5 Idioms to Use in Your IELTS TOEFL Essay

hi welcome to right to top comm I’m Adam in today’s video I’m going to give you five idioms to show dilemma or to show the two sides of a choice or an option when you have to choose between an action or a situation or even a thing when you’re talking about a thing you can show the good and the bad sides of it or if you have a choice to make good and bad consequences results etc so these idioms are very useful especially for those of you who will be taking a language test IELTS TOEFL CAE whatever and you need to write a an essay about agree or disagree topics or show the advantages and disadvantages of something these are very good idioms because they show you both sides and therefore you mix your the way you structure your essay a little bit easier as well plus idioms are very important for getting a high score on these tests the greatest want to see real English natural English but natural English uses idioms and if you can use idioms correctly and appropriately in the context you’re getting the extra points okay so let’s look at our first idiom there’s going to be five of them they’re all more or less in a similar context but different meanings the first one is a catch-22 now what is a catch-22 mean generally speaking it’s when you have two options or you want this or you want that but to get this first you need that but to get that first you need this right so the best example in the one I gave you here with a sentence is finding your first job now to get a job you need experience but to get experience you need to have a job so let’s look at this sample sentence new graduates often face a catch-22 situation when they look to enter the job market since they lack work experience many employers won’t hire them yet this rejection denies them the opportunity to gain this experience so how can you get experience if nobody will hire you how will anybody hire you if you don’t have experience so that’s a catch-22 okay lots of these examples you can use this in your essays easily to a double-edged sword now a sword of course has two edges it cuts this way it cuts this way but basically a double-edged sword means a situation or a thing that has both a positive and a negative side to it so look at the example communicating via the internet has become a double-edged sword so we’re talking about communicating through the internet good bad on the one hand it allows people to communicate quickly with anyone around the world good on the other hand it opens the door to cyber bullies and haters who can spew the negativity negativity to a large audience often anonymously so the internet most people think is a very good thing but it’s also a bad thing let’s people communicate all over the world it lets haters do what haters do right so the Internet two sides to it now I put this as 2a this is connected we can say something is a double-edged sword or something cuts both ways the meaning is essentially the same it has a negative and a positive meaning Phil chose a salary over an hourly wage knowing that this decision cuts both ways he’ll have a secure paycheck every month but he won’t be paid extra for overtime or holiday work so he wants he had a choice you can continue getting his hourly wage and every hour he works he gets paid for or he can get a set annual salary now the good thing about the salary every month he knows exactly what kind of paycheck he’s getting he can make a budget what’s bad is that if he has to work overtime or if yet he’s asked to come in on holidays he doesn’t get paid extra for those hours because he gets a salary the salary doesn’t change if he was on hourly wages he works overtime he gets more money but then during the slow period when there are fewer hours to work he gets less money so it cuts both ways now notice that in both examples for this one and double-edged sword you have to show me that contrasting link in the double-edged sword example I had on the one hand on the other hand to show the contrast here I have but right so if you have but you’re showing that you’re going to show the contrast of whatever came first if you gave the positive first but the negative if you gave the negative first but the positive make sure you show both sides now this is the problem this is the danger with using idioms if you don’t use them appropriately in your essays you’re going to lose points if you’re going to say something cuts both ways show me both ways if you’re going to say something is a double-edged sword show me both sides of that sort to make sure you’re using the idiom correctly between a rock and a hard place so this is a situation in which both or all options are bad so our rock is hard a hard place is hard so if you’re between a hard place and a hard place you have no good options okay the manager found himself between a rock and a hard place when he had to either lose a net his best salesperson or promote her and anger most of his senior staff who don’t like her so if he chooses to keep her he makes all his staff angry if he chooses to let her go he loses his best salesperson bad choice bad choice so he’s in a very difficult situation he’s in a situation between a rock and a hard place where everything is going to turn out badly then damned if you do damned if you don’t so this isn’t the same idea doesn’t matter which choice he makes the people who are responsible for him the people who judge him will damn him they’ll say bad things about him he made a bad choice either choice he makes is a bad choice and they will tell himself the manager also realized that he was damned if he did damned if he didn’t lose a net as sales would certainly drop in the short term so even if he kept her sales with job because the staff would be angry if he let her go sales would drop because she’s the best salesperson and his bosses the managers bosses supervisors will be angry with him either way he’s damned if he does there if he doesn’t but then there’s the lesser of two evils so you have bad choice bad choice so when you have two bad choices you’re going to choose the one that’s less bad if such an option exists I’m using the same scenario here so he finally this is he the manager finally decided that letting a net go would be the lesser of the two evils as an angry staff is a less productive staff and one person no matter how good can eventually be replaced so he decided okay bad situation bad situation but this one is less bad because either way I’m losing money or the company is losing money but she can eventually be replaced I’ll find another good salesperson but if I have the whole staff angry productivity goes down now the key here when you’re explaining the lesser of two evils make sure you’re you’re explaining why it’s the lesser of two don’t just say he chose this because it’s the lesser of the two evils what made it lesser what made it less bad than the other option if you don’t explain that then you really haven’t used the idiom correctly okay so there you have the five idioms the key is again make sure that you’re using them in the right context if you need to show both sides like double-edged sword cuts both ways etc make sure that you show both sides the catch-22 make sure that it’s very obviously obvious that the two options are conflicting and show how they are conflicting and damned if you do damned if you don’t again that should be pretty obvious it’s self-explanatory but make sure you explain why the lesser evil is the lesser evil now if you have any questions about any of these idioms please come to my Facebook page or Twitter or Instagram or go to my website right to top com ask your questions of course you can ask them below here at YouTube if you like this video please subscribe to my youtube channel there will be plenty of more plenty more videos to come and if you liked it please give me a thumbs up and I’ll see you again very soon bye bye

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