10 Useful Natural English Phrases | AMERICAN ENGLISH | Learn English Idioms for Conversation

 

Thank you so much for studying English with me friend! Today’s video is all about natural English phrases that you can use to sound like an American. Many of these phrases will be useful to you when speaking English in a workplace or at an English speaking university. Make sure to add these English phrases to your vocabulary and vary the words and phrases that you use. I talk about how to give your English phrases more meaning in today’s lesson. The English phrases and idioms in today’s lesson are:

"over the top"

Did you see her shirt it was “over the top”.

Over the top is a phrase I want to teach you today. When something or someone is “over the top” it means it is obnoxious or too fancy or loud for the occasion. Like this shirt in the picture. 

Another way someone could be “over the top” is if they are doing things in excess or they are doing them too much. If someone gave you a gift that was really expensive and unnecessary, it would be “over the top”. 

 

If you call something “over the top” it might show you are a bit annoyed so be careful how you use this phrase.

"flip the script"

“Flip the script”- is an expression that shows you are dramatically changing the current situation. When you flip the script, it’s usually a change that you make that others are not expecting.

When you flip something it means you turn it over or reverse it. A script is the written version of a movie or play, so in this phrase the script it just used to talk about what is currently happening. 

A great example of flipping the script was when apple came out with the iphone, people were only using their phones to call and text others, and when the iphone came out it really flipped the script. Now people use their phones to access the internet and so much more. Smartphones really flipped the script. 

Meaning they really changed how the world works and how we use phones. 

"such is life"

We are all humans and we all have problems, “such is life”.

Such is life is a phrase we use after we say something that is sad, or a truth that cannot be avoided. For instance everyone will go through breakups at some point, “such is life”.

 

I’m saying that when you date and have relationships, it’s not often that you will automatically fall in love with the first person you meet, so breaking up, and heartbreaks are apart of life. 

"to go through the motions"

When someone goes through the motions, it means they are not thinking too deeply about what they are doing, they are only performing the actions they have done many times. 

 

For instance if you have a task at work that you do like greeting customers, and you don’t feel energized or happy that day, maybe you will just “go through the motions”. This would mean you say “hello” and “how are you” but you don’t show any cheerfulness or excitement. 

"sweep you off of your feet"

If you have heard the Ed Sheeran love song, “Thinking out loud”, it’s a beautiful song and I love it. 

In the song he talks about sweeping a girl off of her feet. When someone sweeps you off of your feet they are so romantic that they instantly make you fall in love with them. 

 

For instance in the movie “Titanic” Rose is swept off her feet by Leonardo Dicaprio’s character Jack when he takes her to the front of the ship and she feels like she is flying.  

"to side step"

When you tell someone in English you “side stepped” something, it means you skipped it entirely. 

I always try to teach you very natural English phrases, and this phrase is a great one. 

Here’s an example of this phrase. “The woman side stepped the line at the grocery check out, how rude!” This means the woman skipped the line and just went to the front, this is very annoying. 

 

If someone is admitted to a university even though they didn’t have very good grades or test scores, they sidestepped the requirements.  

"easy as pie"

The phrase “easy as pie” is a good saying to know but make sure not to overuse it when you speak English.

Sounding like a natural speaker means that you vary the expressions that you use, when you use the same phrase over and over it can lose it’s meaning.

 

“Easy as pie” is a very good phrase when someone asks you to do something simple, or not difficult. Also if the task is delightful like eating pie would be we use this expression. If someone asks you to take the garbage out, and you don’t mind, you could say easy as pie… meaning it won’t take long and it will be easy. 

"start fresh"

I really don’t like this meal I’ve made, let’s throw it away and start fresh.

When you start fresh it means that you abandon the work that you have done and start all over at the beginning. 

 

Often times if you meet someone and you don’t get along well, you may ask “can we start fresh?” so that you two can get a better impression of each other. 

"hands down"

“That was hands down the best movie I’ve ever seen in my life”

When you use the phrase “hands down” it means it is easy to decide and you wouldn’t question it. If you just ate an amazing, delicious meal, and you think it was the best meal ever you could say:

“That was hands down the best meal I’ve ever eaten in my life”

There are many ways to use hands down, and it just means that you don’t want anyone to question what you have just said, you are sure of it. 

 

"call it a day"

Okay you have learned so many English phrases now, let’s call it a day.

My last phrase for you today is “call it a day”. When you “call it a day” it means you are done working for the entire day.

 

When you come to a stopping point or you are incredibly tired and can no longer work you could say “I’m so tired I am going to call it a day and go home”

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