7 English Idioms - Idiom Examples and Exercises for Students #6

Idiomatic expressions, or simply idioms, can be difficult to understand for language learners so reading definitions, example sentences and usage, and completing practice exercises can help. Here is the sixth set of idioms in this series. Enjoy!

Common Idioms

  1. All ears
  2. By the book
  3. Caught red handed
  4. Hang in there
  5. On top of the world
  6. Take it easy
  7. Time flies when you’re having fun
  • Note: Time flies is a shortened version of the last idiom with the same meaning.
  • Caught red handed is often written as caught red-handed

Idiom Definitions

  1. All ears: To listen carefully with full attention
  2. By the book: Following the rules very closely
  3. Caught red handed: Getting caught while doing something wrong.
  4. Hang in there: Not give up and keep going, especially during tough times.
  5. On top of the world: Feeling extremely happy and successful.
  6. Take it easy: Relax and not worry too much.
  7. Time flies when you’re having fun: Time seems to pass quickly when you’re enjoying yourself.

Example Sentences

When the teacher announced a surprise, the students sat up and were all ears.

The safety inspector followed the guidelines by the book to make sure everything was in order.

Samantha was caught red handed eating the last piece of cake from the fridge.

Don’t give up! Just hang in there and keep trying, and you’ll improve.

After winning the race, Sarah felt on top of the world, filled with joy and pride.

It’s a weekend, so let’s take it easy and relax by the beach.

We were having so much fun that time flew by quickly.

Example Conversations

  1. Emily: “I have something to tell you.” Sarah: “Sure, go ahead. I’m all ears.”
  2. David: “How should I write this report?” Lisa: “Just follow the guidelines exactly as they’re written. Do it by the book.”
  3. Jack: “Why were you taking cookies from the jar?” Emma: “Oh no!. You caught me red handed.”
  4. Michael: “I’m struggling with this puzzle.” Olivia: “Hang in there and you’ll solve it.”
  5. Daniel: “How do you feel after winning the championship?” Sophia: “I feel on top of the world! It’s amazing!”
  6. Ryan: “I have so much homework to do tonight.” Natalie: “Don’t stress too much. Take it easy and tackle one task at a time.”
  7. Ian: “I can’t believe the party is already over.” Ava: “I know, right? Time really flies when you’re having fun.”

Idiom Exercises

Identify the Correct Idiom

Delete the incorrect idiom:

  1. Don’t give up! (take it easy / hang in there and keep practicing your soccer skills.
  2. Did you see the answers? Yes, I was (taking it easy/ caught red handed).
  3. We were having so much fun at the amusement park that (on top of the world / time flew by) before we knew it.
  4. After getting the promotion, she felt (by the book / on top of the world) and celebrated with her colleagues.
  5. You’ve been studying hard. Now it’s time to (hang in there / take it easy) and enjoy your weekend.
  6. I’m (all ears / on top of the world), I want to hear about your exciting day.
  7. Make sure to do the task (by the book / caught red handed) and follow the guidelines precisely.

Complete the Sentence with the Correct Idiom

Fill in the blanks:

  1. Please tell me your secret. I’m __________.
  2. Remember to do the task __________ and follow the instructions exactly.
  3. He was __________.stealing from the store.
  4. __________.and don’t give up, even when things get tough.
  5. After receiving the award, she felt on __________..
  6. __________.and relax during your vacation.
  7. Tim__________.with your friends.

Give an Example with Idiom Use

Give an example when you would say the following:

  1. Hang in there
  2. On top of the world
  3. Take it easy
  4. Time flies when you’re having fun

Example #1: There were no complaints everything was done by the book.

Reading Comprehension Exercises

The English for study skills lessons will have a section to improve reading skills. Follow this link to read the reading texts and answer the simple reading comprehension questions.

Comprehensive List of Idioms

If you are interested in learning idioms then visit our series of articles with definitions, examples and exercises. If you want to find the meaning of an idiom then there is an ultimate list where you will find many idioms with the definitions and example sentences.