1. BRIGHT LIGHT/SUN/ETC.
This is the most typical meaning of the word “bright,” which is used to describe a light that is too strong. It can be used to describe lights, the sun, a surface, etc.
- I was walking through the neighborhood at night, when a bright light suddenly shone in my face.
- The sun is too bright for me to drive right now.
- The glare from the window was so bright I had to move somewhere else.
2. BRIGHT KID/STUDENT/CHILD/ETC.
The word “bright” can also mean “smart” or “intelligent.” Usually, it’s used to describe younger people, so it might be a good synonym for “precocious.”
- You have such a bright child. He really catches onto things quickly.
- My whole class is full of bright students.
- To be honest, she’s not quite the brightest of the bunch.
3. BRIGHT COLORS
Can you have bright colors or dark colors. Usually, dark colors are exactly how they sound: muddled and blackish. Bright colors, meanwhile, are vivid and saturated.
This is slightly different from pastel colors, which look unsaturated and washed out. A stop sign, for example, is a bright red.
- I didn’t like the dress because it had too many bright colors.
- I wonder how they get this candy to be such a bright green.
- The fireworks exploded into bright red and blue specks in the dark.
4. BRIGHT IDEA
This is another way to say a “smart idea.” However, it can often be used sarcastically to indicate that something is common sense.
A: Let’s divvy up the research individually and then regroup later to review what we’ve found.
B: There’s a bright idea!
A: Maybe I shouldn’t pull an all-nighter before this test.
B: Bright idea, Einstein.
- Hey, here’s a bright idea: let’s not wander through the cemetery in the middle of the night and go somewhere else. (Sarcastic)
5. BRIGHT SMILE
If someone has a bright smile, it means they have a very happy, attractive smile.
- You have such a bright smile in this picture!
- Is Toby the one with red hair and the really bright smile?
- I wish my smile was as bright and perky as yours.
6. BRIGHT FUTURE/PROSPECTS
If someone tells you you have a bright future, it means they think your future is promising or full of potential. “Bright prospects” is a similar phrase, though it refers to a more specific situation.
- Don’t worry too much about finding a specific job. You have such a bright future ahead of you!
- Growing up, people always told me I had a bright future. I’m not so sure anymore.
- I see some bright prospects opening up to you in this business deal.
7. BRIGHT AND EARLY
This expression is another way to say very early in the morning. Usually, this collocation is used with the verbs to wake up or to be up.
- You should go to bed soon. We need to be up bright and early tomorrow for the orientation.
- Well, you’re up bright and early today. What’s happening?
- I like to get up bright and early so I can be more productive in the morning.
8. BRIGHT SIDE
The bright side of a situation is the optimistic side or positive perspective. You might hear people tell you to “look on the bright side” of things.
In fact, this collocation is the basis for Monty Python’s famous song “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Notice that we use the phrase look on, not look at.
A: I can’t believe that dealer ripped me off like that.
B: I know, but look on the bright side. Now you’ll be careful for scams like that in the future.
- Sometimes it’s hard to look on the bright side of things, but it’ll make any situation easier to handle.
- Don’t worry, there’s always a bright side to these things.
9. TURN ON/OFF ONE’S BRIGHTS
The term brights here refers to the brighter headlights setting on automobiles used to see when it’s especially dark or hard to see.
- Turn off your brights! The other drivers can’t see anything.
- You should only turn on your brights when necessary.
- Are my brights on?