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
JE Educational College Singapore, Singapore
New York Language Center Queens, New York, USA
Focus Education Centre of Canada, Mississauga Toronto, Ontario, Canada
NSL Mondial, Boston Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Harvest English Institute, Newark Newark, New Jersey, USA
The Language Academy, Fort Lauderdale Broward County, Florida, USA
NSL Mondial, Miami Miami, Florida, USA
ILSC - New York New York City, New York, USA
Kaplan International San Francisco San Francisco, California, USA
Language Works English Courses Singapore, Singapore
Amity English School, London London, England, UK & England
Kaplan International Colleges London - Covent Garden London, England, UK & England
Sol Schools Toronto Toronto, Ontario, Canada
ABC Languages, Westchester County & Southern Connecticut Westchester County, New York, USA
Eton Institute, Dubai Dubai, UAE
Heritage English Homestay Courses Lymington, England, UK & England
The English Language Institute at Notre Dame of Maryland University Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Heritage English Lymington, England, UK & England
English at St Andrews, Scotland St Andrews, Scotland, UK & England
English Level Test Online Honolulu, Hawaii, USA