Sports fans worldwide are watching the Women’s World Cup, which kicked off June 6 in Canada. Twenty-four nations, representing the world’s best women’s football teams, have been competing for a spot in the final on July 5.

You don’t have to play football — or soccer, as it is called in the U.S. — to speak the language of the world’s most popular sport. Just use any of these common expressions that take their inspiration from soccer:

Keep one’s eye on the ball

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What it means: To maintain complete attention on a task or goal.
In conversation: “I know the workload at medical school is tough, but it’s important to keep your eye on the ball. Remember, you’ll be a doctor in a few years.”

Kick (something) around

(© AP Images)

What it means: To discuss an idea informally, often in a group.
In conversation: “We need to figure out the best way to advertise our newest product. Let’s kick some ideas around this afternoon at our meeting.”

Blow the whistle (on someone)

(© AP Images)

What it means: To report someone’s wrongdoing to an authority; to report a corrupt or dishonest situation.
In conversation: “Jeff was stealing money from the company. I had to blow the whistle on him. I reported him to management.”

Know the score

(© AP Images)

What it means: To be aware of all the important facts of a situation.
In conversation: “Don’t try to lie to me. I know the score.”

Get the ball rolling

(© AP Images)

What it means: To do something that begins an activity; to make a start.
In conversation: “My essay is due in a week. I need to get the ball rolling and write it.”

Be on the ball

(© AP Images)

What it means: Mentally sharp or alert; well-prepared; efficient.
In conversation: “Seoyeon is an organized and intelligent employee. She’s really on the ball.”

Learn more

Other idioms common in everyday American speech include those derived from the ocean, money and trees.

ShareAmerica offers a series of everyday conversations that include audio clips to help you practice English. The American English website offers a variety of free resources for learners and teachers of English. The American English Facebook page posts learning materials for English-language learners daily.