Study English, Exercises, TOEFL Lessons, English Language Schools in USA, UK...

Enter a course name, school type
and location:

English Idioms, American & British Idiomatic Expressions

Learn American English Idioms in Texas.

An idiom is a phrase understood by many people in a specific culture or subculture, and that phrase has a different meaning from the meaning it appears to have.

A very good example of this is “to bend over backwards.” This phrase is understood in English speaking culture to mean “to work very hard to do / get something.” The meaning it appears to have (the literal meaning), however, is the physical act of bending over in the opposite direction. Very few people can actually do this physical act.

Idioms are used in both spoken and written English, and often appear in newspaper articles.

Idioms with the same meanings and use in your own language may use a different word than the English idiom. Do not try to change any word / vocabulary in an English idiom!  Also be careful when you use idioms in your writing exercises. They can be very effective if used carefully and sparingly, but the writing becomes very unnatural if too many idioms are used in one paragraph or essay.

Definitions and Examples (We have made lists of some very popular idioms for you. See below.)

Choose a group of idioms below, to see definitions and examples for idioms in this collection. (For example, choose “Animal” for all animal idioms)


We recommend the following English Idioms Books for further study or the ESL schools below.

English language schools & courses: Location
Kaplan International New York – Midtown Manhattan New York City, New York, USA
Rose Mount's Institute of English Language, Dehradun Dehradun, India
Kaplan International Colleges Cambridge Cambridge, England, UK & England
Kaplan International Chicago Chicago, Illinois, USA
Future Focus School Of English Floriana, Malta
Crossing Borders Group, Katy (Houston area) Katy, Texas, USA
A F International School of Languages, Thousand Oaks Ventura County, California, USA
ABC Languages, Westchester County & Southern Connecticut Westchester County, New York, USA
Kaplan International San Diego San Diego, California, USA
Kaplan International Colleges London - Covent Garden London, England, UK & England
Language Skills English Center, Boston Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Kaplan International Colleges Oxford Oxford, England, UK & England
English Village Homestay Valletta, Malta
ABC Languages, New York New York City, New York, USA
Language Loop English Classes, Chicago Chicago, Illinois, USA
English Language Company, Sydney Sydney, NSW, Australia
British Council Singapore Singapore, Singapore
International House Johannesburg - Language Lab Johannesburg, South Africa
Kaplan International San Francisco San Francisco, California, USA
English Language Company, Sydney Sydney, NSW, Australia