulty because it’s up to you!

Just don’t let it slip your mind because you own me one 🙂

Swimming is the New Black [Phrases]


Last time, we talked about how I kept using the weather as an excuse for not going to the gym. Yesterday, I came across a friend of mine in the company, and she told me that she read the article I wrote. And she said to me, swimming is the new black, if you do not like running, try that!

What does this mean? Let’s have a look!

1.the new black

Since black is always in style in the fashion industry, saying something is “the new black” means that it is the hottest new thing. That’s the origin, and now this expression is no longer confined to the fashion industry.

“Swimming is the new black” means that swimming is on-trend/popular/fashionable right now.

Go and make a sentence with this phrase! (And then leave a comment!)

2.new to this game

This is another expression with the adjective “new” in it.

To say that you are new to this game means that you have never been involved in this sort of activity before.

e.g. I want to join Facebook but I don’t know how to start. I’m new to this game.

3.new blood

If people talk about bringing new blood into an organization or sports team, they are referring to new people who are likely to improve the organization or team.

Here’s an example:

Because of the poor results, the coach decided that the team needed some new blood.

That’s all. Have a nice one~

You Need These Motivational Quotes ⑤


Not everyone enjoys working out.

When I started doing exercise, I could always find different excuses and convince myself to work out “tomorrow”.  The weather was not good enough, went to bed too late last night, tons of work to finish… (Don’t ask me how many times did I really make it to the gym…)

And I happen to have a friend, who’s definitely  “stronger then these excuses”. She went to the gym almost every day. Once, she went to bed at two in the morning and forced her out of bed at six for a class in the gym. And sure, the efforts will always pay off, and she got fantastic result out of that.

Guys, sometimes you just need to be stronger than your excuses!

Now let’s look at some expressions related to the word “excuse”.

1.excuse my French

This expression is used as an apology for using crude or offensive language.

e.g. He’s a bloody nuisance, if you’ll excuse my French.

2.use someone/something as an excuse

To blame someone/something for failure.

In my story, I used bad weather as an excuse for not working out that day.

Did you try any interesting excuses before? Like “my dog ate my homework”.

Share with me in your comment!


The Fourth Wall

The fourth wall is an English idiom. It’s the imaginary barrier separating the audience from the characters. Breaking the fourth wall means the character has become aware of the audience. There are many instances in literature, film, and TV shows where characters have broken the fourth wall.

In children’s theatre, Peter Pan broke the fourth wall by asking the audience to applaud to revive Tinkerbell. Another example is the Netflix series A Series Of Unfortunate Events having Lemony Snicket narrate to the audience to explain wordplay.

In a stage play, when an actor or actress breaks the fourth wall, he looks directly into the audience. While in film and movies, the actor or actress looks into the camera. This method, when used smartly, can be comedic and attention-grabbing. However, it can also backfire on you.

Breaking The Fourth Wall

If you’re a writer, you may be wondering whether or not you should use this technique. WriteOnSisters have provided an exhaustive list of pros and cons on this tactic. There is no strict formula writers follow that ensures success. However, it does help to be informed of its best practices.

I love when scriptwriters break the fourth wall. It definitely adds a comedic touch. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air sitcom comedically and expertly broke the wall nine times. WriteOnSisters mentioned a major con for this technique is the fear of confusing readers.

While this may be true, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had one of their actors run across the entire set and into the audience. Even though it made no sense, it definitely brought some laughs.

However, writing for film is different than writing fiction.

In fiction, This Book Just Ate My Dog did a great job at illustrating this technique. The author did exactly as the title said. Bella, a young girl, took her dog for a walk. Everything was fine until her dog disappeared when the next page started.

fourth wall the book just age my dog

This is a children’s book, and according to many reviews, it’s well received. These two examples are great at illustrating the best practices to break the fourth wall in film and writing respectively. It’ll take some practice but if mastered it’ll definitely add extra spice to your creatives!

**No copyright infringement is intended. Pictures belong to their rightful owners.**

Judge A Book By Its Cover

English Idiom

Judge a book by its cover is a popular English idiom. It’s cautionary advice to not make assumptions or jump to conclusions based on appearances. We’ve written a short story surrounding the theme of this English idiom.

English idiom judge book cover

Judge A Book By Its Cover

It was her first time breaking the rules, sneaking out of the dormitories after hours. Her curiosity got the best of her. What was hidden within the restricted section of the school library? Rumours of ghosts and secret information became the talk of the school population. She had to see for herself.

“I wish I could come with you,” her friend had said. “I’m so curious what’s in there!”

As she peeked around the corner, she saw the guard making his last rounds before heading up the stairs. When she couldn’t hear his footsteps anymore, she lightly dashed through the hall and turned right at the last corner, unaware of the pair of eyes following her swift movements.

Expertly, she pulled a bobby pin from her hair and began picking at the lock with ease. After shuffling it a few times, she tried the knob to which it opened with ease. For a restricted section, security was lax, she thought.

After fishing the flashlight out from her pocket, she switched it on and gave a quick sweep of the area. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a light switch but didn’t dare flipping it on for fear of attracting attention.

It looked strangely ordinary. She pulled a book from the shelf and glanced at the cover: Fiends And Where To Find Them. The hideous mix of colours provoked her to place the book back in its place.

“Can I help you?” She almost jumped at the unexpected, low, monotone voice behind her. “What’s a student like yourself doing out at this hour?”

It was a professor, a professor notoriously known for his strict punishments on students.

“Well?” he prompted, his drawl sounding almost menacing.

“I… I was looking for something,” she replied hesitantly.

“In a place like this?”

She bit her bottom lip, unsure where this lie would take her.

“I suggest you head back to your dorm before I change my mind. Before she could respond, he continued, “Next time it’ll be expulsion.”

She didn’t need a second warning.

“By the way,” he began, “I would suggest keeping your secret ventures to yourself next time. Talk travels fast.”

Other English Idioms?

What other English idioms do you know of? While they are popular amongst those learning English, it’s unlikely for them to pop up in conversational English. For more English idioms, be sure to check out some phrases on our APP for fun and engaging ways to learn English!

Bless You

Bless You

Someone may have said this to you after you sneezed. Sometimes you won’t even know who said it. Why is saying bless you so common? Good question. We’re here to answer it, sort of.

bless you sneezes

Origins of Bless You

Bless you has many origins. The first is the belief that it will save you from certain death when Europe was hit by the plague. The expression may also have originated from superstition: a sneeze might expel the spirit from the body. By saying “bless you” or “God bless you”, it will prevent this from happening. Some ancient cultures believed that sneezing forced evil spirits from the body. Therefore, the person who sneezed and those around them will be protected.

There was also a period where sneezes allowed the devil to steal the person’s soul. Another spooky one was evil spirits used a sneeze to rush into the body.

The devil, demons, and death are apparently closely associated with sneezes. There was another thought where people died for a brief moment and the saying encouraged the heart to beat again.

Looks like sneezes are quite deadly. Or, it may be just a way for people to acknowledge your sneeze. We’ll take that one over the demons and death.

Sneeze Responses

Ever wondered how other cultures respond to sneezes?

German – “Gesundheit”

Hindu – “Live” and responds “With you”

Zulu – “I am now blessed”

Greeks and Romans – “Banish the Omen”

Interesting Facts About Sneezes

Never thought there would be interesting facts to learn about sneezes, right? Well, here are six facts about sneezes that you might have never known (and are probably useless.)

Sneezes can’t be stopped when they start. They’re an automatic reflex.

The sneeze spray can scatter up to five feet and travel at a speed of 100 miles per hour.

You can’t sneeze when you’re asleep. This is because the nerve reflex is also resting.

The nerve endings in your face are irritated if you sneeze when plucking your eyebrows. This will fire an impulse that reaches the nasal nerve.

The longest continuous sneeze was for 978 days by Donna Griffiths from Worcestershire, England.

Jokes aside, holding in sneezes can be dangerous. So, better just let it out when you get the chance.

You Need These Motivational Quotes③ [Phrases]


From time to time, we may make one mistake or two. Don’t worry, because mistakes are proof that you are trying.

So today let’s look at a few expressions related to mistakes.

1.Himalayan blunder

If you stupidly make a serious mistake or error, you commit a Himalayan blunder.

Apparently he lost his job because of a Himalayan blunder.

2.trial and error

Attempting to achieve a satisfactory result by testing and eliminating various methods until the best one is found is called trial and error.

Some of the best cooks learn by trial and error.

3.swallow one’s pride

If you swallow your pride, you accept something humiliating or embarrassing, for example having to admit that you are wrong, or that you have less knowledge that you thought.

When Jill failed the exam, she had to swallow her pride and do the course again.

Can you make a sentence with one of these expressions and show me your sentence?

Have a try!


Feeling Blue [Phrases]


Guys, in today’s talk, we learnt about “long face”, which is very vivid, and now let’s look at something else!

1.pull/wear a long face

These two verbs can be applied here before “long face”, and this expression is used to describe someone who is unhappy, upset or disapproving.

2.feeling blue

I’m sure you’ve encountered this phrase in songs, films etc. The color blue is associated with depression, a bad mood, and sadness.

Look at this:

I was feeling blue yesterday.

3.burst into tears

To suddenly start crying.

Sounds a little bit sad. But we can change “tears” into “laughter”, and it would be the opposite: to suddenly start laughing.

All clear?

Enjoy the weekend, and avoid feeling blue!

Don’t Take it Personally[Phrases]


Hey guys, sometimes when we talk to others, we would surprisingly find that people feel uncomfortable about what we said. Today, we are gonna look at a few tricks to prevent this.

1. don’t take it personally

Look at this one:

Don’t take it personally, but I’m not interested in a relationship right now.

See? I don’t want to start a relationship now, but this is not caused by you. So don’t be hurt by that!

2.I’m afraid

If you want to say “I don’t agree”, you can add “I’m afraid” before that.

It has no actual meaning, but it makes others feel better.

Next time:

I’m afraid I don’t agree/ I’m afraid it’s wrong…

3.I didn’t mean to

When using it in a sentence, you are informing someone that you did something you regret or are sorry for.

For example:

I didn’t mean to lie about that.

I didn’t mean to hurt you.

So I lied about that and I hurt you, but I didn’t do those things on purpose and now I feel sorry about that.

All clear?

Can you make a sentence and share with me?

See you!

A Relationship? [Phrases]


Today we are gonna talk about romance.

When people say “start a relationship” or “be in a relationship”, this relationship is not one in general, but it refers to “have a boyfriend/girlfriend”.

Next time, if you wanna say “I don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend”, you can also say “I am not in a relationship now”.

But if you do have one, you can say “I’m not available”.

Got it?

Let’s continue.

If a relationship ends, you can say “A broke up with B”.

And it also form a noun, you can say “after the break-up, she …”

Okay, let’s call it a day.

Have a nice day! See you!