Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today you’ll learn 3 interesting idioms for hidden problems or disadvantages, useful for both Speaking and Writing.

In Task 2 argument essays, students are always using the idiom ‘a double edged sword’.

That makes it common, which disqualifies it from meeting the requirements for a 7 or higher for vocabulary.

Plus, many candidates are using it wrong. It doesn’t just mean that something has two sides; rather, it means that there are negatives to both sides of the issue.

So, to make your communication more interesting and impressive to the examiner, try using one of today’s idioms when you are speaking about two sides of an issue.



Idioms for 2-sided issues

You can’t judge a book by its cover

You can say this when you are talking about a hidden advantage or disadvantage, that is not immediately obvious when you look at the surface of an issue or a thing.

It could describe both people and ideas or situations.


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You don’t know what happens behind closed doors

This is very similar to the first idiom.

You can use this when the face of something seems totally positive, even perfect, but there is a surprising secret problem below the surface.

The issue is not black and white

There is a great deal of gray area as well.

This is a great way to end an argument essay.

It means that the situation isn’t simple, and it’s hard to say that one side is totally right and the other is totally wrong.

Choose one of today’s idioms, and put it in the search bar of your internet browser.

See it in context so you can gain a clearer understanding of how to use it in your own Speaking and Writing before exam day!

Do you want to find out exactly what the examiner needs to hear for a 7+ on your Speaking Exam?

Find out in our course, The 3 Keys IELTS Success System!


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