1. Work the System: To take advantage of the system, often in an unethical way, to get what you want. (ex: Once elected, the corrupt politician began to use his power to work the system and increase his personal fortune).
2. In the Works: When an item or project is currently being produced or developed. (ex: While the band was touring for their newest album, they revealed that their next album was in the works and would soon be available.)
3. Work(s) like a charm: When something functions perfectly. (ex: After his friend fixed his computer, it worked like a charmfor the rest of the year.)
4. Work Wonders: To have a very positive effect to solve a problem. (ex: He soon discovered that listening to RealLife Radio every day worked wonders for his listening comprehension)
5. Put to Work: To assign a job or to make somebody work [who was previously inactive] (ex: His school vacation didn’t last long, as his parents soon put him to work in the family business.)
6. Out of Work: To be unemployed, or to not have a job [when one previously had a job] (ex:After losing his job last year, he was out of work for 6 months)
7. All in a Day’s Work: Used to express that something is very routine (even though it’s often difficult), and it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. (ex: You may say this after finishing a day filled with difficult tasks that are expected in your job.)
8. All Work and No Play (Makes Jack a Dull Boy): When one is working so hard that they don’t have the time to enjoy life or cultivate joy for living.
9. Piece of Work: An expression meaning that somebody is difficult to get along with in a complex way. Usually said with some degree of disgust. (ex/common collocation: After getting upset with a person for mistreating you in a clever way, you might say “she/he’s a real piece of work.”)
10. Dirty Work: The work nobody else want’s to do. “To do somebody’s dirty work” is to do the unethical, dishonest work that the person doesn’t want to do.(i.e. A mob boss might have somebody do their dirty work- i.e. kill people, get money, conduct deals, etc)