Idioms about Decisions

1. Take it or leave it
  • To either accept or reject something.

I can pay only $100 for this shirt. Take it or leave it.

That’s my final offer. Take it or leave it.

‘Do you have any other bikes for rent?’ ‘Sorry, that’s the last one in the shop. Take it or leave it.’

2. Sit on the fence
  • To delay or avoid making a decision.

Moving out and starting an independent life has both pros and cons. She can’t make up her mind. She’s been sitting on the fence for months.

Both Alex and Michael are very nice. She doesn’t know which one she should choose. She’s sitting on the fence.

It’s time you said yes or no to his proposal. Don’t sit on the fence.

3. Take a back seat
  • To give the power to someone else and take a less important position.

Why do I always have to take the back seat while he always has the right to make decisions?

It’s time for me to take the back seat. I’m too old for that position.

Women used to take the back seat in the family.

4. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
  • You should hold on tightly to something you already have rather than risk losing it by trying to get something better.

‘I’m going to break up with Eric and start dating Alex.’ ‘Are you crazy? You have no idea what Alex is like. Remember, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.’

That’s such an amazing offer but I’m not going to quit my current job. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

It’s too risky. I’d rather settle down here than move to Canada alone. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

5. My way or the highway
  • People have to do what you ask. Otherwise, they will have to leave or not participate.

He has only one rule for his team: It’s my way or the highway.

How can she be so conservative? I don’t like her “my way or the highway” management style.

In my family, Dad is always the one who makes decisions. ‘My way or the highway’ is what he usually says to us.

6. Weigh the pros and cons
  • To consider carefully the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision.

Having weighed all the pros and cons, she decided to break up with him.

Don’t rush into marriage. You have to weigh the pros and cons before you make up your mind.

The government weighed all the pros and cons of the new project.

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