Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

4 Ways to Say "I'm Working Hard" with English Idioms

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Mon, Oct 21, 2013 @ 07:54 AM

How to say I'm working hard in English idiomsAre you working hard these days?

If you are an international student in the US, you are probably having mid-semester exams.

Maybe you are living outside of the US and you are staying up late every night to work on your English!

Would you like to be able to express how hard you are working using more than just one simple sentence?

In today's lesson you will learn 4 new ways to say this to someone in natural English.






1) "I'm burning the candle at both ends"


burning the candle at both endsThis means that you are staying up late into the night and getting up early to start on the work in the morning.

Sample conversation:

A: Hey you look tired, what happened to you?

B: I know. I've been burning the candle at both ends trying to get my side-business going.

A: Well, you better take care of yourself. Why don't you take the weekend off?

B: Maybe I'll do that, thanks.





2) "She goes the extra mile"

to go the extra mile English idiomWhen someone "goes the extra mile" they do more than is expected of them, especially when they are working and taking directions from someone else.

Sample conversation:

A: I can't believe you already finished this project and you have done much more than we asked you to do. You have really gone the extra mile.

B: Oh not a problem. I like to make sure that all of my work is high quality so I was happy to work hard on it.




3) "He is pulling his own weight"

 pulls his own weight English expressionThis means that he does his fair share of the work. He doesn't force others to do his work for him.


Sample conversation:


A: I don't think that everyone on our team is pulling their weight.

B: I know, it seems like the two of us are the only ones actually doing any work.



4) "I am buckling down"

 buckle down hard work EnglishWhen we say that we are "buckling down" we mean that we are focusing and putting a lot of energy into a project or a task.


A: Ok, I have been goofing off all semester but the midterm exam is next week and I really need to buckle down. Will you help me study?

B: I guess so but you better be ready to work hard if we study together

A: Sure, I will. That sounds great.



Do you know any other ways to say "Work hard"? If so, please leave your ideas in the comment section below! If you have any specific blog lesson requests, please let me know in the comments or email me at


Thanks for reading and keep working hard on your English!


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Photo credits: Phil Roeder, Patrick Feller, US Official Navy Imagery, maveric2003

Topics: English Lessons, English Idioms

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