Idiomatic Vocabulary for IELTS (9 of 25): ‘Fingers Crossed!’

Hand gestures.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 are two useful examples, which mean the same thing.

Fingers crossed

Knock on wood

As the picture at the top shows, we can make many shapes with our hands and fingers. Crossing your fingers …. as in this next photo …

Man with fingers crossed.jpg

… means, ‘I hope I have good luck’. Hence, just saying ‘Fingers crossed’ means this. And ‘knocking on wood’ has its meaning from an old superstition. So, these are things you say when you hope for something to happen.

These phrases are useful because we often wish for things to happen, and in the IELTS Speaking Test, we talk about our lives, our wishes, and our future hopes. These phrases are interchangeable, but are too individual and situational to be used in IELTS Writing.

Here are some example sentences in IELTS Speaking.

“Well, one day – fingers crossed – I can get a mainstream publisher interested in my novels.”

“The market in China could be huge, so – knock on wood – maybe I can get some books published there.”

[For students] “I hope to go to an overseas university, and – fingers crossed – hopefully my IELTS mark will be good enough.”

[For students] “My aim is to work for a big banking companies, and – knock on wood – it may happen in the near future.”

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