Useful Expressions: Describing Love and Relationships

Useful Expression for IELTS Speaking is a document that summarizes the most used phrases in the IELTS Speaking section (note that these phrases can only be used in spoken language). 

Common small topics in the topic of Love and Relationships

  • Love and Heartbreak
  • Marriage
  • Get along with people

1. Love and Heartbreak

  1. (to be) the apple of my | someone’s eye
    Meaning: someone that is loved dearly or their favourite person
    Example: My sister is definitely my father’s favourite child, she has always been the apple of
    his eye.
    I met my girlfriend two years ago, and she has been the apple of my eye ever since
    then.
  2. (to) break someone’s heart
    Meaning:to cause someone a lot of emotional sadness, usually when a romantic relationship ends
    Example: She broke my heart when she told me that she didn’t love me anymore.
    Q: What’s wrong with Mary these days? A: She’s got a broken heart.
  3. (to be) crazy about someone | mad about someone
    Meaning: to be really keen on, really like, or love someone (or something)
    Example: I’m absolutely crazy about Judy, I can’t stop thinking about her.
    I’m really mad about playing football, I practise every day.
  4. (to) fall for someone
    Meaning: to fall in love with, or be totally infatuated by someone
    Example: My parents have a really great relationship. My mother fell for my father when
    they were in high school.
  5. (to be) head over heels in love with someone
    Meaning: to be really in love with someone
    Example: They seem to be head over heels in love with each other, they spend every moment together.
  6. (to be) love at first sight
    Meaning: to fall in love with someone the first moment you see them
    Example: When my parents first met they said it was love at first sight. They really have a
    great relationship.

2. Marriage

  1. (to) get hitched
    Meaning: to get married
    Example: My brother is finally about to get hitched. My parents have been putting a lot of
    pressure on him about getting married for years now, they are quite relieved.
  2. (to) pop the question
    Meaning: to ask someone to marry you
    Example: I’m going to pop the question to my girlfriend when we go on holiday this summer.
  3. (to) tie the knot
    Meaning: to get married
    Example: My sister and her boyfriend just tied the knot last month. It was a great celebration.

3. Getting along with people

  1. (to be) in someone’s bad books
    Meaning: when someone is angry, upset, or not happy with you because of something that
    you have said or done.
    Example: After I told Amy that she was fat, I was in her bad books for weeks, even though I
    was just joking.
    I have to be careful at work these days. I’m in the boss’ bad books for not working
    hard enough.
  2. (to be) in someone’s good books
    Meaning:
    Example:
    If you’re in someone’s good books, they are pleased with you.
  3. (to be) like chalk and cheese | as different as chalk and cheese
    Meaning: when two people (or two things) are very different from each other, or have nothing in common
    Example: Me and my brother are like chalk and cheese. He’s really outgoing and social, while I’m a really quiet person and prefer to spend time alone.
  1. (to be) like night and day
    Meaning: when two people or two things are very different from each other (similar to like
    chalk and cheese)
    Example: Although my girlfriend and I are like night and day, we somehow still have a great relationship.
  1. (to) hit it off
    Meaning: to meet someone for the first time and immediately get along really well with each other, or instantly become great friends
    Example: When my girlfriend and I met for the first time, we really hit it off. We spend ages talking about
  1. (to) kiss and make up
    Meaning: when two people forgive each other and become friendly again after an argument
    Example: We had a huge argument last week, but we kissed and made up and everything is
    good now.
  2. (to) see eye to eye
    Meaning: to have the same opinion as someone about things (commonly used in the negative)
    Example: Me and my best mate Jerry see eye to eye on everything, we get along really great.
    The boss and I don’t really see eye to eye about everything, and it causes a few
    problems sometimes.
  3. (to) scratch someone’s back
    Meaning: to do a favour for someone (usually in order to receive a favour in return – Scratch
    my back and I’ll scratch yours)
    Example: My neighbour asked me to look after her kids for the evening while she goes on a
    date. I don’t mind, she’s scratched my back before many times.
  4. (to) think the world of someone | something
    Meaning: to highly respect or greatly admire someone or something
    Example: Little Jimmy thinks the world of his father, he’s always talking about how great his dad is.
  1. (to have | to be in) a war of words
    Meaning: when to groups have a long dispute or argument with each other, often with strong criticism or raised voices (i.e yelling)
    Example: I’ve got no money but I can’t ask my parents for a favour right now because we have been in a war of words lately about how much money I spend.

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