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HOME > AMERICAN IDIOMS > Idioms starting with I

Common American Idioms for ESL students


If worst comes to worst:
If things get really bad. ex. "If worst comes to worst, we can always fire him."

Ill-at-ease (adj.):
Uncomfortable. ex. "She seemed to be ill-at-ease talking to the doctor about her problems".

In a bad way:
Not well; in bad shape. ex. "He was in a bad way, partly because of all the alcohol that he drank daily."

In bad taste:
Rude. Vulgar. Obscene. ex. "John's jokes are always in bad taste."

In broad daylight:
Publicly visible in the daytime. ex. "This city is very dangerous. You can get robbed in broad daylight."

In good shape/ condition:
Physically and functionally sound and sturdy. "Shape" is generally used more for people. ex. "The car is in good condition. Bill is in good shape."

In mint condition:
In perfect condition (not used for people). ex. "This baseball card is in mint condition."

In no mood to do something:
To not feel like doing something; to not want to do something. ex. "I'm in no mood to cook dinner tonight."

In season:
Currently available for selling (often said of fresh fruit and vegetables). ex. "Tomatoes are very cheap now because they're in season."

In stock:
Available for purchase, as in goods in a store. ex. "P1: Do you have any more of these books in stock? P2: No, I'm sorry we don't."

In the air:
Everywhere. All around. ex. "Love is in the air, everywhere you look around."

In the long run:
Over a long period of time; ultimately. ex. "He smokes a lot now, and I'm afraid that in the long run it will cost him his health."

In the same boat:
In the same situation (usually negative). ex. "I know exactly how you feel because I'm in the same boat."

In and out:
Coming in and going out often. ex. "She's been in and out all day."

(To be) in with (someone):
(To be) friends or friendly with (someone). ex. "At high school, he was in with the wrong crowd. That's why he always got in trouble."

In advance:
Ahead of time. ex. "In the future, could you let me know about these things in advance?"

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