English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm not so good at english, and I would ask if someone knows a website that lists the most used english ways to say, like for example, "eat the bullet" or "with a grain of salt".

I've done some research about it, but the only thing I got is Urban Dictionary, but unfortunately it's not easy to find the phrases; it would be great to have a vocabulary of "ready phrases" (for poor-english people like me:-)

share|improve this question

closed as too broad by choster, Mari-Lou A, RyeɃreḁd, MετάEd, Brian Hooper Feb 16 '14 at 15:47

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I'd avoid Urban Dictionary generally; a great many entries are jokes, the outpourings of bizarre psychosexual fixations, or otherwise just plain misleading. – Jon Hanna Feb 14 '14 at 15:36
@FumbleFingers Eat the bullet means killing yourself by putting a gun in your mouth. Bite the bullet means "bear with it". – David M Feb 14 '14 at 15:37
@David: All I can say is if I was out on a stag night where my "non-native speaker" friend was fretting about whether he really should get married in the morning, and if the last thing he said to me was "I guess I'll just eat the bullet", I'd be expecting him to show up the next day. I certainly wouldn't be so worried I'd put in a call to The Samaritans on his behalf. You may find that expression used in a gangster movie, I suppose, but it's hardly a usage that should be relevant to a learner. – FumbleFingers Feb 14 '14 at 15:45
@JonHanna "Outpourings of bizarre psychosexual fixations..." I've been laughing for 2 minutes straight at that! – David M Feb 14 '14 at 15:49
@FumbleFingers in my experience, while guns and booze don't make for a good cocktail, swords (unless ritual or ceremonial) and booze make for literally bad cocktails, viz. a particular mixture of buckfast, cheap cider, whiskey and undisclosed ingredients referred to as "battle brew" that won't so much put hairs on your chest, as on your tongue. – Jon Hanna Feb 14 '14 at 16:26
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Well what you're looking for are called idioms or colloquialisms. Searching with those terms might help. That said here are a couple lists of examples to help you out:




Heck, http://lmgtfy.com/?q=english+idioms+list+for+learning+the+language

share|improve this answer

There is a good website devoted to phrases in British and American English here.

That said, I would recommend avoiding "ready made phrases". In the vocabulary of language learners, they tend to sound forced, and worse, unintentionally comical.

It is important to be able to understand the idioms used by native speakers, but I would generally discourage their use until your language skills have improved to the point where they occur organically.

Best of luck!

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.