to cry over spilled milk
/kɹˈaɪ ˌoʊvɚ spˈɪld mˈɪlk/
to feel upset or regretful about something that has already happened and cannot be undone
cast / throw pearls before swine
/kˈæst θɹˈoʊ pˈɜːlz bɪfˌoːɹ swˈaɪn/
to do good things and waste valuable resources for ungrateful people
to break even
/bɹˈeɪk ˈiːvən/
(of a business) to reach a point that yields no success due to the profit being almost as equal as the costs
to chase one's (own) tail
/tʃˈeɪs wˈʌnz ˈoʊn ɔːɹ tˈeɪl/
to try hard yet achieve very little or nothing at all
to save one's breath
/sˈeɪv wˈʌnz bɹˈɛθ/
to avoid wasting one's time and energy by not trying to persuade or convince someone who is unlikely to change their opinion or behavior
to close / shut / lock the stable / barn door after the horse has bolted / is stolen
/klˈoʊs ʃˈʌt lˈɑːk ðə stˈeɪbəl bˈɑːɹn dˈoːɹ ˈæftɚ ðə hˈɔːɹs hɐz bˈoʊltᵻd ɪz stˈoʊlən/
to try to prevent something bad from happening after it has already happened
square one
/skwˈɛɹ wˌʌn/
the point or situation from which one starts to do something
back to the drawing board
/bˈæk tə ðə dɹˈɔːɪŋ bˈoːɹd/
used when one has to return to the beginning of a process and redo the process after one's effort has failed
from pillar to post
/fɹʌm pˈɪlɚ tə pˈoʊst/
from one place or situation to another without a clear purpose or direction, often in a chaotic or haphazard manner
to paint / gild the lily
/pˈeɪnt ɡˈɪld ðə lˈɪli/
to unnecessarily adorn or decorate something that is already beautiful or perfect
a / the (brick) wall
/hˈɪt bˈæŋ bˈiːt wˈʌnz hˈɛd ɐɡˈɛnst ɐ bɹˈɪk wˈɔːl/
a point where it is unlikely or too difficult to make any progress
to bark at the moon
/bˈɑːɹk æt ðə mˈuːn/
to take part in a protest that has no chance of reaching success
to bark up the wrong tree
/bˈɑːɹk ˌʌp ðə ɹˈɔŋ tɹˈiː/
to make a wrong decision about how to achieve or deal with something
to beat a dead horse
/bˈiːt ɐ dˈɛd hˈɔːɹs/
to waste one's time and energy for something that has no chance of achieving success or yeilds no profit
to bring sand to the beach
/bɹˈɪŋ sˈænd tə ðə bˈiːtʃ/
to do something that is considered to be redundant or useless
to come / go / turn full circle
/kˈʌm ɡˌoʊ tˈɜːn fˈʊl sˈɜːkəl/
to go through a series of efforts or actions only to end up back where one started, highlighting the lack of progress or meaningful change
toing and froing
/tʊɪŋ ænd fɹˈoʊɪŋ/
the act of going back and forth between two places or doing something repeatedly without making much progress
like nailing Jell-O to the wall
/lˈaɪk nˈeɪlɪŋ dʒˈɛlˈoʊ tə ðə wˈɔːl/
used to refer to a task that is s very difficult or impossible to do
like pouring water in / into a sieve
/lˈaɪk pˈoːɹɪŋ wˈɔːɾɚ ɪn ˌɪntʊ ɐ sˈɪv/
used when someone is doing something that is pointless or ineffective
like talking to a (brick) wall
/lˈaɪk tˈɔːkɪŋ tʊ ɐ bɹˈɪk wˈɔːl/
used to describe a frustrating or unproductive conversation with someone who is unresponsive or uninterested
the cake / game is not worth the candle
/ðə kˈeɪk ɡˈeɪm ɪz nˌɑːt wˈɜːθ ðə kˈændəl/
the outcome or reward of a task is not worth the effort or resources required to achieve it
to tread water
/tɹˈɛd wˈɔːɾɚ/
to fail to make any progress in a job or task
Langeek no picture


You've reviewed all the words in this lesson!

Upgrade to premium

In order to continue your learning process you must upgrade to the premium plan