If you want to get a band 7 or above in the IELTS Speaking test, you must show the examiner that you have mastered a wide range of vocabulary and know how to use idioms when necessary. However, lots of people know very little about idioms. Today, Wall Street English will provide 7 common idioms that you can use in the IELTS speaking exam to get high marks.


1. A hot potato

A hot potato means a problem or situation that is hard to deal with. When you are asked about some complicated issues that are difficult to deal with, you may use this idiom to describe it.

Strike a balance between economic development and environmental protection is truly a hot potato.


2. Best of two worlds

Best of two worlds refers to a situation where you can enjoy the benefits of two different things at the same time.

If I can get this part-time job, that would be the best for two worlds. On the one hand I can spare time for my studies. On the other hand, I get extra income.


3. Butterflies in one’s stomach 

It means you feel extremely nervous and anxious, just like having butterflies in your stomach.

To be very honest, I am feeling butterflies in my stomach already before my exam tomorrow.


4. A blessing in disguise

Used to describe something that seems bad at first but turns out to be a fortune at last.

Getting an unsatisfactory score the first time I took IELTS turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it made me realise my English was far from good. I was then motivated to study English harder than ever.


5. Sit on the fence

Being indecisive; to delay making a decision.

Hong Kong people are generally politically apathetic. They usually sit on the fence when it comes to political issues.


6. Kill two birds with one stone

Killing two birds with one stone means that you can achieve two things at the same time with one action.

I would prefer studying abroad as not only could I learn a new language and culture, but I could also boost my competitiveness in society in the future. So I’d say it kills two birds with one stone.


7. A drop in the ocean

A very small amount compared to the amount needed.

The amount donated to the underprivileged was just a drop in the ocean.