I'm using Mark Skipper Advanced book and there are some phrases which in my opinion are strange. Do you use the following phrases in your speech (books, films, etc.) today? Are they common/relevant?

  • to jump on the bandwagon

  • run rings round somebody

  • cost a bomb

  • to talk shop

  • bombard somebody with questions

  • to be barred from doing something

How to recognize for non-native speakers the relevance of English phrases?

  • 3
    Those are all common idioms. Nov 3, 2019 at 10:58
  • They're all fairly common in American English except cost a bomb, which I think is primarily British English.
    – user230
    Nov 5, 2019 at 5:21

1 Answer 1


They are all pretty common idioms, some more so than others. I won't get into their meanings since you can look them up in dictionaries.

You should know that many idioms can be regional. By that I mean some idioms are common in the UK but not in the US, and vice versa. Even in just the US, different regions may have different idioms. Even native speakers may not be familiar with all the ones you've listed, however. People may know other idioms that mean the same thing as the ones you've listed, just said differently, depending on region and culture.

How relevant each idiom is depends on lots of things, one of which is culture. Different cultures (American vs British; Business people vs IT people; adults vs teenagers; work vs games vs memes; etc) can have different collections of idioms. If you don't understand an idiom, you can just ask the speaker to explain it.

The ones you've listed will likely be understood by native speakers and proficient users of English. Textbook idioms are usually like that. However, you should expect even some native speakers to misunderstand or not understand them sometimes.

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