Most Popular Idioms List

Index of Common Phrases = Today's English Idioms and Phrases

Today's Idiom = "Barking Up The Wrong Tree"
 Send Me The GoEnglish Weekly Preview of English Idioms 

Barking Up The Wrong Tree ( looking for something in the wrong place ... )

"Barking Up The Wrong Tree"

When you are looking for something that is not where you are looking, you are "barking up the wrong tree."

Example: "I know you think I stole your umbrella. But really, I don't have it. You are barking up the wrong tree."

You are like a dog that is barking up at a tree that has nothing in it. This may also mean trying to find the answer to some problem by using the wrong approach.

Example: "I have been trying to solve this one problem for an hour. I really do not know how to do it." Reply: "Yes, I can see that. You've been barking up the wrong tree."

You are "barking up the wrong tree" when you are trying to find something, but you are looking in the wrong place.

Bank On Something

Bathed in Light

Pocket English Idioms by

  Send Me The GoEnglish Weekly Preview of English Idioms  
 Your e-mail address:
 Any question or comment: teaches the meaning of English idioms and phrases. For native and non-native English speakers of all ages. To start (or stop) receiving the Weekly Preview of English Idioms at any time please enter your name in the form above or send an email to Subscribe<at> (or Unsubscribe<at> We always respect your privacy by never sharing an email address. All content is copyrighted by, illustrations by Rita Tseng, written by Adam Sullivan. Adam is an experienced English teacher with a degree in English from Cornell University.  Your questions are welcome. Thanks, Adam<at>

Link to this page:
<a href="/BarkingUpTheWrongTree.asp">
"Barking Up The Wrong Tree" at</a>