Idiomatic Vocabulary for IELTS (8 of 25): ‘That was a real eye-opener!’

Manilla slum.jpg

Every language has phrases and sentences that cannot be understood by just knowing the individual words. This is known as idiomatic language, and it is a very important part of any language, including English, and is very useful for IELTS speaking. Here’s an example.

To be a real eye-opener

This describes an event or experience that is surprising, and shows you something that you did not already know. 

This phrase is useful because it can describe any very surprising thing or event or experience which you have encountered. Admittedly, many people lead quite conventional lives, without encountering really interesting things, but you never know. This phrase is often useful for when describing event when traveling to other countries. Because this phrase involves so much personal reaction, it is more for spoken, not written English.

Here are some example sentences in IELTS Speaking.

“Oh, when I went into Libya it was a real eye-opener. I realised what a police-state was like, and the word ‘democracy’ finally took some meaning for me.”

“The poverty in South America was a real eye-opener. It’s just in-your-face, every day, and the beggars can be really aggressive.”

“In Manilla, I had the opportunity to sleep one night in a slum, and I’ll tell you, that experience was a real eye-opener.” [See the picture at the top.]

By the way, you can find out more about me at .