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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.

Heritage EnglishLymington, England, UK & England
ABC Languages, New YorkNew York City, New York, USA
A F International School of Languages, Thousand OaksVentura County, California, USA
JE Educational CollegeSingapore, Singapore
Omnicom School of Languages, TorontoToronto, Ontario, Canada
English Right Now, NYCNew York City, New York, USA
Spring College InternationalSingapore, Singapore
TEFL Training College - Go-TEFLDurban, South Africa
American Language Programs, CaliforniaMiddlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
English Village HomestayEast Sussex, England, UK & England
NSL Mondial, VancouverVancouver, BC, Canada
Language Works English CoursesSingapore, Singapore
Rose Mount's Institute of English Language, DehradunDehradun, India
Southern States University, San Diego & Orange CountyNewport Beach, California, USA
NSL MondialSanta Barbara, California, USA
NSL Mondial, Los AngelesLos Angeles, California, USA
Kaplan International ChicagoChicago, Illinois, USA
Kaplan International Colleges CambridgeCambridge, England, UK & England
A F International College, Los AngelesLos Angeles, California, USA
New York English AcademyManhattan, New York, USA