It is called idiomatic pair because of the two main words in one idiom either it’s the same word or not. Most of them are joined by using the conjunction “and.”

The following examples are some of the most common idiomatic pairs which are used by many English speakers today.


idiomatic pair example

Alive and kicking
* active and healthy.

All in all
* overall; mostly.

Back and forth
* in one direction and then the other repeatedly; from one place to another repeatedly.

Black and white
* absolutely right or wrong, good or bad, with no grades between them.


idiomatic pair example-1

Bright and breezy
* confident and cheerful.

Crash and burn
* Literally, to crash violently; to fail at something completely and dramatically.

Cut and dried
* clear and definite; completely settled or decided.

First and foremost
* first to be dealt with and most important.

For better or worse
* whether something is good or bad.


idiomatic pair example-2

Free and easy
* calm and relaxed; casual.

Give and take
* the way in which two people or groups in a relationship accept that they cannot have everything that they want and that they must sometimes give the other person or group what they want.

High and dry
* abandoned; unsupported.

Meek and mild
* quiet, gentle, and always ready to do what other people want them to do, without expressing their own opinions.

More or less
* somewhat; approximately; a phrase used to express vagueness or uncertainty.

Now or never
* must do something now because you will not get another opportunity to do it.

Pros and cons
* the positive (“pros”) and negative (“cons”) aspects of something.


idiomatic pair example-3

Safe and sound
* safe from danger and free from injury or harm.

Short and sweet
* brief and pleasant.

Sooner or later
* something that it will happen at some time in the future, even though it might take a long time.

Spick and span
* totally clean and/or organized.

Take it or leave it
* accept or reject it, but make a decision, for this offer is final.

Then and there
* at that exact place and moment in time.

To and fro
* back and forth; from one place to another; toward and away.


idiomatic pair example-4

Ups and downs
* good times and bad times, successes and failures.

Wear and tear
* damage or loss of quality because of normal use.

Wine and dine
* to treat someone to an expensive meal of the type that includes fine wines; to entertain someone lavishly.


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