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

The best way to instantly increase your Speaking score on IELTS is to insert native idioms!

What idioms should you use?

It depends on the speaking topic!

Today we’ll show you seven great idioms that you can use when you get questions about work, career, and business.

The idioms that you are going to learn today can be used on both the Speaking test and the Writing test.

Question Speaking Part 1

Q: Do you work or are you a student?

A: I do the “daily grind” but my daily grind is a bit different. I don’t do the “old nine to five.” My day is a little bit different. I work from 6am to 10pm.

Here we used the following idioms:

  • “The daily grind”: Working hard, commuting, showing up at work, dealing with co-workers and bosses, repetitive work that you do every day
  • “The old nine to five” or “To have a nine to five”: A traditional schedule, working 8 hours per day
  • “To climb the corporate ladder” or “to work your way up the corporate ladder”: To move up in a large corporation

Question Speaking Part 3

Q: How has the working world changed in recent years?

A: My mom talks about having a “glass ceiling” in her career. She couldn’t break through it because she was a woman. I know it still exists today but I think more and more women are breaking the “glass ceiling.” They are finding their own ways “to bring home the bacon” and being the “breadwinner” of the family. Traditional roles are changing. It’s not like before where we only wanted to make ends meet. Now we are thinking more about building a business where we can make money into the future.

Here we used the following idioms:

  • “The glass ceiling”: The barrier that women can’t break through due to their gender. They can only go so high in their careers.
  • “To bring home the bacon”: To bring home money, to earn money for the family
  • “To be the breadwinner”: To be the one who supports the family, your money pays the rent
  • “To make ends meet”: To survive, to be able to pay all of the bills

What idioms have you used on the IELTS Speaking test?

Let us know in the comments below!

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