The meaning of – The icing on the cake

Sometimes, when you are speaking English, it’s really fun to just slip in an English expression and impress people with your English level! However, to the native speaker, these can sound very strange if not used correctly. So my Meaning of  posts are there to help you use these chunks of language in a way that sounds natural. Today’s post will help you to use ‘The icing on the cake’ in everyday conversation.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The icing on the cake is a great English expression for describing how a good situation became great….or how a bad situation got even worse.

FOR EXAMPLE
Perhaps you have a new job. Everything is great about this job – the hours, the people, the location – and you’ve just found out your salary will increase too so that is the icing on the cake!
Or perhaps you went to a party last night and you didn’t know anyone there, the music was awful, you lost your phone and then you missed the last bus home – the bus is the icing on the cake!

HOW CAN I USE IT IN A CONVERSATION?
You say to your friend

I’m so excited about my new job. It’s fantastic. Oh and I didn’t tell you about the icing on the cake – It’s better money too!

You say to your friend

Last night was a disaster. The party was rubbish and I lost my phone but the icing on the cake was when I had to walk home in the rain because I missed the bus!

CHALLENGE
Can you think of other situations where you might use this expression? If you have any ideas, add your thoughts at the bottom of this post 🙂

Published by

TheEnglishEnglishTeacher

Nicki is a Cambridge qualified, experienced English teacher for foreign learners. She loves helping English learners to learn real English and communicate with confidence!

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