5 English Work Idioms

We use idioms a lot in spoken English, because they make what we say more interesting. Because we also spend a lot of our time at work, we use many idioms to talk about colleagues, the office, money, and so on.

In this video, I’ve chosen five of my favourite idioms about work, but there are many more. Check out this page to get some more typical work idioms.

Remember: even if you only learn one idiom, you’ll sound more natural when you speak English!

If you need more help with understanding the video, you can read the transcript below.


Hi there! I’m Clare from english-at-home.com

Today I’ve got an idioms lesson for you. I’ve chosen my five favourite work idioms. Even if you only learn one of these, you’ll sound more like a native English speaker.

But before I share them with you, I’ve got a quick favour to ask. If you like my videos, please subscribe to my YouTube channel because you get a new video every week. You can subscribe by clicking the button here!

OK, so these five work idioms…

1. Work your fingers to the bone
This means to work really, really hard. So for example:
“She’s so dedicated to her family. She works her fingers to the bone for her kids!”

2. Pull your weight
To pull your weight means to do your fair share of the work. So for example:
“My colleague is such a slacker. He never pulls his weight.” A slacker means someone who doesn’t work very hard.

3. Go the extra mile
So a mile is a measurement, and it’s longer than a kilometer. And if you go the extra mile, you do more things than you need to. So for example:
“I’m really lucky with my colleague. He’ll always go the extra mile to help me.”

4. Pull a few strings
So if you pull a few strings, you use your influence or your contacts to get something. Here’s an example:
“So how did he manage to get invited to the conference?”
“Ah, I think he pulled a few strings.”

5. Show someone the ropes
To show someone the ropes means to show someone how to do something. So we’d do this if someone is new to the job. For example:
“I’ll get someone to show you the ropes for a couple of days.”

OK! For more work idioms, for example, “Get the boot” or “Get your feet under the table” check out the link.

For more free English, you can subscribe to my channel, and you can watch another video. Don’t forget – you can also leave a comment. Thanks for watching. Bye!