In hot water

Most Important Level 5

"to be in hot water"

Meaning: to be in trouble or a difficult situation in which you are likely to be punished or criticized

Similar Expressions
  • I am in hot water with my boss.
  • I am in trouble with my boss.
  • My boss is angry with me.
When do we use it?

We use this expression to show that a person is in trouble because of something they did. We usually use this expression when somebody did something wrong or made a mistake and now they are in trouble or a difficult situation.

How do we use it?

Use this expression after a "be verb" to describe a person's situation.
  • He is in hot water.
We can use "with + person" to show who is angry at the person.
  • The man is in hot water with his wife because he forgot her birthday.
  • She is in hot water with her boss because she has been 3 days in a row.
Example English Conversations

A) I am in hot water with my manager at work.
B) What did you do?
A) I forgot about a meeting with an important client and I didn't show up.
B) That is not good. You are probably in really hot water.
A) I know. I might actually get fired for this.

A) Mark can't golf with us this weekend.
B) Why?
A) He is in hot water with his girlfriend.
B) What did he do?
A) He told her she complained too much.

Adding expressions and idioms to your vocabulary will help you become a better English speaker. You do not need to learn a million expressions or idioms at one time! If you study new English expressions and idioms steadily and consistently, then your vocabulary will get better and better. Use these free English lessons to expand your vocabulary and learn useful English idioms, slang, and expressions.