Practice these Idioms with your Online Skype English Teacher.
Idioms use language metaphorically rather than literally. When Tim told Khalid there was ‘no point crying over spilt milk‘ he was making a joke because he was using the idiom metaphorically and literally. Usually we only use idioms metaphorically. This idiom means ‘don’t get upset about something in the past that you can’t change’. The literal meaning is ‘don’t cry when you spill some milk’.
Idioms are also fixed groups of words so you can’t change the wording of an idiom. For example, you can say ‘there’s no smoke without fire‘ (meaning if bad or unpleasant things are said about someone or something, there is probably a good reason for it) but you can’t say ‘there’s no smoke without flames’.
Idioms with ‘no’:
No laughing matter
It’s not funny! Wait till you’re stuck on a train outside the station for 3 hours. You’ll see it’s no laughing matter.
there’s no fool like an old fool
even though someone is old it doesn’t mean he or she won’t make silly mistakes
I can’t believe my grandpa is going to marry a woman 30 years younger than him. But you know what they say, there’s no fool like an old fool.
there’s no time like the present
it is better to do something now rather than leave it till later because you might not do it
No, you can’t leave your homework until Sunday evening. Who knows what might happened over the weekend. Come now, there’s no time like the present, is there?
no ifs and buts
said if you don’t want to argue with someone and you want them to do what you told them to do
Mother: Turn off the TV and get upstairs now and tidy your room.
Son: But mum…
Mother: No ifs and buts. Just do it.
no news is good news
if you haven’t heard any information about someone or something it’s because nothing bad has happened otherwise you would have been told about it before
I still haven’t heard if I’ve got the job but I suppose no news is good news.
in no time
very quickly or very soon
I know you’re hungry but don’t worry, dinner will be ready in no time.
something which is unsuitable or unacceptable
They’re really anti-smoking so lighting up in their house is a real no-no.
no hard feelings
not feeling angry with someone after a disagreement or argument
Sorry about what I said yesterday. No hard feelings, OK?
make no bones about something
not attempt to hide your feelings about something you don’t like
The waiters were rude and the food was awful. And she made no bones about telling the manager about it.
cut no ice with someone
not cause someone to change their opinion or decision
I don’t want to hear another one of your stories about why you’re late. Your excuses cut no ice with me.
a rolling stone (gathers no moss)
a person who is always travelling and changing jobs has the advantage of having no responsibilities but also has disadvantages of having no permanent job or settled place to live
Jenny loved travelling and being a free spirit. She was a real rolling stone before she finally settled down.
a no-go area
a place you are not allowed to go That room is for the teachers only. It’s a no-go area for us students.