Common Idioms about Thinking and Learning in English

Learn commonly used idioms about Thinking and Learning in English.

Go to your head

  • Meaning: To cause one to become arrogant. If success goes to your head, it makes you think that you are better or more important than you really are
  • Example: Fame and fortune had gone to his head.

Have your wits about you

  • Meaning: Be able to think quickly and make sensible decisions
  • Example: She managed to keep her wits about her and escaped unharmed.

In the dark (about)

  • Meaning: Not knowing very much about something, because other people are keeping it secret from you
  • Example: We are still very much in the dark about how the money was lost.

Know what’s what

  • Meaning: Know the important facts about a situation
  • Example: You have to know what’s what and when to draw the line.

Not have a leg to stand on

  • Meaning: Not have any way of proving that you are right about something
  • Example: If you have no witnesses, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

Useful Idioms about Thinking and Learning in English

Idioms about Thinking and Learning

Not see the wood for the trees

  • Meaning: Used for saying that someone cannot understand what is important in a situation because they are thinking too much about small details
  • Example: He can’t see the wood for the trees.

Put two and two together

  • Meaning: Guess what is happening or what something means based on what you have seen or heard
  • Example: How did you know they were having an affair? I’d seen them out together a couple of times, so I just put two and two together.

Quick/ slow on the uptake

  • Meaning: Taking a very short/long time to understand or realize something
  • Example: He’s a little slow on the uptake, so you may have to repeat the instructions a few times.

Ring a bell

  • Meaning: Something that rings a bell sounds familiar to you, although you cannot remember the exact details
  • Example: The name rings a bell but I can’t think where I’ve heardit.

Round the bend

  • Meaning: Crazy; insane
  • Example: I’d tell you if you were going around the bend.

Split hairs

  • Meaning: Argue or worry about very small details or differences that are not important
  • Example: More than half the cases they complained aboutwere not, in fact, on Garzon’s list, but let’s not split hairs.

Take stock (of)

  • Meaning: Spend some time thinking about the situation you are in before you decide what to do next
  • Example: After two years spent teachingoverseas, she returned home for a month to take stock of her life.

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