Regardless of the time of year, we always encourage our students to venture outside of the classroom to not only explore their destination, but to test their English with the native speakers! When you’re learning English, you’re sure to come across these idioms in every day conversation. And you’d be surprised how many idioms involve forms of transportation, from trains to cars and boats.
Take a look and see which ones you’ve seen before and which ones are entirely new to you, then challenge yourself to incorporate them into your every day English. Have you seen any of these before?
1. AT A CROSSROAD
Meaning: a situation that requires someone to make an important choice
Example: "I'm at a crossroads, I don't know if should go to college now or next year."
2. CIRCLE THE WAGONS
Meaning: to provide cover under attack, especially against criticism.
Example: "It's going to be a hard year, but if we rally together and circle the wagons, I think we'll be okay."
3. IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT
Meaning: being in control of a situation, just like you would be if you were driving a car
Example: "I'm not worried about it, I'm in the driver's seat."
4. IN THE SAME BOAT
Meaning: to be the same situation as someone else.
Example: "I don't know why you're worried about the exam Harry, we're all in the same boat."
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5. PUT THE BRAKES ON
Meaning: to cause someone to stop doing something
Example: "He wanted to go on the second date straight away, so I had to put the brakes on."
6. SHIP HAS SAILED
Meaning: the opportunity to do something has passed.
Example: "You should have applied for the job before it closed. You can't now, the ship has sailed."
7. TRAIN OF THOUGHT
Meaning: a series of similar thoughts or connected ideas
Example: "I was in the middle of saying something then got distracted- now I've lost my train of thought."