two women sitting on ground near bonfire

17 Everyday Phrases That Native Speakers Use

Learning English from a textbook is great to do, yet it doesn’t always give you the whole story.

Native speakers use a lot of idioms and set phrases that aren’t taught in books, which means they can go right over your head (see, there’s one of them) if you’re not careful.

But don’t worry, you have nothing to fear because TextRanch is here! In the table below, we have turned the textbook-style sentences on the left into casual, everyday expressions on the right.

Textbook ExamplesCasual Speech
You make me laugh!You crack me up!
Let’s stop working.Let’s call it a day.
Are you kidding me?Are you pulling my leg?
The exam was easy.The exam was a piece of cake.
I need to start over.I need to go back to square one.
Thank you very much!Thanks a million!
My friend ignored me.My friend gave me the cold shoulder.
That woman has a unique personality.That woman is a real character.
I’m so tired! I want to sleep.I’m exhausted! I want to hit the sack.
My brother is feeling sick today.My brother is under the weather today.
I’m sorry for swearing.Pardon my French.
Do you understand me?Do you catch my drift?
I don’t know.I don’t have a clue.
You must do it yourself.You’re on your own.
Why aren’t you talking?Cat got your tongue?
Her dress was expensive.Her dress cost an arm and a leg.
You’re welcome!Don’t mention it!


Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of the list!

Now, to memorize them, try to utilize them every time you can. Read them over quite often (once a week, maybe) and next time you write an informal email, use one of the idioms above.

If you can commit these expressions to memory, you’ll be much better equipped to converse and write casually.

And if you enjoyed the lesson, leave a comment, tell a friend, and help TextRanch by sharing this post!

Thanks a million ♥

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