Today is going to be a busy day. I have to go to the supermarket, attend a yoga class, pick up a package at the post office, prepare dinner, and write a blog post … and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Watch today’s episode, where Dara explains how to use this common English idiom in context.
The tip of an iceberg is the bit that we see, the bit above the water. But below the tip of the iceberg, there is much, much more. Most of the iceberg, in fact, is below the water.
For this reason, when we say, “It’s just the tip of the iceberg,” we mean it’s just a small part of something much larger – that is, it’s just a small but visible part of a bigger problem, opportunity, issue, etc.
Let’s look at a few examples to make this clearer:
- The plight of polar bears is terrible, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Whole ecosystems are collapsing, and we’re in real danger of killing off all life on this planet – including us.
- Our sales are down 20%, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Unless there’s a huge turnaround, we’re going to go out of business in the next six months.
- A: Wow, my YouTube video reached a million views! People must really like my song!
- B: That’s just the tip of the iceberg, Justin! You’re going to be a superstar!
So there we are. Can you use this phrase in a sentence of your own? If so, let us know in the comments section below.
Read the following prompts and practice using today’s idiom.
- How many tasks do you need to do today? List them.
- What goals do you want to achieve in your life?
- What talents do you feel your best friend, child, or partner has?
- Which tourist attractions would you most like to visit in your lifetime?