English idioms about knowledge and learning

by | Last updated Dec 7, 2023 | English Learning

Learn these interesting English idioms on learning and knowledge to improve your spoken skills.

Enhancing your English speaking skills significantly involves acquiring knowledge of English idioms. These expressions are essential for understanding and effectively communicating with native speakers, making them a crucial aspect of English language learning.

I recently came across an informative infographic featuring English idioms related to knowledge, and I thought it would be beneficial to share it with you to elevate your language learning. Here are the idioms about knowledge along with examples of their usage.

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1. Can’t make heads or tails of it

Do not comprehend or feel confused by something.

Example: I’m completely lost. Can you please explain it to me again?

2. Burning the midnight oil, pull an all-nighter

Work late into the night on a task, often used by students.

Example: We were goofing off throughout the semester, and now we have to work late into the night.

3. Common knowledge

Information widely known among people.

Example: The common knowledge that thunder frequently accompanies lightning.

4. Knowledge is power

The greater one’s knowledge, the more equipped they are.

Example: In this scenario, power lies in knowledge.

5. Know the ropes, learn the ropes

Be well-versed in a subject, know all the details about it.

Example: Don’t worry, Jane! He is familiar with the ropes; he will assist you.

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6. Know something backwards and forwards

Be highly knowledgeable about something, be an expert, or be thoroughly acquainted with it.

Example: Alice was well-versed in their strategy, having worked there for an extended period.

7. Doing your homework

While this phrase is frequently used literally, it is commonly employed to indicate studying or learning about a particular subject.

Example: I need to research before deciding where to go on vacation next year.

8. Under one’s belt

Have accumulated a significant amount of experience.

Example: Jim needs to gain a substantial amount of knowledge before the trip.

9. Pick his brain

Pose questions to someone who has more knowledge about a subject to learn more.

Example: My brother is a computer expert. I’ll pick his brain to see if he can solve the problem.

10. Great minds think alike

Intelligent individuals share similar ideas or thoughts about things.

Example: James conveyed the same message as Lily. Great minds think alike.


The process of learning is continuous and extends throughout one’s life, providing not only knowledge but also a wealth of experiences to thrive in life. These experiences contribute to making life increasingly productive. This is the gift that language bestows upon you. Acquiring a language can unlock various opportunities, whether in securing employment or pursuing academic endeavors.

I trust that these idioms and phrases have expanded your English vocabulary, facilitating progress in your learning journey.

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Find out your A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2 level of English with our quick, free online test.

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