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Idiom workout: sport

Idioms are very useful for saying something with few words but with lots of meaning.

Most IELTS students who want above Band 5 in the speaking and writing parts, try to use idioms. Unfortunately, they are not always used correctly, and using an idiom ‘out of context’ can actually reduce your IELTS score because it sounds unnatural.

Another common mistake is that candidates use too many idioms in their speech or writing. It is inappropriate to use an idiom in every sentence, but one or two used correctly in the speaking test would certainly boost your vocabulary score.

Below are some very interesting sport-related idioms with explanations and examples.

1. A fighting chance = you could possibly succeed

Example: “I know the IELTS is hard but I think I have a fighting chance of getting band 7.”

2. A second wind = another amount of energy after you used up the first

Example: “I ran 5 miles and rested. Then I got a second wind and ran 5 more.”

3. To give it your best shot = you try your hardest to do something

Example: “I gave it my best shot and passed. I’ve never prepared that hard before.”

4. A long shot = something has a very small chance of success

Example: “I forgot my password so I just guessed. It was a long shot but it worked.

5. Par for the course = something is normal for that situation

Example: “To pass IELTS, you need to do exam practice tests. It is par for the course.

Learn and use these idioms but be VERY careful. Make sure you use them in the right way and do not stress them too much. The idioms need to sound natural.

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Does anyone know any more English idioms related to sport? If you do, please share them by leaving a comment!

Or if you have any questions about the use of other idioms, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them!

By Jenny Bedwell on 2015 09 14

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