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  • intro music

  • - Hello, everyone and welcome back to English with Lucy.

  • Today I'm going to talk to you

  • about 20 of the most beautiful idioms

  • in the English language.

  • I've chosen these idioms because I like their meaning,

  • I think they sound nice,

  • I think they refer to beautiful things.

  • And let's just face it, some of them are really fun to say.

  • So this video is perfect for improving your vocabulary.

  • But if you want to improve your pronunciation

  • and you're listening even further,

  • then I highly recommend the special method

  • of combining reading books with listening

  • to the audiobook version on Audible.

  • It might sound a bit weird, but trust me it works.

  • Let me explain.

  • Take a book that you have already read in English

  • or a book that you would like to read in English.

  • I've got lots of recommendations down in the description box

  • and read this book whilst listening

  • to the audiobook version.

  • Reading alone will not help your pronunciation,

  • because English isn't a strictly phonetic language.

  • How a word is spelt or written might not give you

  • any indication as to how it's pronounced.

  • If you listen to a word, as you read it,

  • your brain will start to make connections.

  • And the next time you read that word,

  • you'll know how it's pronounced.

  • And the next time you hear that word,

  • you'll know how it's spelled, how it's written.

  • It is such an effective method.

  • And the best part is you can get a free audiobook.

  • That's a 30 day free trial on Audible.

  • Just click on the link in the description box and sign up

  • and then you can download one of my recommendations.

  • Give it a try.

  • It really works.

  • Let's get started with our 20 beautiful English idioms.

  • Number one is it takes two to tango.

  • It takes two to tango.

  • I love the way that this one sounds.

  • When you say it takes two to tango,

  • it means that both parties or people involved in a situation

  • or argument are equally responsible for it.

  • For example, we need to come to a compromise here,

  • it does take two to tango after all.

  • Take two to tango, take two tango, it's hard to say.

  • Number two is my absolute favourite idiom.

  • I have mentioned this in quite a few videos before,

  • but it's worth a spot here.

  • It is, every cloud has a silver lining.

  • This means that every difficult

  • or sad situation has a comforting or more hopeful aspect,

  • even though this may not be immediately apparent.

  • It comes from the sun shining behind a cloud.

  • The cloud is obviously a negative thing for some people.

  • I don't mind clouds 'cause I'm very, very white.

  • But the sun shining behind the cloud creates a silver lining

  • and the sun's gonna come out later

  • and be hopeful and comforting for you.

  • It's a nice way of expressing seeing the positive side

  • of something or seeing something positive

  • that will come later on as a result of something negative.

  • For example, I was so upset that I failed

  • that first interview, but now I have my absolute dream job.

  • Every cloud has a silver lining.

  • Number three is to burn the midnight oil.

  • To burn the midnight oil.

  • This means to work or study late into the night.

  • For example, I've been burning the midnight oil,

  • trying to finish a very important course.

  • That's a hint if you didn't quite get that.

  • Number four is kind of similar,

  • but it's got a slightly different meaning.

  • It's to burn the candle at both ends.

  • To burn the candle at both ends.

  • This means to work or to do something

  • from very early in the morning to very late at night,

  • thus getting very little rest.

  • You're using all of your free time in the morning

  • that you would usually use to rest,

  • and you're also using all your free time in the evening

  • that you would also use to rest,

  • so you're getting very little rest.

  • An example, I was worried about Will this summer

  • because he was burning the candle at both ends.

  • He's a farmer, it was harvest.

  • He was getting up early and coming back very, very late.

  • I was worried.

  • Number five is a lovely one, it is water under the bridge.

  • Water under the bridge.

  • This refers to problems or disagreements that someone

  • or a group of people had a long time ago,

  • but now they don't care about it anymore

  • because time has passed and these things can't be changed.

  • They've moved on.

  • For example, yes, we had our disagreements

  • but that's water under the bridge now.

  • It doesn't matter, we've moved on.

  • Number six is to wear your heart on your sleeve.

  • To wear your heart on your sleeve.

  • If you wear your heart on your sleeve,

  • it means that you openly share emotions

  • and feelings rather than keeping them hidden inside.

  • For example, I wear my heart on my sleeve.

  • I'm not afraid to tell someone if I like them.

  • Number seven is a funny one.

  • I love this one.

  • It is lovely weather for ducks.

  • Lovely weather for ducks.

  • You're probably thinking, "What the hell?"

  • Let me explain.

  • It's a humorous phrase for very wet rainy weather

  • of which we have a lot in the UK and Ireland.

  • I might ask someone, "How's the weather looking?"

  • And they might reply, "Oh, well,

  • "it's gonna be lovely weather for ducks.

  • "The ducks are gonna love all this rain."

  • Number eight is to burn your bridges.

  • To burn your bridges.

  • This is the act of unpleasantly

  • and permanently ending a relationship with another person

  • or an organisation like a company that you worked for.

  • It's always a good idea to not burn your bridges.

  • There have been many times

  • where I have wanted to burn bridges, but I haven't.

  • And quite a few of those times actually,

  • there's been a benefit afterwards

  • as a result of my not burning my bridges.

  • For example, I'm so glad I didn't burn my bridges

  • with my old boss because she's just offered me

  • an amazing new job in her new company.

  • Number nine, this is lovely, variety is the spice of life.

  • Variety is the spice of life.

  • This is a phrase that says that new

  • and exciting experiences make life more interesting.

  • For example, I never like to visit the same restaurant twice

  • because variety is the spice of life.

  • That is not true for me, I find a favourite

  • and then I go there until it shuts down basically.

  • Very upsetting when that happens.

  • Number 10 is to lend an ear.

  • To lend an ear.

  • This simply means to listen to somebody with sympathy.

  • An example, take my mobile number,

  • I'm always here to lend an ear if you need one.

  • Number 11 is a change of heart.

  • A change of heart.

  • This means a move to a different opinion or attitude.

  • For example, the troll had a change of heart

  • and decided to dedicate their life

  • to supporting anti-bullying campaigns.

  • That would be a nice thing, wouldn't it?

  • Number 12 is to touch someone's heart.

  • To touch someone's heart.

  • This means to make someone feel a particular emotion,

  • or strong feelings.

  • For example, the handmade birthday card

  • from the little girl down the road really touched my heart.

  • It made me feel very touched.

  • Number 13 is to take one's breath away.

  • To take one's breath away.

  • If you say that something has taken your breath away,

  • you're emphasising the fact that it's really beautiful,

  • or amazing, or breathtaking.

  • An example,

  • the way he played that piano took my breath away.

  • Number 14 is one that I really like.

  • I love all the weather related idioms.

  • It's the calm before the storm.

  • The calm before the storm.

  • This is a period of unusual peace,

  • silence and tranquillity

  • that seems to come before more difficult or chaotic times.

  • For example, every morning before I open my laptop,

  • I sit down at my desk with a coffee

  • and enjoy the calm before the storm.

  • Before the busyness of my daily life begins.

  • Number 15 is to spread one's wings.

  • To spread one's wings.

  • This means to become more independent

  • and confident and to try new things.

  • It refers to birds leaving the nest,

  • they fly for the first time and spread their wings.

  • An example, moving into a new country

  • at a young age really gave me the chance to spread my wings.

  • I became more independent and more confident.

  • Number 16 is so sweet.

  • It is those three little words.

  • Those three little words.

  • And yes, those three little words is the idiom,

  • it is the phrase we're looking at.

  • Saying, those three little words,

  • is an indirect way of referring to the words I love you.

  • Those three short little words.

  • An example in use,

  • I might say to my friend with her new boyfriend,

  • "Has he said those three little words to you yet?"

  • Implying has he said, "I love you," yet?

  • It's a nice way of asking the question

  • without being too direct about I love you,

  • which can be a big deal.

  • Number 17 is actually more of a proverb than an idiom,

  • but I thought it'd be nice to include it

  • 'cause I really like it.

  • It is, what comes around goes around.

  • You might remember the Justin Timberlake song.

  • I'm not gonna sing it 'cause I will get demonetized.

  • This means that if you treat someone badly

  • or do something negative,

  • it's likely that the same thing will come back to haunt you

  • that they might treat you badly

  • or you might just be treated badly in general.

  • For example, she picked on me in middle school,

  • and now her boss bullies her.

  • What goes around comes around.

  • Number 18 is hook line and sinker.

  • Hook, line and sinker.

  • I love this one, it's a nautical one,

  • relating to navigation and the sea and sailors and maritime.

  • This means believing something completely,

  • something that is usually not true.

  • For example, you got me hook, line and sinker

  • when you told me you were going to be on "The X Factor."

  • "The X Factor" is a popular talent show,

  • a singing talent show in the UK.

  • I'm sure you have it in your country, perhaps.

  • Number 19 is to have a soft spot for someone.

  • To have a soft spot for someone.

  • This means to have a great deal

  • of affection for someone or it can be something.

  • For example, I have a huge soft spot for ginger cats.

  • I have a lot of affection for ginger cats.

  • It's nice because, obviously, I'm speaking about cats.

  • It's not strictly romantic.

  • It can be if someone says to their crush or love interest.

  • "I have a huge soft spot for you,"

  • then yes, it probably means romantic affection.

  • But it doesn't have to be and I really like that.

  • I feel like I'm being extra British today,

  • like all awkward weird, anyway.

  • And the last one is to only have eyes for someone.

  • To only have eyes for someone.