Earth idioms 

These earth idioms are great expressions to help expand your vocabulary.

Before we begin, "what on earth" is an idiom?

Idioms are a group of words that have a fixed meaning that is different than if you looked up the words separately in the dictionary. 


Infographic with a drawing of a view from the earth from outer space with a satellite surrounding it with the 9 idioms featured on this page with definitions and example sentences.

More sentence examples

It's useful to review more than one example sentence when you learn a new idiom. Here are additional examples for each idiom from the info-graphic:


bring back / come down to earth:  to make someone who is overly optimistic or fantasizing about something to become more realistic.

  • She's really pretty but when she goes to New York and sees the other models, she'll come down to earth again.
  • I really wanted to quit my job and start my own business but my credit card debt really brought me back to earth.
  • He thinks he's a big deal in junior high but when he starts high school in the fall he'll come back down to earth.  


go to the ends of the earth:  to make every effort possible to do something, especially when there are problems or difficulties.

  • My neighbor goes to the ends of the earth to help me after school and weekends because she knows my parents don't even speak English. 
  • I would have gone to the ends of the earth for my wife but she said she just doesn't love me anymore.
  • If you need a new personal assistant, my daughter would go to the ends of the earth working for you.

heaven / hell on earth:  an extremely pleasant or unpleasant situation or circumstance.

  • My roommates are total slobs and our apartment is like hell on earth.
  • Have you been to Bali? I swear it's heaven on earth.
  • These Japanese souffle pancakes are heaven on earth.

move heaven and earth (to do something):  to do everything possible to do something, especially when there are problems or difficulties. 

  • I moved heaven and earth to get my daughter into a private school and she got expelled two months later.
  • My husband moved heaven and earth to build our house and it was destroyed last week by the California wild fires.
  • Are you really willing to move heaven and earth to become a professional golfer?


salt of the earth:  a regular person who is respected because they are honest and good.

  • When I arrived here and didn't speak English, these people welcomed and helped me a lot.  They are the salt of the earth. 
  • It's rare to find someone who's the salt of the earth in big cities like London.
  • Unfortunately, he died last year. Everyone at his funeral said he was the salt of the earth.

earth to someone:  used to get the attention of someone who is not paying attention or who is daydreaming.

  • Earth to Jonathan! I'm not going to tell you again to turn off the TV and go to bed.
  • Earth to Mary... Why aren't you listening to me?
  • What did you say? Earth to Nick, I just told you twice that my flight arrives at 5:00 pm.

what / why / how / when / where / who on earth:  used to add emphasis to questions, especially to suggest that there is no obvious or easy answer to the question being asked.

  • I locked the dog in her cage. How on earth did she get out?
  • Who on earth is that wearing a string bikini to swim practice?
  • Where on earth have you been?  I've been waiting here for almost an hour!

down to earth:  someone who is realistic and practical; someone who is calm and unpretentious.  

  • She's your twin?  OMG, she's so down to earth compared to you.
  • I've got the best boss in the world. He's really down to earth and supportive.
  • We could have hired the temp who was down to earth but instead the director brought his neurotic niece in to be the receptionist.  


disappear / vanish off the face of the earth:  to suddenly and completely go away from sight.  

  • Have you seen my sunglasses? They've vanished off the face of the earth.
  • After dinner, everyone disappears off the face of the earth so they don't have to help out with doing the dishes.
  • I'll only go with you to the party if you promise not to disappear off the face of the earth like the last time.

You might like these other idiom infographics

Your turn to practice!

The best way to learn new vocabulary is to use it in your own practice sentences. You can write your own sentences in the comments below and I will correct any errors.


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