55 Most Common English Phrases for Everyday Life

Common English phrases are words or phrases that can be used in everyday conversation. English has thousands of common phrases, and the best way to learn them is by example. This article lists some commonly used English phrases.

Common English Phrases


Idioms are phrases or sentences that have multiple meanings. An idiom can be written in almost any form of English grammar structure – one word, adjective + adverb combination (“fly high”), multiple adjectives (“spread like wildfire”), and/or a noun phrase: Fly high + spread like wildfire. The best way to learn how the particular phrasing of an idiomatic expression works is through examples.

What are the most common English idioms?

1- A piece of cake.

Meaning: Extremely easy and straightforward.

2- Let the cat out of the bag.

Meaning: Reveal a secret by mistake.

3- Break a leg.

Meaning: Good luck!

4- Eat humble pie.

Meaning: Feel humiliated.

5- A dog’s dinner.

Meaning: Difficult conditions and/or hard work.

6- Once in a blue moon.

Meaning: Very rarely.

7- Cold comfort.

Meaning: Little comfort.

8- Drop like flies / (dropped like a stone).

Meaning: Nonexistent, without effect – being taken over by infection fast and easy.

9- Dead beat.

Meaning: A person who is absent from work, but receives payments for being so.

10- By the skin of your teeth.

Meaning: By a very slight margin.

11- Get out of hand.

Meaning: Become worse or worse from what was originally intended.

12- Let someone have it.

Meaning: “To hit a person very hard”.

13- Miss the boat.

Meaning: Waste time or missing something important (it’s too late).

14- To add insult to injury.

Meaning: Making an already bad situation worse.

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15- Pull yourself together.

Meaning: Just calm down.

Common English Questions

When we meet someone for the first time, we ask him many questions such as:

  1. What is your name?
  2. How old are you?
  3. What is your job?
  4. Where are you from?
  5. How long have you lived there?
  6. Do you go to school?
  7. What are your hobbies?
  8. What do you like to do (in your free time)?
  9. What is your phone number?
  10. Are you a native English speaker?
  11. Do you have an email to communicate with others?
  12. Do you have Facebook?
  13. Do you have Twitter?
  14. What other languages/dialects?
  15. Are you a native speaker of the English language?
  16. What is your favorite food (like spaghetti-con-crepe, rice & grilled chicken)?

Common Phrases for Greeting

English-speaking people usually greet each other in one of three ways:

  1. Cheerful and friendly, “Have a good day!” or “Hi there!”
  2. A neutral greeting such as acknowledgment of greetings, smiles, and nods.
  3. A Formal way of greeting without smiling or nodding. See more speaking English.

So, here are some common English greetings:

  1. Hi.
  2. Good morning.
  3. Good afternoon.
  4. Hello, how are you doing?
  5. What’s up?
  6. Long time no see.
  7. Good evening.
  8. Nice/Good to see you.
  9. Nice to see you again.
  10. How’s life?

Common English Proverbs

1- An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Meaning: If you eat healthily, you will be healthy.

2- It’s always darkest just before dawn.

Meaning: If you wait for the bad condition to be gone, it will never go away.

3- Early birds get the worm, later worms! (Birds are usually clever).

Meaning: The early birds are swift, clever people.

4- Good things come to those who wait.

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Meaning: A reward or success belongs to those who work hard during the training period required for becoming good at something.

5- Be quick about your business but slow in your speech.

Meaning: Speak before you think or say something wrong, to avoid regret or embarrassment later on down the line.

6- Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Meaning: Don’t Evaluate a person or an object from his/her outer appearance.

7- Never say out loud what you wouldn’t like to see in print.

Meaning: You shouldn’t criticize people while they’re around, or what you said will appear in print someday.

8- If there’s smoke, there must be some fire somewhere!

Meaning: If something is so bad and poor, there must be something good and warm somewhere.

9- Actions speak louder than words.

Meaning: We judge people by their actions and character, not based on their words only.

10- If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.

Meaning: You shouldn’t be greedy with what you say so as to avoid hurting someone’s feelings

British Slang

Slang is a type of local language for young people or those with limited linguistic skills.
In Britain, there are around 600 different Slangs that have been created by the youth culture, though most if not all can be found in standard English as well. They do however show a variety of colloquialisms, usually for the purpose of not using many words to express yourself. Slang does show signs of development in language change over time but often their influences are limited.

Using American Slang Words & Phrases

Slang English words are used in American culture by people of all ages. Slang is an informal way to talk, which can be extremely confusing for some foreign visitors that come into America especially because it does not follow great strides in spelling nor pronunciation like other languages do.

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Slang English Examples:

1- Bee’s knees: Stands for the highest quality of something.

2- See ya: See you.

3- Kip: Short sleep.

4- Veg: Vegetables.

5- Telly: A hotel.

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Some FAQs

1- What are some popular phrases?

The answer:

  • A Chip on Your Shoulder.
  • A Dime a Dozen.
  • An Arm and a Leg

2- What is the difference between “I’m sorry” and “I apologize”?

The answer: I’m sorry is used to help someone feel better, while an apology is real.

3- What is the meaning of this expression: “Your welcome”?

The answer: It is often used sarcastically, to show that the listener did not choose you.

4- How do you say “thank you” in English?

The answer: You can say “thanks,” “thx,” or any other words in English in a sentence after the word thank to show appreciation.

5- What is the meaning of this expression? “Have a nice day”?

The answer: Meaning: “Have Good Day”, and maybe “have fun”.

In conclusion, we can see that English is a very useful language. It has so many meanings and so many words to express them, which makes it a great language for communication. The most important thing in life is communication, and with the help of English, we can communicate with people (English speakers) from all over the world.