Are You 'On Thin Ice' in English Idioms?

The phrase 'on thin ice' is used to describe a situation where one is in a precarious or risky position, especially where there is danger of offending or upsetting someone. 🚀

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The History of 'On Thin Ice'

This idiom originates from the literal danger of standing on ice that is too thin to support one's weight — a situation that could lead to a fall through the ice into cold waters below.

Interesting Facts About 'On Thin Ice'

The idiom has been used metaphorically for centuries to express the concept of risk in various social, political, and personal contexts.

Examples and Usage of 'On Thin Ice'

Let's look at how 'on thin ice' is used in sentences:

  • After the argument with his boss, John knew he was on thin ice at work.
  • If you keep coming to work late, you're going to be on thin ice with the management.
  • She was on thin ice with her friends after she broke their trust.

Applying 'On Thin Ice' in Conversational English

This idiom is useful for indicating a warning or a need for caution without directly stating the consequences.

FAQs About 'On Thin Ice'

Can 'On Thin Ice' Have Positive Connotations?

Typically, no. The idiom usually implies a warning or potential danger, not a positive outcome.

Is 'On Thin Ice' Common in Everyday English?

Yes, it's a well-known idiom used in both formal and informal contexts to imply risk or caution.

How Can ESL Learners Practice This Idiom?

Through role-playing scenarios or writing exercises where they must convey a sense of risk or caution.

Is It Appropriate to Use 'On Thin Ice' in Professional Settings?

While it can be used professionally, it's important to consider the tone and context as it may imply criticism or a warning.

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This piece reflects the expertise of Metkagram's team of linguists. Explore our language learning innovations on our LinkedIn page.

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