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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
ABC Languages NJ - Private English Lessons & OnlineJersey City, New Jersey, USA
Stanford English Academy, Navi MumbaiMumbai, India
Focus Education Centre of CanadaMississauga, Ontario, Canada
NSL Mondial, Los AngelesLos Angeles, California, USA
Online English Level TestDelhi (New Delhi), India
TEFL Training College - Go-TEFLDurban, South Africa
The BSN Language Centre, The HagueThe Hague, Netherlands
The Language Academy, Fort LauderdaleBroward County, Florida, USA
British Council SingaporeSingapore, Singapore
Language Loop English Classes, ChicagoChicago, Illinois, USA
Omnicom School of LanguagesCalgary, Alberta, Canada
Arizona Language CenterPhoenix, Arizona, USA
Future Focus School Of EnglishFloriana, Malta
American Language Programs, CaliforniaMiddlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
NSL Mondial, MiamiMiami, Florida, USA
ECS Scotland, EdinburghEdinburgh, Scotland, UK / GB
Kaplan International ChicagoChicago, Illinois, USA
KEF USA English Programs ORLANDO, FLORIDAOrlando, Florida, USA
Spring College InternationalSingapore, Singapore
The International Language CentrePort of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago