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HomeIELTS SpeakingVocabularyIELTS Speaking Vocabulary: Idioms about science and technology

IELTS Speaking Vocabulary: Idioms about science and technology

Idioms about Science and Technology

1. To be the brainchild of somebody

Meaning: (is) someone’s brainchild, including an original plan, invention, or idea or intellectual product.

Example: This new project is the brainchild of Sam, the winner of last year competition. 

2. To be light years away 

Meaning: from a very long time in the past, or it takes a long time to reach the goal in the future.

Example: It all happened when I was at college, which seems light years away.

3. A well-oiled machine 

Meaning: (person or organization) works very well or effectively.

Example: Sam and I have been working together in the office for so long, we’re like a well-oiled machine at this point.

4. It’s not rocket science

Meaning: not difficult, easy to implement, easy to understand.

Example: Have you solved that math problem? It’s not rocket science, you know.”

5. A cog in the machine

Meaning: small, does not bring much value in large organizations and companies

Example: He felt like he was a cog in the machine, so he quit his job and decided to do something different.

6. To reinvent the wheel 

Meaning: to waste time doing things that others have already done.

Example: Don’t bother reinventing the wheel with that issue. The other team has already solved the problem.

7. To blow a fuse

Meaning: angry, yelling at someone.

Example: If the kids spend all their pocket money without saving, their parents will blow a fuse.

8. To press/push one’s button

Meaning: the act of inciting an opponent’s reaction,

Note: this response can be either positive or negative.

Example 1: I couldn’t believe my brother did it again. He really knows how to push my button(= annoy me)

Example 2: When you reach my age, money won’t press your button anymore but family will. (excite you)

9. To pull the plug on somebody/something

Meaning: to cancel someone’s plans, projects

Example: The television company pulled the plug on the series after only five episodes

10. To be on the same wavelength 

Meaning: the mind is in harmony, the same thought, the same idea

Example: It’s good when everyone’s on the same wavelength. We can move forward to the next steps of the plan.

Sample Speaking Part 2

Describe a time when you encouraged someone to do something that he/she didn’t want to do.

You should say

  • Who he or she is?
  • What you encouraged him/her to do?
  • How he/she reacted?
  • And explain why you encouraged him/her?


I want to tell you this one time I encourage my friend Tom to step outside his comfort zone. It was last year when he and I were working together on a project in our company. Our boss created a competition in the company on developing a design for our website, with the prize money being up to $1000. At first, Tom didn’t want to participate because he thought he didn’t have the skills and ideas, but then I told him it wasn’t rocket science or anything, if we win, we could use the money on travelling. He was fascinated by the idea and agreed to try. During the first 2 weeks, we worked like a well-oiled machine, but then we got into some minor troubles. I forgot to read the rules carefully, and later we found out that our website layout did not meet the requirements of the competition. So after 2 days of trial, our boss pulled the plug on our projectand we were eliminated. Tom didn’t blow a fuse at me for my mistakes, but instead, he laughed and said it was fun. He later thanked me for encouraging him to join this because he had learned a lot during the competition. 


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