Improve your English: idioms to talk about advice

Using idioms, or figurative speech, is a sure way of sounding more like a native English speaker and is key to learning English to a high level. So here are some idioms all about giving advice.

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew – With the words “bite” and “chew” you might be thinking that this idiom is about food. And of course this is good advice for food as well, but this phrase is actually talking about tasks that you do. It implies that you should never take on a task that will be too big for you or that you know you will not be able to complete. This applies to all the students learning English, set goals for yourself but don’t bite off more than you can chew!

2. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch – If you grew up on a farm or around chickens, you might have heard this phrase or know this rule. Any time a chicken lays eggs, you never know what will happen to those eggs until they hatch and a new baby chick is born. This idiom is applied the same way to other life situations. You should not count on something until it has begun or until you are very sure of it.

3. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush – This idiom provides some very good advice about things that you are sure about and things you do not know about. This idiom is used when a person is deciding about changing something in their life that they are not sure about. It means that you should not leave what you already have for something that might seem better, but has a risk attached to it. If you do take the risk, then you might end up losing everything.

4**. Rome wasn’t built in a day** – Today Rome is a beautiful city with many amazing buildings and a very exciting history. But it didn’t appear over night, it took a lot of time for everything to happen. Which brings us to this idiom’s meaning, you need to be patient and do things slowly and the end result will be beautiful, just like Rome.

So here are a few idioms to offer you some advice. Hopefully they will help you with your English studies as well. Remember with your English goals, don’t bite off more than you can chew, and take it slowly because Rome wasn’t built in a day.

image: Moyan Brenn