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English Idioms

“Beat Around the Bush”

Beat Around the Bush


  • Speak indirectly
  • Avoid talking about certain topics

Frequency of Use: Medium to High

Sample Sentences

  1. Don’t beat around the bush and tell me honestly why you lost your job.
  2. Brandon always beats around the bush when I ask him about his love life.
  3. Why do you always start beating around the bush if I bring up your school life? Just tell it to us straight.
  4. You need to quit beating around the bush and open up about your problems if you want your relationships to improve.

Conversation Questions

  1. In what situations do people ever beat around the bush and avoid talking about certain topics (relationship problems, job loss, personal mistakes)?
  2. How can you learn to open up when problems come up with a roommate or friend instead of beating around the bush and avoiding the problem?

Speaking Situation

You are out on a date at a restaurant, and while you are eating, you notice that your date has food in her/his teeth. You want to say something, but you realize that you can’t speak frankly about the situation. You are afraid of embarrassing a person you really like. Instead, you beat around the bush and talk about other things.

What are some things people can do in this situation instead of beating around the bush?

Possible Answer

“You could pretend that nothing is wrong and go on with the date.”

Language Activity

Sometimes, learners know the meaning of an idiom, but they don’t know how to use it correctly in conversation or writing. Thus, this activity checks your grammatical accuracy with the idiom so you become more confident in using it. 

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