5 Great Idioms in English for Arabic Speakers

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“Break it up” doesn’t mean to break something! Learn what it really means below!

We chose this list of American English idioms because they place emphasis on words that begin with the letter ‘B’. When learning English, many native Arabic speakers will mispronounce the /b/ sound in English with the /p/ sound. So here are five idioms that start with or contain plenty of “B words” to help you practice getting rid of that tendency to pronounce with the /p/ sound. Here we go!

Break it up: This can mean two things. One, to stop a fight or confrontation, and two, to separate a mass into pieces.

Used in sentences:

“Hey, break it up you two! I’ve had enough of your constant battle over the blender!”


“When baking brownies, wait until the pan of brownies has cooled before you break it up into squares.”

Better off: This means your life will be easier if you exclude something or someone currently in your life.

Used in a sentence:

“You’re better off without Barbara anyway, she’s always so hard on you, even when you’ve done nothing wrong.”

Browbeating: This is when someone uses words to aggressively attack someone, often in public.

Used in a sentence:

“Ben really browbeats Bob a lot in class, it’s like he’s trying to prove he’s the better biologist. All it does is make Ben look insecure.”

Beat around the bush: This is when someone continuously talks without getting to the point at hand that everyone is waiting for them to get to—usually because they don’t want to divulge the information they have.

Used in a sentence:

“Bill just kept beating around the bush at lunch today. All we wanted to know was whether or not he knew where the baseball bats were. If he doesn’t know, he should just say so.”

Back to the grind: This means to get back to work that needs to be done, usually used in the context of a relaxed period in which procrastination is taking over time needed to complete a project.

Used in a sentence:

“Well Brenda, back to the grind—we have tons of books to research and highlight before we can even start writing our dissertation.”

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