We all have dreams. Some come true and some…Well, they just remain as dreams. Here are some English idioms related to dreams with an appropriate explanation.
More often than not (on a regular basis) we dream at night while we are asleep but sometimes, time permitting, we might look out of the window or stare into space (focus on one thing) and daydream.
English Idioms related to Dreams
BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS
This occurs when something you wished for actually comes true but in an even bigger or better way than you could have possibly imagined.
Example: David was good at football infact very good. He hoped that one day he might in fact be a professional player. Out of the blue he got a letter inviting him for a trial with one of the biggest teams in the country it was more than he could wished for. It was beyond his wildest dreams.
A DREAM COME TRUE
As indicated we all or most of us dream. Sometimes they become reality and when they do we will often be heard saying “ah it is like a dream come true”. Something that someone has required or attained after a long time.
Example: Sara retired early from her work as a teacher as she wanted time to travel and see the world. Imagine her surprise when she logged on to the internet and saw an offer to travel around the world with a family and teach the children as they travelled. For her it was a dream come true. She would be able to travel and get paid at the same time.
English Idioms about Dreams - Infographic
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WORKS LIKE A DREAM
When something may be broken and in need of repair you are very surprised and delighted that it then works better than ever once the repair has been carried out.
Example: Fiona was delighted when her favourite watch was repaired. Her boyfriend asked her how it was now that it had been repaired. ‘It’s perfect she replied. It works like a dream.’
Of course dreams may not always turn into reality and we can also use some English idioms related to dreams in a less than positive way:
We use this idiom when we might wish to bring someone “back down to earth”. Young people dream a lot and have very high expectations. So when they perhaps are dreaming a little too much we might tell them it is unlikely to happen and that they should “dream on!”.
Example: Mary’s son had dreams of playing for Real Madrid, driving a Ferrari car and living in a mansion. Mary admired his ambition but it was all a bit of fantasy. When he spoke about it as he often did she would keep his feet on the groundby saying “but you don’t play for a team now and you cannot speak Spanish!” Dream on, it’s never going to happen.
IN YOUR DREAMS!
Similar to “dream on” we often use this phrase to burst someone’s balloon. This usually happens when someone is really dreaming about something that is very unlikely to happen if in fact at all.
Example: John dreamt* about winning the Lotto buying an expensive car retiring from work and living a life of luxury. His wife was a little more practicaland reminded him that the odds of winning the Lotto were something like 4 million to 1, almost impossible. In your dreams John, I am afraid only in your dreams!!
* – We can use either dreamed or dreamt in the Past Tense
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English Vocabulary List
Out of the blue – unexpectedly
Trial – test
To carry out – to do
To burst someone’s balloon/bubble – to spoil their dream
To keep someone’s feet on the ground = to bring someone back down to earth – to return someone to reality
Life of luxury – very wealthy life style
The odds – chances
Practical – realistic
For more information on English Expressions, English Phrasal Verbs and English Grammar Rules, check out the following links:
Free learnings resources are available on BBC Learning English.