As you (now) know, everything I teach on this blog, Instagram, YouTube, and other teaching platforms is #REALenglish. I use this hashtag to let my learners, to let you, know that what I am teaching you is useful for your everyday English use and conversations. Nothing is ever outdated (*old*) or too formal for conversations. It’s real because it’s used by people like me, a native English speaker.
While I was talking with a friend the other day, they used the idiom, “to get your foot in the door.” I immediately thought, “hmmm, I wonder how many English learners would understand that phrase,” because as you know, idioms can never be interpreted (*understood*) literally. As you will learn below, this idiom does not have anything to do with a door really.
I continued to think about idioms with feet (or foot) and when I reached the sixth one in my head, I knew I had to write you a blog post. So, today you’ll be learning 15 of the most popular idioms with the word feet or foot in it.
Are you ready?
This week doesn’t have a 5 Minute English video, but it does have this bonus video you can get. Click the image above and it’s yours!
1. to find your feet: to get used to a new situation; to get accustomed to it
EX: Lucy started her job last week and is finally finding her feet.
2. to get/start off on the right foot: to begin a relationship well
EX: My best friend and I started off on the right foot; we instantly got along and have been friends since.
3. to get/start off on the wrong foot: to begin a relationship poorly/negatively
EX: Tim and John got off on the wrong foot. One of them said something the other didn’t like, and they haven’t been friends since.
4. to get your feet wet: to start doing something slowly and in a simple way to get used to it
EX: I am starting to teach yoga and I’m just getting my feet wet with 1 class a week.
5. to get your foot in the door: to take the first step towards a goal to make something happen (in a company or in a career field)
EX: Susie wanted to be a lawyer, so she got her foot in the door by being a secretary at a law firm.
6. to get on one’s feet: to get established and set up
EX: It took a while for Mark to get on his feet when he moved out from his parent’s house at 18.
7. to keep your feet on the ground: to be and remain sensible and practical
EX: Harrison Ford is a very famous actor; however, he keeps his feet on the ground (by being sensible and practical).
8. to put your best foot forward: to act/behave in your best way, in an appropriate way so people like and approve of you
EX: You need to put your best foot forward when meeting your new girlfriend’s parents.
9. to put your feet up: to relax; to do nothing
EX: I can’t wait for my vacation at the end of this month because I am going to put my feet up and not do anything!
10. to put your foot down: to react in a very strict or harsh way toward someone; deal with them very strictly
EX: John’s dad had to put his foot down after John stole the car for the 3rd time.
11. to put your foot in your mouth: to say something that causes hurt, embarrassment, or some negative feeling (for another person) without meaning to
EX: I really put my foot in my mouth when I asked John about his dog. I didn’t know he died the day before.
12. to stand on one’s own two feet: to be independent and to support oneself without help
EX: Jessica is finally standing on her own two feet at 20 years old.
13. to sweep someone off their feet: to cause someone to be attracted to you in a romantic way very instantly and strongly.
EX: My husband swept me off my feet when we first met. He was charming, sweet, and funny!
14. to foot the bill: to pay for the check/bill
EX: At dinner last night, I footed the bill.
15. to shoot yourself in the foot: to say/do something that gets yourself in trouble
EX: She shot herself in the foot when she accepted all those responsibilities knowing she couldn’t do them all.
Practice Makes Perfect
How can you memorize these idioms to use in your own conversations? It’s easy, start using them!
1. Can you create your own sentence examples? You can follow my sentence structures, and fill them in with your own information to practice writing/typing the new idioms:
EX: Olivia began her class last year and is finally finding her feet.
You can also practice by changing the verb tense:
EX: Olivia began her class last year and finally found her feet.
**BONUS points if you can make personal sentence examples about yourself. To do that, think about times that you 1) found your feet doing something 2) started off on the right foot with someone 3) started off on the wrong foot with someone etc.. etc…
2. Write discussion questions to practice with a friend, your conversation partner, or classmates.
EX: When have you recently found your feet doing something? Name 3 people you’ve started off on the right foot with. Do you usually foot the bill? etc.. etc..
Start by commenting below answering these questions:
- How do you like to put your feet up?
- Do you keep your feet on the ground? How?
- Have you ever been swept off your feet?
Good luck everyone, and until next week…
Happy Studying! ♥
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