Idioms 9

1. BIG PICTURE: If you talk about the big picture, you refer to the overall situation, or a project as a whole rather than the details.

  • While each aspect is important, try not to forget the big picture.
  • The sales manager gave us the big picture this morning, now I am more confused than ever.
  • We should always be mindful of the big picture even when working on small tasks.
  • You must understand the big picture to be successful at work.
  • The junior staff sometimes work hard on unimportant things, they fail to see the big picture.

2. BITE THE BULLET: If you bite the bullet, you accept something unpleasant because you cannot avoid it.

  • If you don’t have the health insurance, you have to bite the bullet and pay the hospital fee.
  • You are just going to have to bite the bullet and make the best of it.
  • Ramesh bit the bullet and accepted his demotion at work.
  • I hate going to the dentist but I suppose I’ll just have to bite the bullet.
  • I’m really nervous about asking my boss for a raise. But I guess i’ll just have to bite the bullet and do it anyhow.

3. BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU: If you bite the hand that feeds you, you are unfriendly or do harm to someone who is kind to you.

  • Leaving the company after they have spent three months training you is like biting the hand that feeds you.
  • Always try to get along with your boss and never try to bite the hand that feeds you.
  • Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Your parents might not be perfect but without them you wouldn’t have reached so far in life.
  • A dog knows never to bite the hand that feeds it.
  • If you bite the hand that feeds you then you are an ungrateful person.

4. BITE YOUR TONGUE: If you bite your tongue, you try not to say what you think or feel.

  • It was difficult for me not to react, I had to bite my tongue.
  • I wanted to tell her how she looked after the hair-cut but I had to bite my tongue.
  • Whenever my boss says something that I don’t like, I have to bite my tongue.
  • Just as the coach started to yell, he slipped and fell. We all had to bite our tongues to keep from laughing.
  • I wanted to tell him how stupid he sounded but I bit my tongue and just kept sitting.

5. BITTEN BY THE BUG: If you develop a sudden interest or enthusiasm for something, you are bitten by the bug.

  • My dad decided to take up golf and was immediately bitten by the bug.
  • Sunil was badly bitten by the showbiz bug at the age of 14.
  • The teenagers are bitten by the MTV bug. They watch the TV all the time.
  • My friends are bitten by the latest fashion bug. They spend all their money on buying new clothes.
  • She is bitten by the English bug. She spends all of her time learning English.

6. BITTER PILL TO SWALLOW: Something very unpleasant or difficult to accept is a bitter pill to swallow.

  • Losing his job after organizing the merger was a bitter pill to swallow.
  • Losing the championship to a younger player was a bitter pill to swallow.
  • Having his fate in the other people’s hands was a bitter pill to swallow for this proud man.
  • When Rohan’s mother told him he can’t take the car, it was a bitter pill to swallow as he had a date that night.
  • When company fired me from the job, it was a bitter pill to swallow as I used to work hard.

7. BLACK OUT: If you black out. You lose consciousness.

  • When Tony saw the needle, he blacked out.
  • After I fell I must have blacked out as I don’t remember anything that happened after that.
  • He blacked out right after the accident. Everyone thought that he is dead.
  • Don’t black out after you see the surprise I have for you.
  • When my friends heard me speak such fluent English, they almost blacked out.

8. BLACK SHEEP: Black sheep is someone who behaves very differently or badly and is considered disreputable by the other members of the family.

  • Joe was the black sheep of the family as he always got into trouble.
  • She was a black sheep, she ran away at the age of 16 to become an actress. Her father never forgave her.
  • My brother was the black sheep. He had to migrate to a different country to avoid punishment here.
  • His parents had such high hopes from him but he turned out to be a drunkard. A black sheep of the family.

9. BLACK AND WHITE: To say that something is in black and white means that there is a written proof of it.

  • It’s an obligation. Its in black and white in your contract.
  • I don’t make verbal contracts, give it to me in black and white.
  • Your offer sounds nice do you have it in black and white?
  • He said that he would pay me twice my salary. I asked him to put it up in black and white.
  • Don’t agree to anything unless it’s in black and white.


10. BLESSING IN DISGUISE: This expression refers to something that is unpleasant at first but later turns out to have advantages.

  • Missing the plane was a blessing in disguise. That’s how he met his wife. She was the hostess on the next flight.
  • It’s impossible to see a blessing in disguise when it happens – you just have to wait.
  • Losing the job was a blessing in disguise as I started a very successful restaurant afterwards.
  • What seems like a mistake could be a blessing in disguise if you learn from it and grow.
  • Being late for the flight was a blessing in disguise. If I was in the plane then I too would have died in the crash.