Life idioms


To be the light of someone’s life: to be the most important person in someone’s life– to give someone’s life meaning (ex. My son is the light of my life.)

Lead a double life: to have a second, secret life that is usually not socially acceptable (ex. I just found out she leads a double life: she is a lawyer during the day, but a stripper at night)

The best things in life are free: the best things in life don’t cost money: love, relationships, etc…

Risk life and limb: to do something very dangerous where you might get hurt (ex. He risked life and limb to save her from drowning.)

It’s a dog’s life: one’s life is similar to the easy life of a dog (ex. He sleeps until noon, works for a few hours, spends time with his friends and watches TV.  It’s a dog’s life.)

Life is just a bowl of cherries: everything is going well; life is carefree (ex. I love my job and my new house.  Life is just a bowl of cherries at the moment.)

Larger than life: more interesting and more exciting than an ordinary person or thing (ex. He may not be the best musician, but in the eyes of his fans, he’s larger than life.)

Spring to life: to become suddenly alive or more alive (ex. The party sprang to life after midnight.)

Bring to life: to make something exciting and interesting (ex. The bright colors bring the apartment to life.)

Life in the fast lane: a very active or possible risky way to live (ex. When will he get tired of living life in the fast lane?)


Phrasal verb: fall down

  1. fall down
    Meaning: fall to the ground
    Example: I was walking down the street when suddenly I fell down.

    There is a popular television show in the United States called “Wipeout” where people try to complete obstacle courses without falling down.  It’s quite amusing to watch their efforts:

  2. wipe out
    Meaning: fall to the ground unexpectedly and roughly
    Example: I wiped out on the banana peel as I was walking down the street!


English spelling can be tricky in many ways.

Homophones – words that sound the same, yet have a different English spelling – can be very difficult for English learners to understand.

Principal vs. Principle

A principal is the head of a school. A principle is a belief or a moral that you feel strongly about.

To, Two, or Too

To is a preposition. Two is the number following one. Too means also.

Foreword vs. Forward

A foreword is the introduction to a book. Forward is a direction.

Knight vs. Night

A knight is a man who served his lord as a soldier in armor. Night is what happens when the day is over.

Bald vs. Bawled

Bald means hairless. Bawled means yelled, or cried.

Mail vs. Male

Mail is what you receive in the post. Male is a gender (men.)

Dear vs. Deer

Dear is a term of endearment for someone you regard with deep affection. A deer is an animal, like Bambi.  A deer can be dear to you, but a dear cannot be deer to you.

Eight vs. Ate

Eight is the number following seven. Ate is something you would do for lunch. You can remember that ATE has the same letters of EAT, moved around.

Made vs. Maid

Made is the past tense of make. A maid is a person who does domestic work. It’s spelled like ‘aid’, because it helps!

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