Here are three idioms to talk about when something is not important. Okay? To say, “Don’t worry about it; it’s not important.”
The first one is a saying; it’s a saying where people say, “Don’t cry over spilt milk.”
It’s sort of a “wise saying”, sort of an idiom: don’t cry over spilt milk. It’s talking about a situation where, say, a child, a small child is drinking milk. And then they spill the milk, and then they cry, “Omigod! Spilled milk! Waaa!”
For a small child like one or two years old, it’s really important. “Omigod! I spilled my milk!” And then they cry.
But for an adult, if you spill your milk you probably wouldn’t cry over it. It’s not really that important. So, you spill your milk and you clean it up and… okay. It’s not really important, right?
So: don’t cry over spilt milk. Saying it’s not really important, it’s just something small like spilling milk, so don’t worry about it. Don’t cry over spilt milk.
Somebody might say, “Don’t worry about that, it’s just spilt milk.” Because they understand the meaning, the saying: don’t cry over spilt milk. So they’ll say, “This is just spilt milk so don’t worry about it.”
An interesting little thing about this idiom, it’s just spilt milk. I’m American and we say “spilled” s-p-i-l-l-e-d. British say “spilt” s-p-i-l-t. But this idiom, when I want to say this idiom I want to use British. I’m not sure why. “Don’t cry over spilt milk.” If I say “don’t cry over spilled milk” like American, it just doesn’t sound as good in my ear. I don’t know why. Even though I’m American, for this idiom I want to use “spilt” milk. Spilt. S-p-i-l-t. I don’t know why.
Don’t cry over spilt milk. Okay? It’s not important, it’s just spilt milk. Don’t worry about it.
Another really common way to talk about something being important or not important is to say it’s a really “big deal” or it’s not a “big deal.”
This is very, very common; I say this a lot. “It’s a really big deal!” It’s very, very important: it’s a big deal. Or, if it’s not important, it’s not a big deal. “Don’t worry about it; it’s not a big deal.”
One more is, “a drop in the bucket.” “It’s just a drop in the bucket- don’t worry about it.”
So you have a… imagine a bucket. A bucket holds water. You put water into a bucket to carry the water. But just a drop of water, into a big bucket, is not going to be important. Okay? It’s just a drop in the bucket. Meaning that was just a small thing, a small thing that happened. A small circumstance. But if you look at the big picture, if you look at everything, you see it’s not really important. It’s just a drop in the bucket. It’s not significant. It’s insignificant; it’s not important.
It’s just a drop in the bucket! It’s just spilt milk! Don’t worry about it- it’s not a big deal.
Okay! That’s three idioms to talk about something being important or not important.