Improve your English: idioms about work

As we all know, idioms are used throughout the English language. It’s important to understand and know how to use them so you can communicate clearly. There are quite a few English idioms related to the word ‘work’.

Below is a quick activity to help test your knowledge. Remember, try not to think about the literal translation of these phrases; you’ll have to think ‘outside the box’. Many of them aren’t actually related to ‘work’ in the way you might think either. So let’s see how well you know your English idioms:

1)     Then wedding planner was  ___ to finish decorating before the wedding started.

2)     “Wow John! I can’t believe you finished this project so quickly!”
“Oh, it was no problem, ___.”

3)     I do all the ___ that nobody else wants to do just so I can impress the boss for that promotion. I really want it!

4)      You shouldn’t care so much. Don’t ___ what others think of you.

5)     I can’t wait to get home and relax. I ___ today!

6)     Wow, I can’t believe Josh broke up with you. It will be fine though, everything will ____.

7)     This holiday dinner was fantastic, but I feel like I should walk home to ___ dinner.

8)     Do you ___ Morgan and Smith or Taylor and Associates?

9)     How hard would you ___ setting a Guinness World Record?

  1. I know you two are fighting now, but I am sure you will __ eventually and everything will be fine.

a) work for (someone): to be employed by someone.

b) get worked up over (something): become angry or annoyed about something

c) work (something) off: lose weight

d) worked like a horse: work a lot, work very hard

e) working against the clock: to work very fast because you know you only have a limited period of time to do something.

f) work for (something): to work for some kind of satisfaction, benefit, glory etc.

g) all in a day’s work: nothing special, part of the routine

h) work out for the best: eventually finish well

i) work something out: find a solution to something.

j) dirty work: Necessary, but uninteresting, or difficult work


  1. e 2)  g 3) j 4) b 5) d 6) h 7) c 8) a 9) f 10) i