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English Idioms

“Let the cat out of the bag”

Let the Cat Out of the Bag


  • Reveal a secret by mistake

Frequency of Use: Medium to High

Sample Sentences

  1. My brother let the cat out of the bag and told everyone his plans for his wedding.
  2. The boss let the cat out of the bag about the company bonuses, and everyone was excited about the news.
  3. Why did you let the cat out of the bag at breakfast? I wasn’t going to tell the family about the trip until this evening.

Conversation Questions

  1. If someone lets the cat out of the bag about these subjects, how would you feel, and how would you respond?
  • You dropped out of school.
  • You have a new job.
  • You are celebrating your birthday.
  • You are in a new relationship.

Speaking Situation

Your brother told you last night that he plans to drop out of school and travel around the world for a year instead of continuing his college studies. During dinner tonight, you let the cat out of the bag and told your parents, thinking that they had known something of your brother’s plans.  They were really upset, especially since your brother sold his new car (the car they gave him recently) to pay for his trip. Now, what can you say to smooth out the situation? What are some advantages and disadvantages of his decision to go on this trip?

Possible Answer

“First, going overseas could him the chance to develop some independence away from the family.”

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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