Similar idioms to “See the light”


The idiom see the light means to realize or recognize something, or to come to an understanding about something. When you see the light, it implies that you previously did not know something. It is only because of some event that you suddenly understand a key concept.

For example, a child who does not understand his parent’s requests to always thank people when they help them can see the light when they help someone and do not receive thanks. They then realize that, by not thanking someone, the person can come off as very rude.

  • After I saw the light, I started to work harder at getting better grades than before.
  • When my best friend was reaping the rewards of 10 years of hard work and saving money, I saw the light and began to change my daily habits.


Some idioms related to understanding and going through a realization include:

1. See the point of something: to see the purpose of something and why it is being done

  • I was unsure about your request but my significant other helped me see the point of moving away.

2. Be on the ball: To fully understand something and be able to handle many different tasks at once

  • It was a good thing that Vincent was on the ball when the crisis happened or the company probably would have had to file for bankruptcy.

3. Beat one’s brains out: To try very hard to understand a difficult concept, or one that you are initially opposed to

  • After my dad complained that no one in our family understood him, my mom started to beat her brains out learning about the things he was interested in.

4. Can’t Make Heads or Tails of Something: To be unable to figure something out (as a coin, not being able to tell which side is the heads side and which is the tails)

  • I have been looking at this letter for the past hour trying to understand it, but I still can’t make heads or tails of it.

5. Put on your thinking cap: To get prepared to think about something or solve a problem

  • Alright class, I would like you to put on your thinking cap because our next word problem will be the hardest yet.

6. Come to your senses: To come to a realization about something that you were ignoring or rejecting before

  • I am thankful that the boss came to his senses about his project requests because what he originally wanted was ridiculous.

50 Popular English Idioms to Sound Like a Native Speaker

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