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HOME > AMERICAN IDIOMS > Idioms starting with T

Common American Idioms for ESL students


(To) take it:
To endure trouble, criticism, or abuse. ex. "Say whatever you want about me. I can take it."

Take it easy!
Relax! (Also used in "to take it easy" = to relax, to spend a day relaxing, etc.)

Take it or leave it:
To accept it the way it is or to forget it. ex. "That's my final offer. Take it or leave it."

(To) take its toll:
To cause damage (or loss). ex. "The long hours he puts in at work have begun to take their toll on his health."

(To) take something/ someone for granted:
To accept something/ someone (without gratitude) as a matter of course. ex. "We tend to take a lot of things for granted."

(To) take something lying down:
To endure something unpleasant without fighting back. ex. "I'm not going to take this type of treatment lying down!"

(To) take something with a grain of salt:
Not to take something that someone says too seriously. ex. "If I were you, I'd take everything that she tells you with a grain of salt."

(To) take someone under one's wing:
To protect (and teach) someone. ex. "Arthur took the new employee under his wing and taught him everything he knew."

(To) take the rap (for something):
To accept responsibility, admit that one is guilty of something. ex. "I thought that Bill was responsible for the mix-up, but his friend Tom took the rap."

(To) think straight:
To think clearly. ex. "I was so tired that I couldn't think straight."

(To) throw someone for a loop:
To confuse or shock someone. ex. "His last comment really threw me for a loop. I had no idea what he meant!"

(To) tie the knot:
To get married. ex. "They tied the knot in Puerto Vallarta."

(To) tighten one's belt
To spend less money. ex. "After Becky lost her job, we really had to tighten our belts for a while."

To save his/her life:
At all/ completely. ex. "She can't sing to save her life."

Told you so!:
Basically when someone says "told you so!", it's like saying "See, I was right!".

Tongue in cheek:
Joking. ex. "Quentin made a tongue-in-cheek remark to his dad."

(To) touch on (something):
To mention/talk about. ex. "During the meeting, we touched on the plans to rebuild the school."

True to one's word:
Keeping one's promise. ex. "I wasn't sure he would pay me, but he turned out to be true to his word."

(To) try your luck
To attempt something; to try to see if you can do/win something. ex. "I'm going to try my luck at the slot machines."

(To) try someone's patience
To do something annoying that may cause someone to lose patience. ex. "It's not a good idea to try the boss' patience."

(To) turn a blind eye to something:
To ignore something and pretend you did not see it. ex. "The usher turned a blind eye to the boy who snuck into the theater."

(To) turn one's back on (something/someone):
To forget or ignore (something/someone) ex. "You should never turn your back on your friends."

(To) two-time someone:
To be in a relationship and to have another boyfriend/girlfriend without telling your first boyfriend/girlfriend. ex. "I dumped him when I found out he was two-timing me with Mary."

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