Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Has your luck ever turned on a dime?

Have you ever heard somebody use this phrase in English?

Did you wonder what this meant and want to be able to use it?

We’re going to look at how to use this phrase, how to talk about a quick change, and how you can talk about this in your English conversations.

Here’s a letter about this that may help to capture what you have thought before too.

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Hey Lindsay,

I’m living in Switzerland and I often travel to NYC.

I love your podcast–it pushes me forward and really helps me!

I listen to it on my way to work. So All Ears English has become a part of my daily life.

In Episode 1111 you used the phrase: “turn on a dime.”

What does that mean exactly and when can I use this phrase in my daily life?

Thank you so much for your answer!

Warm regards,


Understanding This Phrase

We couldn’t find where Michelle used the expression “turn on a dime” in Episode 1111–but it’s a great phrase to talk about.

First, recently we did an episode about money and we did some phrases with money terms. Click the link below to check it out.

So what does it mean to turn on a dime?

There are a couple definitions, but the one most commonly used is –changes quickly.

If something changes direction or goes a completely different way, then you might say that it “turned on a dime.”

Using This In Conversation

You want to be able to use a phrase like this appropriately in conversation.

You want to be able to convey that something changed quickly.

You may also use this on the IELTS Speaking test if you want to tell a story in Speaking Part 2 and say that something changed quickly.

Let’s look at some examples as that may help to get the point across well.

  • “It’s important to be thankful, even when things are going well, because your luck can turn on a dime!”
  • “I was surprised to see him. At first he seemed like he wasn’t mad at me anymore, but then he turned on a dime and got upset with me again.”

It’s a phrase that gets the point across quickly, and so you want to be able to use it in conversation.

You may hear it used frequently with “luck” changing, and so that can be something to use in conversation as well.

A Great Phrase To Try Out

Some of the best phrases like this are those that you can practice using in conversation.

Things can change quickly, and so this is the perfect phrase to use to talk about that.

Everything changes so quickly nowadays with technology, the news, and social media, and so we have to be able to express this in our daily life.

It helps you to connect to use expressions that show not only what is happening but a little bit about what you feel.

Instead of saying something changes quickly, an expression can add personality to this.

Just one phrase like this can change your conversations moving forward, so you want to practice using them.

Similar Phrases To Say The Same Thing

You want to convey a quick change, but you may wish to say it in a different way.

How else can you say something similar?

  • Change it up: This means that things are changing almost as they move along. It means that you want to mix it up a bit to keep things interesting or moving. “Okay I’m bored. Let’s change it up a little and play a different game.”
  • Change rapidly: This conveys that things are changing almost faster than you can keep up with. You barely get used to one thing and then it changes. “The subway schedule changes rapidly so it’s important to check for alerts before you leave for the day.”
  • Shake things up: You need to keep change in order to stay interested or engaged. You may make big changes because that’s the way that you like things. “I don’t like to live in the same place for very long. I like to shake things up and move around!

All of these phrases convey the same thing about changes, and so they can be great to use in conversation.


We live in a fast-paced world and it’s great to use expressions to show this feeling.

As things change quickly in this day and age, you want the right phrases to point this out.

If you want to express that things are changing, any of these phases can work well–so try using them and see how they feel.

However, it’s also important to learn how to slow down and relax!

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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