English Idiom – Hit the nail on the head

Meaning – To be exactly right about something. Find exactly the right answer. If you hit the nail on the head you are accurate about a situation.

  • This idiom originates from woodworking. If you want to hammer a nail into something accurately you need to ensure the hammer hits the head of the nail squarely.
  • This phrase can also be shortened to “nail on head”. Or “Nail. On. Head.” if you want to emphasize the accuracy while writing.
Usage:

When could you use this idiom?

  • You guess a large number exactly.
  • A person is able to accurately describe a situation.
  • Somebody is explaining a situation correctly.
  • A new friend correctly guesses your age!
Example:
  • “We haven’t been able to figure out how to solve the housing issues for a long time. The politician last night hit the nail on the head – we need to go back to square one to find a solution.”
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Discuss:
  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?
What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.