1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Heart - Idioms and Expressions

By

Pensive Businessman
mauro grigollo/ E+/ Getty Images

The following idioms and expressions use the noun 'heart'. Each idiom or expression has a definition and two example sentences to help understanding of these common idiomatic expressions with 'get'. Once you have studied these expressions, test your knowledge with quiz testing idioms and expressions with 'heart'.

Break someone's heart

Definition: hurt someone, usually romantically, or to cause some great disappointment

Angela broke Brad's heart last year. He can't get over her.
I think losing the job broke his heart.

Cross your heart and hope to die

Definition: Phrase meaning that you swear you are telling the truth

I cross my heart and hope to die. She's coming tomorrow!
Do you cross your heart and hope to die? I won't believe you otherwise.

Eat your heart out

Definition: to be jealous or envious of someone else

I'm going to New York next week. Eat your heart out!
When he hears about your promotion he'll eat his heart out.

Follow your heart

Definition: Do what you believe is right

I think you should follow your heart and move to Chicago.
She said she had to follow her heart and marry Peter, even if her parents didn't approve.

From the bottom of my heart

Definition: Usually used in the first person, this phrase means that you are completely sincere

You're the best player on the basketball team. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
I think you are a wonderful person. Really, I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Get at the heart of the matter

Definition: Discuss the main issue, concern

I'd like to get at the heart of the matter by discussing our marketing proposals.
She didn't waste any time and got right to the heart of the matter.

Be halfhearted about something

Definition: Not do or take something completely seriously

I wish you weren't so halfhearted about this new project! Get serious!
She was rather halfhearted in her attempts to find a job.

Have a change of heart

Definition: Change one's mind

Fred had a change of heart and invited the young boy into his home.
I wish you would have a change of heart about Tim. He really deserves some help.

Have a heart of gold

Definition: Be very trustworthy and well meaning

Peter has a heart of gold if you give him the chance to prove himself.
You an trust her. She has a heart of gold.

Have a heart of stone

Definition: Be cold, unforgiving

She'll never understand your position. She has a heart of stone.
Don't expect any pity from me. I have a heart of stone.

Have a heart-to-heart talk

Definition: Have an open and honest discussion with someone

I think it's time we had a heart-to-heart talk about your grades.
She called her friend Betty to have a heart-to-heart talk with her about her problems.

Have your heart in the right place / One's heart in the right place

Definition: To mean well, have the right intentions


Come on, you know John has his heart in the right place. He just made a mistake.

Know something by heart / learn something by heart

Definition: Know something such as lines in a play, or music perfectly, to be able to perform something by memory

He knew all his lines by heart two weeks before the performance.
You need to learn this piece by heart next week.

Have one's heart set on something / set against something

Definition: Absolutely want something / Absolutely not want something

She has her heart set on winning the medal.
Frank has his heart set against his promotion. There's nothing I can do to help him.

One's heart misses a beat / One's heart skips a beat

Definition: To be completely surprised by something

My heart missed a beat when I heart the news that she was pregnant.
She was so surprised by the announcement hat her heart skipped a beat.

Pour one's heart out

Definition: Confess or confide in someone

I poured my heart out to Tim when I discovered that I hadn't received the promotion.
I wish you would pour your heart out to someone. You need to get these feelings out.

Take heart

Definition: Have courage

You should take heart and try your best.
Take heart. The worst is over.

  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. English as 2nd Language
  4. Vocabulary
  5. Vocabulary - Advanced
  6. Heart - Idioms and Expressions for ESL Learners

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.