Go from strength to strength

To be more and more successful

“Norah Jones’s musical career is going from strength to strength.”


Go hand in hand with

Closely related

“Industrialisation goes hand in hand with pollution.”


Word of mouth

People spread information by telling each other

“The news was passed by word of mouth and before she knew it, everyone was aware of her pregnancy.”


With hindsight

In retrospect, looking back.

“Back then, taking over her parents’ business seemed the logical move but with hindsight, she now regrets not having pursued her dream to study art.”


On the spur of the moment

Do something suddenly, without any previous planning.

“They were heading home for dinner but on the spur of the moment, they decided to step into the new Indian restaurant close to their apartment.”

It can also be an adjective: e.g. a spur-of-the-moment decision


Rack your brains

Try hard to remember or think of something

“Much as I have been racking my brains, I can’t find an answer to your question.”


A far cry from

Very different from

“Her house in the suburbs is a far cry from the little flat she used to live in as a student.”


It (all) boils down to ….

It is the most important aspect of it

“It all boil downs to respect when it comes to long-term successful relationships.”


By the book

If you do something by the book, you do it methodically, following all the rules

“In the podcast By the book, the two presenters live by the rules of a self-help book for two weeks and then explain their experience to their audience.”


That’s not like you/her/him

Use this phrase when somebody is behaving out of character, not as they usually do.

“Late again? That’s not like you.


Keep somebody in the loop

Keep somebody informed so that they are aware of the situation.

“Please, keep me in the loop if there are any changes.


Vested interests

To have an ulterior motive for acting in a particular way. Try to obtain personal advantage, sometimes financial.

“There should be more control over politicians who promote policies in which they have vested interests.


A walk in the park

Very easy

“After having spent a year studying English in the UK, the exam in the local language school seemed like a walk in the park for her.


Put on the spot

If you put somebody on the spot, you ask them a question that is difficult or embarrassing to answer.

“Programmes like Hald Talk on the BBC put their interviewees on the spot.”


The pay gap

The difference between the average pay of men and women

In 2018 a survey revealed that More than half of Spanish employers reject gender pay gap audits.”


Not on speaking terms (with)

They refuse to talk to each other

“It is very sad to hear that a person is not on speaking terms with a sibling.”


There is no accounting for taste

Different people like different things

“As I was cycling back home this morning, I saw a woman proudly wearing the most outrageous coat and I told myself: there is no accounting for taste.”


The stakes are high

You risk losing a lot if you fail

“The mountaineers attempted a climb to the summit in bad weather conditions, well aware that the stakes were high. “


A defining moment

It’s a moment that marks a major change and probably will have a big influence thereafter.

“Being diagnosed with dyslexia was a defining moment in his life. At last, he could make sense of his failings to comply with the school system demands and was given the right tools to learn and progress. “


You’ll get there!

It’s a way to encourage someone to have faith that they will achieve their goal

“Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Keep training every day and you’ll get there.”