Skip to main content

English Idioms

“A Fish Out of Water”

A Fish Out of Water


  • A person who feels uncomfortable in a new situation or environment.

Frequency of Use: Medium to High

Sample Sentences

  1. Michael is a fish out of water in our class. He looks so nervous.
  2. My brother looked like a fish out of water at the party because he didn’t know anyone.
  3. Did you feel like a fish out of water during the class activity? Everyone could speak Spanish but you.
  4. Everyone in our family can play golf well but me, so I feel like a fish out of water when we go to the golf course.

Conversation Questions

  1. Have you ever felt like a fish out of water at school or in any sports activities? Describe the situation.
  2. What can you do for people at school or at work who don’t fit in and seem like a fish out of water?

Speaking Situation

You are a university student, and your older brother wants to move into your apartment with your two other roommates. However, your brother is like a fish out of water. He doesn’t like music, his favorite hobby is studying grammar, and he only talks about 15th-century poetry. As a result, he has nothing in common with any of your friends, and he seems a little down these days because of this. What advice can you give him to connect with other people better?

Possible Answer

“I know you like poetry and grammar, but most college students are more interested in pop music and culture. Why not take down the grammar posters and put up a poster of a band that our roommates like?”

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. 

Try More Free Listening at