Idioms use language metaphorically rather than literally. When Tim told Khalid there was ‘no point crying over spilt milk‘ he was making a joke because he was using the idiom metaphorically and literally. Usually we only use idioms metaphorically. This idiom means ‘don’t get upset about something in the past that you can’t change’. The literal meaning is ‘don’t cry when you spill some milk’.
Idioms are also fixed groups of words so you can’t change the wording of an idiom. For example, you can say ‘there’s no smoke without fire‘ (meaning if bad or unpleasant things are said about someone or something, there is probably a good reason for it) but you can’t say ‘there’s no smoke without flames’.
Practice the use of Idioms with your English Skypeclass Teacher.
Idioms with ‘no’:
|no laughing matter|
It’s not funny! Wait till you’re stuck on a train outside the station for 3 hours. You’ll see it’s no laughing matter.there’s no fool like an old fool
even though someone is old it doesn’t mean he or she won’t make silly mistakes
I can’t believe my grandpa is going to marry a woman 30 years younger than him. But you know what they say, there’s no fool like an old fool.there’s no time like the present
it is better to do something now rather than leave it till later because you might not do it
No, you can’t leave your homework until Sunday evening. Who knows what might happened over the weekend. Come now, there’s no time like the present, is there?no ifs and buts
said if you don’t want to argue with someone and you want them to do what you told them to do
Mother: Turn off the TV and get upstairs now and tidy your room.
Son: But mum…
Mother: No ifs and buts. Just do it.no news is good news
if you haven’t heard any information about someone or something it’s because nothing bad has happened otherwise you would have been told about it before
I still haven’t heard if I’ve got the job but I suppose no news is good news.in no time
very quickly or very soon
I know you’re hungry but don’t worry, dinner will be ready in no time.a no-no
something which is unsuitable or unacceptable
They’re really anti-smoking so lighting up in their house is a real no-no.
no hard feelings
make no bones about something
cut no ice with someone
a no-go area
There is a great BBC Webpage that explains many idioms.