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 Seattle Seattle, Washington, USA
International House Vancouver Vancouver, BC, Canada
Rose Mount's Institute of English Language, Dehradun Dehradun, India
Amity English School, London London, England, UK & England
Institute Of Intensive English, Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
The International Language Centre Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
NSL Mondial, Miami Miami, Florida, USA
Focus Education Centre of Canada, Mississauga Toronto, Ontario, Canada
ABC Languages, San Francisco San Francisco, California, USA
Southern States University, San Diego & Orange County Newport Beach, California, USA
English Right Now, NYC New York City, New York, USA
NSL Mondial, Los Angeles Los Angeles, California, USA
ILSC - New York New York City, New York, USA
English Language Company, Sydney Sydney, NSW, Australia
Harvest English Institute, Newark Newark, New Jersey, USA
Kaplan International Washington DC Washington, Dist of Columbia, USA
English Language Level Test Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Kaplan International Colleges Oxford Oxford, England, UK & England
NSL Mondial New York City, New York, USA
American Language Programs, Inc. Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA