When the cold weather arrives, all you want to do is put on some warm clothes and stay inside. But we have been inspired! Today, in the middle of our winter, we are helping you to improve your English vocabulary with 4 English idioms. These all have a winter theme, so get warm and get ready to do some learning!

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English idioms: 4 Winter Idioms

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Our first English idiom describes a feeling you get every now and then. It always happens before an important event (like a wedding, an exam or whatever you think is important). It’s an event which you planned to attend or it’s something you planned to do. But then, you change your mind. Suddenly, you get scared about the event. You don’t want to do it anymore.
When this happens, we say that you “get cold feet”. Strange, isn’t it? Do you know this feeling?

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Next, we have an idiom describing something that we all do. When you meet a new person, and you want to get to know them, you have to start a conversation with them. (This is especially true in Business English) The conversation is usually “small talk”, where the topic is about the weather or holidays or something small like this. When we do this, it’s called “breaking the ice”.

We might also break the ice before a much bigger, more important conversation. For example, in a meeting you might want to start talking about small things like office gossip or a recent party before you begin the scheduled discussion. See how the boss tries to break the ice in this funny job interview. (Clue: he doesn’t do a very good job!)

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Study more idioms in English and more free vocabulary at these links!
(or continue for more Winter Idioms in English below)

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english idioms

Our next Idiom number is used as a warning. It means: be careful, because if you continue you’ll be in trouble soon. In fact, the idiom is perfect: if you “skate on thin ice” for a long time, the ice will break and you will fall into the cold water. And this is pretty unpleasant!

Notice the word “skating” with -ing. We we should always use the continuous form with this idiom. So, it’s strange to say “He skates on thin ice”. Instead we should say “He is skating on thin ice.” It can also be used in the past tense or the future tense, as long as you keep the -ing form: “He was skating on thin ice.” or “He will be be skating on thin ice.”

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english idioms

Lastly, we have another English idiom using the word “ice”. Mostly, we use this idiom to describe a problem – a BIG problem. However, we can only see a small part of the problem.

For example, maybe there’s a problem with your computer in your office. So, you call the IT helpdesk and tell them. Then the IT worker replies, “Your computer is just the tip of the iceberg.” He/She means that the problem you’re experiencing is part of a much bigger problem (maybe the servers have crashed or a lot of data has been lost).

An iceberg is the perfect symbol for this idea. As you can see from our picture, the part of the iceberg which we see above the water is not all of the iceberg. It’s just a small part.

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