Lesson Summary 

Talk about your holidays with these awesome idioms!

Idioms can be tricky to learn to use because the meaning of an idiom is different to the individual meaning of each word in the idiom! This video will help you learn and practice some new English idioms, including:
– (to) travel light / (to) pack light
– (to) hit the road
– (to) catch the sun
– (To) live it up / (To) live the life
– on a shoestring / on the cheap
– at the crack of dawn
– bright and early
– (to) call it a day/night
– itchy feet

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Video Transcript
Section 1
Hello! I’m Emma from mmmEnglish!

English idioms… can you think of some examples?

“The early bird gets the worm!” “Bite your tongue!” Do they “drive you crazy?” 

Idioms are really common English expressions that can be used in formal and informal situations. They’re quite challenging to learn because the meaning of the whole idiom, all of the words together, often doesn’t relate to the literal meaning of the individual words. The idiom – as you’re painfully aware – has its own unique meaning.

So in this lesson, I’m going to teach you a few useful idioms that will help you to talk about your holidays. Now I’m sure that you’ll be able to think about a holiday that you’ve had in the past and use the idioms that I’m going to share in this lesson to help you talk about them.

Now, there are lots of English idioms, but learning to use some of them will help you to sound creative, interesting and fun when you’re using English. And of course, it will definitely help you to understand more of what native speakers
say. Using idioms correctly in your English speaking exams like IELTS or TOEFL will definitely impress your examiner – so it’s worth spending some time learning a few idioms that you can use to talk about holidays that you’ve had.

Now, a quick note. Remember that the tense changes can affect the verb in the idiom – if there is one. For example,

“We’re going to travel light.”
“We travelled light.”
“We are travelling light.”

So pay close attention to how I’m using the idiom in these examples. Now, let’s look at that same example again in more detail.

“To travel light” or “to pack light”

Now, if someone travels light or packs light, they don’t take a lot of luggage with them on a trip. They don’t take lots of bags.

“We have to walk a fair way from the station to our hotel, so try to pack light.”
“We only stayed for three days, so we packed light!”
“Do you need some help collecting your luggage, or are you travelling light?” 

“To hit the road”

This idiom means to leave or to start a journey.

“We’re going to hit the road at 8am.” We’re going to leave at 8am.
“We hit the road early so that we reached the village by lunchtime.”

Now, this idiom is just as easily used when you’re at a barbecue with friends and you decide it’s time to go home. You can say “Okay, it’s time to hit the road” or “It’s time I hit the road”

“To catch the sun”

This idiom is used to say that someone is sunburned, burnt by the sun. “We spent the whole day at the beach so we all caught the sun.” To someone who looks sunburnt, you could say:

“You look like you caught the sun today!”
“Try not to catch too much sun today! Keep your hat on.”

Notice how this idiom can change depending on the tense. Same with the next one –

“To live it up” or “to live the life”

This idiom is used to say that someone is really enjoying themselves and they’re having a really good time. without worrying about anything – including money.

“We’re going to live it up in a 5 star resort for a few days!”
“We’re going to live the life on a beach in Mexico”
“We were living the life and having cocktails by the pool when the cyclone hit.”

“To do something on a shoestring” or “to do something on the cheap”

Now this idiom is nothing like the last one. If you do something on a shoestring or on the cheap, you do it without spending a lot of money.

“Staying in hostels is a good option if you’re travelling on a shoestring budget.”
“We travelled through France last year on a shoestring!”
“We plan to spend a month in Bali on the cheap and then, live it up in Singapore for a few days before we fly home.”

“At the crack of dawn”

This idiom describes the earliest time in the day, just as the sun is rising.

“We were up at the crack of dawn to watch the sun rise.”
“It’s a long drive, so we set off at the crack of dawn.”
“Paul got up at the crack of dawn every day to hike around the island.”

“Bright and early”

Now, this idiom is similar to the last one, it’s used to explain that something happens early in the morning. It’s not quite as early as at the crack of dawn though.

“We had to get up bright and early to catch the train to Paris.”

Another idiom that’s similar is “first thing”. It means before anything else is done in the morning.

“We need to check out first thing tomorrow.”
“You need to call and make
a reservation first thing. We don’t want to miss out!”

“To call it a day/night”.

This idiom means o stop doing an activity for the rest of the day or to finish what you’re doing at night and go home to bed.

“We were so exhausted that we decided to call it a day and ordered room service in our hotel room!”
“Let’s just call it a day and go to the pub!”
“I need to call it a night, I’ve been dancing for 12 hours!!”

“Itchy feet”

Okay, so this idiom is used when someone feels the need to travel. They don’t want to stay still! My friends always tell me
that I have got itchy feet!

“After being away from work for so long, it’s really difficult to sit at my desk for eight hours a day! I’ve got itchy feet already!”
“I noticed that Ben is really distracted at the moment. Do you think he’s got itchy feet?”

So there were quite a few idioms there, weren’t there? Can you think of any other ones that you could use to talk about
travelling or holidays? If you can, add them to the comments below this video.

Now, if you watch my lessons often, you’ll know that there’s a new video every week. So make sure you subscribe to my channel by clicking this red button right here and you’ll find out when the next lesson is available or the next worksheet is
available and ready for you to practise with.

For now, you can keep practising with more English idioms right here or you can head to the mmmEnglish website to learn more about our online courses. I’ll see you in the next lesson. Thanks for watching and bye for now!

mmmEnglish Video Lessons are a series of video lessons created to build confidence in English learners and focus on English in daily life. Download them and watch them anywhere! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to be the first to get my new videos, and come and say hi on my Facebook page!!