If someone has to answer for something, they have to accept responsibility for their actions.
“He will have to answer for his dishonesty.”
be that as it may
This expression means that what the speaker says may be true but it will not change the situation.
“OK. Fewer people may come because of the bad weather, but be that as it may, it’s too late to cancel the show.”
can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs
This expression means that it is impossible to make important changes without causing some unpleasant effects.
“Some people will lose their jobs after the merger, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.”
change the face of something
When an innovation, discovery or event changes the face of something, it alters it completely or in a major way.
“Social networks have changed the face of modern communication.”
chickens come home to roost
If you say that chickens have come home to roost, you mean that bad or embarrassing things done in the past by someone are now causing problems for that person.
“As tenants the couple were noisy and disorderly. Now they can’t find a place to rent. The chickens have come home to roost!”
come to a bad end
If someone comes to a bad end, their actions lead to disastrous consequences which are sometimes deserved or predictable.
“If that boy doesn’t change his ways, he’ll come to a bad end.”
come with the territory
To say that something comes with the territory means that it has to be accepted as part of a job or responsibility, even if it is unpleasant.
“A successful actor has to expect intensive media coverage – that comes with the territory!”
come what may
If you declare that you will do something come what may, you are saying that you will do it whatever the consequences may be.
“Come what may, I’m going to tell my mother-in-law what I think of her!”
When someone gets their comeuppance, they receive the treatment they deserve (usually punishment or retribution) for their behaviour or actions.
“Any pupils found bullying the newcomers will soon get their comeuppance.”
cut both ways
Something that cuts both ways has both a positive and a negative effect at the same time.
“Banning cars in the town centre can cut both ways: less traffic congestion but fewer customers in the shops.”
(the) devil to pay
This is a way of announcing that there will be trouble if something happens.
“Be careful. There’ll be the devil to pay if you break anything!”
even the score
When a person decides to even the score, they try to get their revenge on someone who has cheated or done them harm.
“When Jack discovered that Bob had cheated, he was determined to even the score.”
face the music
If you have to face the music, you have to accept the unpleasant consequences of your actions.
“He was caught stealing. Now he has to face the music.”
fall from grace
To say that someone has fallen from grace means that they have done something wrong, immoral or unacceptable, and as a result have lost their good reputation.
“The Finance Minister fell from grace as a result of a sex scandal.”
fall on one’s sword
If you fall on your sword, you accept the consequences of an unsuccessful or wrong action.
“The organiser of the referendum resigned when the poor results were announced. It was said that he ‘fell on his sword‘.”
get your fingers burnt
If someone gets their fingers burnt, they suffer as a result of an unsuccessful action and are nervous about trying again.
“He got his fingers burnt so badly in the last elections that he decided to withdraw from politics.”
open doors to/for
If something opens doors, it provides opportunities or possibilities for the future.
“A degree from a top university generally opens doors to major companies.”
one’s own undoing
If you do something that is the cause of your own failure, loss or downfall, it is your own undoing.
“If he continues to gamble like that, it will be his own undoing.”
pay dearly (for something)
If you pay dearly for something that you door say, you suffer a lot as a result of it.
“If you leave your job now, you may have to pay dearly for it.”
If something you do pays dividends, it brings advantages or rewards at a later date.
“The time he spent learning English paid dividends when he started looking for a job.”
(the) price you have to pay
The price you have to pay is what you have to endure in return for something you gain or achieve.
“Lack of privacy is the price you have to pay for being a celebrity.”
reap the harvest
If you reap the harvest, you benefit or suffer as a direct result of past actions.
“When he won his first match, he began to reap the harvest of all the hard training.”
(a) ripple effect
When an action has an effect on something, which in turn effects something else, it is said to have a ripple effect.
“An increase in the price of oil will have a ripple effect on the economy as a whole.”
(a) slap on the wrist
If you get a slap on the wrist, you receive mild punishment, or you are reprimanded for something you have done.
“I got a slap on the wrist from my wife for leaving the kitchen in a mess.”
stand in good stead
To say that a skill, an ability or previous experience will stand you in good stead means that it will be beneficial to you in the future.
“Being able to speak another language will stand you in good stead when looking for a job.”
stew in your own juice
If you let someone stew in their own juice, you leave them to worry about the consequences of their own actions.
“Ricky spent last night in prison for starting a fight – let him just stew in his own juice!”
take the rap
If you take the rap, you accept blame or punishment for something, even if you are not responsible.
“The whole class had to the take the rap for the disorder.”
tit for tat
This expression refers to an injury or insult given in return for one received.
“He kicked me, so I kicked him – it was tit for tat!”
you can’t unring a bell!
This expression means that you cannot undo what has been done, so you must live with the consequences of your actions.
“Be careful. Once you make the declaration it can’t be changed. You can’t unring a bell!”