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

Today you’ll learn 4 idioms to describe dreams and increase your IELTS Vocabulary Score.

You can use these idioms to impress the examiner in all parts of the Speaking Exam, but also in General Writing Task 1, informal letters.

Sample IELTS Speaking Part 1 Questions:

  1. Do you dream much at night?
  2. Do you often remember your dreams?
  3. Do you think we can learn anything from dreams?
  4. Do people in your country talk about their dreams?

Listen to the episode to hear our example answers for questions 1 and 2, and note down the specific examples and vocabulary that we use.

Jessica talks about how she used to remember dreams based on books she was reading, and Lindsay shares a story about a recurring nightmare.


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Use these idioms with the word ‘dream’ for other situations:

  • pipe dream– a situation that will never happen; something you wish would happen but it won’t come true
    • Walking outside in shorts and a t-shirt right now, in winter, is a pipe dream for me.
  • the American dream– [can be used for formal and informal communication] the perfect life in the U.S.
    • In my older generations, the American dream was to live in a big house with your spouse and 2.5 children, while the husband worked and the wife stayed at home.
    • Now, however, we define it differently. ‘The American dream’ now, for Lindsay and I, is having control over your own destiny and making your own choices.
  • to be living the dream– a life that is exactly what would be your perfect, dream life
    • That person is living the dream. She has everything she wants and doesn’t have to work that much.
  • in one’s wildest dreams– your biggest goals and aspirations, both attainable and not attainable
    • I can’t imagine winning the lottery, not in my wildest dreams.

Write these idioms in your vocabulary notebooks and also use them in your own example sentences.

Then, practice using them in your own IELTS Speaking and Writing.

How would you use today’s idioms?

Share your example sentences in the comments section below!


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