When you click on one of the above idioms you will be taken through a brief slide show.


Idioms are multi-word expressions whose meaning cannot be inferred from the meaning of their parts in a completely compositional manner.

Many expressions can have a literal as well as an idiomatic meaning.

Based on the nature of idioms, they can be divided broadly into two categories: (1) academic idioms, and (2) cultural idioms.

Some academic idioms: so to speak, after all, as a matter of fact, come up with, get back to, get through something.

Some cultural idioms: once in a blue moon, tie the knot, kill two birds with one stone.

In this teaching unit the focus is on 12 cultural idioms, which are located on the left sidebar.

Why should you learn idioms?

The National Reading Panel (2000) has identified vocabulary as an essential component of effective literacy instruction. When students do not know the meanings of the words and phrases in texts they read, they are likely to experience difficulty in sufficiently understanding those very same texts.

Some of the most difficult vocabulary to understand are those words and phrases that don't reflect their literal meanings. Idioms are words that are essentially metaphorical in nature. Idioms and figurative language are part and parcel of oral and written language. English is rich in idioms. The use of idioms and other forms of figurative language in writing is a characteristic of high-quality literature.

Thus, the study of idioms is certainly worthwhile as great awareness and understanding of idiomatic language can enhance your understanding of the English language.