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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
Atlantic School of English & Active Leisure, CorkCork, Ireland
Kaplan International Colleges UKLondon, England, UK & England
Oxford Elite in London and OxfordOxford, England, UK & England
Crossing Borders, Houston North AreaThe Woodlands, Texas, USA
American Language Programs, Inc.Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
American Language Programs, FloridaMiddlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Online English Level TestDelhi (New Delhi), India
Australian International College of Language, ONLINE & Gold CoastGold Coast, Queensland, Australia
NSL Mondial, BostonBoston, Massachusetts, USA
Omnicom School of Languages, TorontoToronto, Ontario, Canada
Rose Mount's Institute of English Language, DehradunDehradun, India
Sol Schools TorontoToronto, Ontario, Canada
Kaplan International VancouverVancouver, BC, Canada
NSL Mondial, Los AngelesLos Angeles, California, USA
Stanford English Academy, Navi MumbaiNavi Mumbai, India
Institute of Intensive English, HawaiiWaikiki, Hawaii, USA
English School for International Students - New YorkNew York City, New York, USA
Kaplan International Los AngelesLos Angeles, California, USA
The Royal English Language CentreDubai, UAE
Pomegranate Language InstituteDubai, UAE