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Master English language idioms and phrases 

Learning English, Study Abroad
< 6 Minutes

Idioms and phrases are an important part of the English language. They make our communication more interesting and fun. If you want to sound like a native English speaker, you need to learn and use them in your everyday conversations. Today, we will help you understand what English language idioms and phrases are, what they mean, and how to use them. Before you can master them, you need to learn about their nature, meanings, similarities, and differences. 

What are English language idioms and phrases? 

All idioms are phrases, but all phrases are not idioms. Let’s understand what phrases are. 

What are phrases? 

Phrases are groups of words with a specific meaning. They can describe people, things, and events or add information to a sentence. Phrases are useful but they don't have a subject or verb. There are four main types of phrases: 

  • Noun phrases: Used to describe people, places, things, or ideas. For example, the big brown dog, the man in the red hat, a delicious meal. 
  • Verb phrases: Used to describe actions or events. For example, is running, has been eating, will go home
  • Adjective phrases: Used to describe nouns. For example, very happy, quite slowly, in the first place
  • Adverb phrases: Used to describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. For example, very quickly, very well, in the kitchen

Phrases are important in English. They help you add information to your sentences, describe them, and create different effects. 

“All the idioms are phrases, but all phrases are not idioms.” 

What are idioms? 

Idioms are phrases have a different overall meaning than the literal meaning. Idioms can make conversations more fun and interesting. But if you're just starting to learn English, they can be difficult to understand. That's because the meaning of an idiom cannot be guessed from the words alone. You need to know the context in which it is being used. Here are some examples of idioms with their meanings: 

Idiom Meanings 
Break a leg Good luck! 
A piece of cake Something that is very easy 
It's raining cats and dogs It is raining very heavily 
Over the moon Very happy or delighted 
Beat around the bush To avoid getting to the point directly; to speak indirectly 

With practise, you will get better at understanding and using idioms in your everyday conversations. 

The importance of English language idioms and phrases 

If the English language is a crown, idioms and phrases are the crown jewels that make it shine even brighter. That's why it's important to learn these English language idioms and phrases - it helps in many ways. Let us understand why: 

1. Improves English language fluency and understanding 

Learning idioms and phrases can help you speak English fluently and understand the language better. It can also make you sound like a native English speaker. You can create meaningful connections with other English speakers and make friends. 

2. Learn new words to build your vocabulary

By learning idioms, you can use common words in new ways to express yourself better. It will improve your vocabulary and help you communicate more effectively, both when writing or speaking in English. 

3. Leave an impression on your listeners

Using familiar phrases and sayings while speaking or writing can help you make a lasting impact. Try to learn as many English language idioms and phrases as possible to communicate your thoughts and leave an impression on your listeners. 

4. Helps to learn about different cultures

Learning idioms and phrases can give you insight into other cultures, history, values, and beliefs. This can help you better understand native English speakers and their choice of words. 

5. Avoid misunderstandings 

If you don't understand idioms and phrases or use them incorrectly, it can cause confusion. To communicate clearly, it's important to learn English language idioms and phrases

Using English language idioms and phrases in your daily conversation can help you express yourself better and connect with others on a deeper level. 

Tips to master English Language Idioms and Phrases 

Now you understand what English language idioms and phrases are; it's time to master them. Follow these practical tips to learn idioms and phrases: 

  1. Start with the basics: Learn the most common idioms and phrases. Start slowly by adding new idioms and phrases to your vocabulary. 
  1. Understand the situation: When you hear or read an idiom, don't try to understand each word literally. Instead, think about the situation where it was said. Understand what the speaker or the writer is trying to say, not just the words they used. 
  1. Read every day: Read fiction, and non-fiction books. You can also add newspapers and magazines written by native speakers to your reading material. Pay attention to the English language idioms and phrases used. 
  1. Keep an idioms and phrases journal: Create a list of idioms and phrases you read in a notebook or digital document. Add their meanings, example sentences, and any notes on how to use them. Regularly check this list to improve your understanding and learn new phrases. 
  1. Practise daily: Start using idioms and phrases when speaking or writing in English. Try to include them when talking with your friends, family, or English speakers. It will help you to speak like a native speaker and improve your English language skills. 

Learn idioms and phrases with English Path courses: Click here! 

  1. Experiment with idioms and phrases: Try to find activities where you can use idioms and phrases. For example, in crossword puzzles or word games. This will make learning idioms and phrases more enjoyable and memorable. 
  1. Ask English Path experts: Do not be afraid to ask English Path qualified language experts for help. When you see new idioms or find it hard to understand their meaning, ask for help. Our teachers can help you understand the basics of English language idioms and phrases to achieve your goals. 

Remember, mastering English language idioms and phrases is a process. Take your time to understand the phrases and how to use them. If you need help learning English language idioms and phrases, contact our language experts at English Path. 

25 popular English language idioms and phrases to practise 

S.No. Idiom Meaning 
Break the ice  To start a conversation with a new person or in a new situation 
Cat got your tongue? Asking why someone is not speaking or suddenly became quiet 
A picture is worth a thousand words An image can sometimes express more than words can 
Bite the bullet To face a difficult or hard situation which you have been avoiding 
Hit the nail on the head To correctly name or describe something 
Kill two birds with one stone To complete two tasks with a single action 
Let the cat out of the bag To reveal a secret or confidential information 
On cloud nine To be very happy or joyful 
Better late than never It's better to do something late than not at all 
10 Don't judge a book by its cover Do not form an opinion based solely on appearances 
11 When pigs fly Something that is highly unlikely or impossible 
12 Hit the jackpot To achieve great success or win a large prize 
13 Keep your eyes peeled To be vigilant and watchful 
14 A penny for your thoughts Asking someone to share their thoughts 
15 Don't put all your eggs in one basket To not risk everything on a single opportunity 
16 All ears Listening attentively or eagerly 
17 In the same boat In the same situation or as someone else 
18 The apple of my eye Someone or something that is cherished or loved deeply 
19 Out of the blue Suddenly or without any warning 
20 Put your best foot forward To make a good impression or give your best effort 
21 Rome wasn't built in a day Achieving something great takes time and effort 
22 Spill the beans To reveal a secret or confidential information 
23 Get a taste of your own medicine To experience something negative which you have also done to other people 
24 Hit the road To start a journey or leave a place 
25 Take it with a grain of salt To not completely believe something or be doubtful about it 

Learning English language idioms and phrases can be a fun and exciting way to improve your language skills. When you learn new words and expressions, you'll be able to communicate better and in more creative ways. Using these idioms and phrases can make your conversations more interesting and engaging! 

Frequently Asked Questions about English Language Idioms and Phrases

A2: To understand English language idioms and phrases, you need to think about the situation they are being used in. Idioms do not have literal meanings, so understanding the words alone will not help you understand the phrase. Start by learning the most common idioms. Practise them daily to know what they mean in different situations. 

A3: Learning English language idioms and phrases has many benefits. They will help you understand new words, speak well, write interesting sentences, and express yourself better. They can also help you avoid misunderstandings when speaking in English. 

A4: To get better at using English language idioms and phrases, try using them when you speak or write. Talk to native speakers. Read books with idioms and phrases, and practise using them in daily conversations. 

A5: English Path is an excellent language school. We have many courses taught by English language experts. Our teaching methods and support can help you learn English language idioms and phrases. 

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