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 English Vocabulary for ESL learners 

Commonly-used expressions.

 Expressions with MATTER 

Expression Meaning Example
a matter of life and/or death Involves decisions that will affect people’s lives. “The peace process is a matter of life or death in some countries."
a matter of time. Something that will inevitably happen although we don’t know when. "Restrictive measures will be introduced. It's just a matter of time."
as a matter of fact Used to add something more to what you have just said "The shoes are very comfortable. As a matter of fact, I'm wearing them right now.”
for that matter Used to add something that is also true "My father refuses to fly, and he won't travel by train either for that matter."
the fact of the matter is Emphasises the reality of a situation "She thinks Sammy needs help with his homework, but the fact of the matter is: Sammy is just lazy!"
the crux /heart of the matter The most vital or most important part of a problem "We need to get to the heart of the matter - what caused the accident?"
"The crux of the matter is that he's too old to live alone."
make matters worse Make the situation even more unpleasant or difficult "Don't start giving advice - you'll only make matters worse."
mind over matter The mental power to overcome physical difficulties "He managed to live until the baby was born - a case of mind over matter."
no laughing matter To be taken seriously, not to be laughed at "Failing an exam is no laughing matter."
take matters into your own hands Take action yourself rather than wait for others to do it "When Dad saw the danger, he decided to take matters into his own hands."

Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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