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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Intelligence - Understanding

(Idioms page 3 :  hit the nail on the head  →  miss the point)

hit the nail on the head When you hit the nail on the head, you are absolutely right about something or have guessed the exact nature of a problem or situation.
You hit the nail on the head when you said Mark had money problems.  He's lost his job.
horse sense Someone who has horse sense is a practical thinker who has the ability to make sensible decisions.
Don't worry. Andrew has good horse sense. He'll do the right thing.
ignorance is bliss This means that if you don't know about a problem or unpleasant fact, you won't worry about it.
I didn't know our neighbour was an escaped prisoner until the police arrrived - ignorance is bliss!
jump to conclusions A person who jumps to conclusions reaches a decision or makes a judgement too fast, before taking the time to check out all the facts.
We haven't got the full story yet so let's not jump to conclusions.
know which side your bread is buttered If you know which side your bread is buttered, you know where your interests lie or what will be to your advantage.
Jack never argues with his father-in-law.  He knows which side his bread is buttered.
learning curve The length of time needed to learn something new is called the learning curve.
The new system has a long learning curve so we'll have to give the staff time to get used to it.
light bulb moment A light bulb moment is when you have a sudden moment of inspiration, comprehension or realization.
Harry had a light-bulb moment when he finally realized what was blocking the mechanism.
see in a new light If you see something in a new light, you view it in a way that makes you change the opinion you had before.
After listening to my colleague, I began to see things in a new light.
lost the plot If a situation becomes so confusing that you are unable to understand what is happening or what you are supposed to do, you lose the plot.
His instructions were so long and confusing that I just lost the plot!
lost the thread If you lose the thread of a conversation or story, you are unable to follow it.
There were so many interruptions during the film that I completely lost the thread.
lost ball in high weeds Someone who is totally confused, and doesn't know what they are doing or how to do it, is a lost ball in high weeds.
The new intern in a lost ball in high weeds - he has no idea now to begin the task he's been given.
make sense of If you make sense of something, you understand it or find the meaning.
I couldn't make sense of the instructions.
miss the point If you miss the point you fail to understand the essential part of what has been said.
Sam missed the point.  It's not the job that's the problem, it's the amount of work it involves for one person.
   
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