Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Idioms: kill

Type: Article

Kill some time with Tim Bowen by swotting up on these killer idioms.

‘I’m working in Berlin next week, so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and spend the weekend sightseeing.’ If you kill two birds with one stone, you achieve two things at the same time. 

The phrase if it kills me can be used to emphasize that you are determined to do something even if it is extremely difficult, as in ‘I’m going to pass this exam if it kills me’. 

If you kill yourself to achieve something, you work extremely hard and make yourself very tired, as in ‘She killed herself to get that project finished on time’. 

The goose that lays the golden eggs is a person or thing that provides money, so you need to ensure that you don’t do anything to stem that flow of money, as in ‘I agree that it is time to upgrade our systems but we need to make sure that we don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs in doing so’. 

The expression kill or cure is used to describe an action that you will take that will either destroy something or save it completely, as in ‘Taking separate holidays is kill or cure for many relationships’. 

If something won’t kill you, it is not as difficult or unpleasant as it might seem, as in ‘Come on! Being without your mobile phone for the next two days won’t kill you!’ 

If you would kill for something, you would like to have it very much, as in ‘I’d kill for a nice cold drink right now’. 

If you kill time, you make time seem to pass more quickly by doing something instead of just waiting.

Something that is very good, can be described as killer, as in ’Their latest album was killer - I love it!’

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