Patience is an important quality to have, particularly when you live or work with others. When you disapprove of the actions of a coworker or family member are you outspoken and critical (do you tell them what you really think)? Or do you tend to bite your tongue and try to avoid an argument?
Dara looks at this useful idiom in the video below.
Bite your tongue? That sounds pretty painful!
Not literally! To bite your tongue means to stop yourself from saying what you want to say.
So, when would we use this phrase? Let’s see:
- Our boss is always shouting at us. Everyone hates him, but we all just bite our tongues, wait till he’s gone, and then discuss how we’d like to murder him! [Not literally, of course!!]
- There are two keys to a happy marriage: (1) Knowing when to bite your tongue, and (2) Knowing when to bite your tongue!!
- My mother-in-law was being so rude today. For the sake of family harmony, I really had to bite my tongue!
So, there we are. Can you think of any other situations in which you have to bite your tongue? If you can, let us know in the comments section below.
Here are a few questions to help you put today’s idiom into use.
- Did you ever disagree with your boss about a course of action? Did you speak up? Why or why not?
- Was there ever a time you didn’t like the person a friend of yours was dating? Did you tell your friend the truth?
- Did you ever see or experience an incident of road rage? What happened?
If you want to learn even more idioms and improve your English fluency, why not take a look at our online course Essential English Idioms?