Pay MIND to these English Idioms Native Speakers ACTUALLY USE - with Examples

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Here are head and mind idioms in English to help you sound more fluent and native like! We'll go over idioms like "get your head in the game" , "mind over matter", and "jog your memory". With each new idiom, I share an example sentence. Native English Speakers actually use these expressions in every day conversation!

Here are some expressions that Native English speakers use in casual conversation and also in business contexts. Using these idioms will help you increase your comprehension and also boost your English communication skills.

Let’s get started.

So I’d like you to listen to the phrase and try to guess the meaning of it. I will share the explanation as well as give you an example phrase to practice.

Alright, for the first one can you guess what this means?

It’s on the tip of my tongue
If something is on the tip of your tongue that means you know a word or phrase, but you’re having trouble recalling it at the moment. This could also be for names and place that you can’t remember at the time of speaking. For example: “her name is on the tip of my tongue.”

Can’t place it
When you can’t place it that means that you don’t remember something at the moment. For example, what was the name of the restaurant we’d always go to in Colorado? I can’t seem to place it. 

Mind over matter
Being able to use the power of your mind to overcome physical discomfort. For example, in strength training, you can lift more weight, then you think it’s really mind over matter.

Keep something in mind
This means to think about something and consider it. For example, someone might propose a weekend activity but you’re not sure about your schedule yet you can say “I’ll keep it in mind and let you know.”

To be on one’s mind
Something or someone can be on one’s mind. This means that you are concerned about something or worried about someone and you’re thinking about it often. For example, “you’ve been on my mind since that 3 am call two days ago. Everything ok?”

To be too much in one’s head 
This means to be completely absorbed in your thoughts that you’re not paying attention to your physical surroundings or have awareness of what’s going on in your own body. For example, “Even though I was ready for the tennis match I didn’t play as well as I could have. I think I was too much in my head.”

To bite the bullet
This means that you do something that you were putting off for a while. If you are procrastinating and then decide to do something you bite the bullet and do it. 
For example: Charlie has to learn to bite the bullet and face his fear of going to the dentist.

To get your head in the game
This means to pay attention to what you’re doing and focus. For example, you can say “we’ve got to ace this sales pitch so let’s get our head in the game and give it our all.”

It’s all in your head 
This means you are imagining something or inventing it. For example, “Fred thinks she’s got a stomach bug but he just got a clean bill of health, so it’s all in his head.” 

To bite off more than one can chew
Taking more responsibilities than one has time or capacity for. The expression “to have a lot on one’s plate” is very similar to this one. For example, in addition to running a Fortune 500 company, volunteering at the animal shelter, and taking care of children, Francesca might be biting off more than can chew if she takes on this new project.”

This means that it is meant to be funny but not taken seriously. For example, “The movie is great, but I don’t think kids will get the humor; it’s very tongue-in-cheek.”

Jog your memory
Something that helps you remember something that has happened. For example, “I like to take a lot of pictures because it helps jog my memory of what happened that day.”

Psych yourself up
Give yourself a pep talk or a confidence boost so that you’re ready to take on a challenge. For example, “Before performing her solo in front of the entire audience, she spent a few minutes backstage psyching herself up.”

Let something get to one’s head
Usually this is about fame and success and when someone’s ego gets bigger because of it. For example, “He used to be so humble but after winning three Oscars and a Tony, he let it go to his head. Now he’s a different person! So egotistical.”


There you have it. Fourteen new expressions that you can use in casual conversation or in professional settings. Be sure to practice using them in the correct context and the only way to know if you’re using them correctly is by incorporating them into your English conversation.

Alright Advanced English learners, thanks for joining me in this lesson. The full transcript of this lesson can be found on our blog, so be sure to check out advanced english dot co forward slash blog. If you prefer to listen to this lesson, check out our podcast; it's available on our website. And if you love the podcast, be sure to leave us a nice review, that really helps us out! Have you heard any of these expressions before? When will you start incorporating them into your own conversations in English? Feel free to share that with us in the comments below.

See you in the next one where we’ll continue advancing your English together!

Until then, keep up the awesome work.