English Idioms

What is an English Idiom?

It is believed that an idiom is a colloquial metaphor. This means that, to understand the true meaning of a particular idiom, one must be able to understand the culture the idiom comes. The idioms within a certain culture have been borne of single words that are put together and rarely change. So over time, those words are grouped together and gain an overall and sometimes quite different meaning altogether.

English idioms can be a tricky thing to understand. The basic meaning of an idiom cannot be translated directly from its literal translation. For the example of “kick the bucket“, in English means to die. However the same expression in Polish is (kopnąć w kalendarz) “to kick the calendar“, and the Dutch expression being (het loodje leggen) “to lay the piece of lead“. As you can see by the idiom expressions from different languages, idioms themselves cannot necessarily be taken in a literal translation.

How you can learn to use English idioms in your daily conversations

We believe that you can learn these idioms and be able to use them in your everyday English. Remember that they are just like vocabulary words to learn. Once you understand their meanings, these idioms will be second nature to you. Just like they are to me!

These are stories that teach idioms using examples. Learn the meaning of idioms and hear idiom definitions.

You’ll hear idiom examples like, “Tom doesn’t want to admit he’s lost, he has his head in the sand.” This means Tom was trying to avoid a disagreeable situation by pretending it didn’t exist.

Or this idiom example, “You kids put a lid on it, your father is sleeping.” Put a lid on it means to quiet down.

You can listen to these idioms arranged by color, numbers, animals, body parts, etc. These idiom examples will teach you the meaning of idioms.

Listen to idiom examples in the following pages. We have native English speakers from America talking about idioms.