“Understanding and Using Expressions for Daily Communication”
Frequently-Asked-Questions About Idioms
Click on the questions below to learn more about the idioms and activities.
One of the challenges to learning any language is to understand and use idioms in everyday conversation. Although there exist many idiom dictionaries for North American English, learners (1) often cannot find enough sample sentences to learn how these expressions are used in different contexts and (2) don’t have speaking opportunities to practice the idioms in conversation.
In response to this need, I create short videos that introduce idioms with these goals:
- Select idioms commonly found in North American English (in conversation and/or reading passages) and may be found in other places where English is spoken. Keep in mind that the use of idioms can vary depending on geographic location, age of speakers, and influences of the local culture.
- Include sample sentences within the grammatical reach of high-beginner to more advanced English learners. Doing so allows learners to apply these expressions more easily in their own language.
- Weave discussion questions into each lesson to encourage mastery of the idioms in actual conversation.
- Provide questions to help students learn how to use the idioms in grammatically-accurate ways so the meaning is clear to other speakers. These questions aren’t meant to be challenging; rather, they are designed to help learners recycle to idioms in different ways with a variety of grammar tenses.
Well, I have been developing this Web site since 1998, and over the years, my interests have evolved over time along with online services such as YouTube and more recently, TikTok.
I have always wanted to help students understand everyday conversations AND speaking more naturally, and studying idioms and learning how to use them is one of my focuses now.
Learners need to know how common an idiom is used in actual conversation. I don’t want you to try to use these idioms and find out no one uses them at all. I mean, who wants to sound out-of-touch with the modern world by using expressions only known to William Shakespeare. With this in mind, I try to indicate how frequently these idioms are used based on my interviews with other native speakers in the United States. I use these general identifiers:
All of the activities can be done by learners on their own. However, because the lessons are designed to increase learners’ comprehension AND speaking skills, going through the speaking questions and situations (with a teacher or a study partner) can help learners really master the idioms.
I suggest having students work in pairs as they work through the activities.
This section of idioms is one of several projects I am developing, and I will add more activities over time depending on interest.
Absolutely. Feel free to send me a suggestion for consideration.
— More to be added —
Idioms Starting with A
Idioms Starting with B
Idioms Starting with C
Idioms Starting with D
Idioms Starting with F
Idioms Starting with G
Ghost someone (Future Lesson)
Idioms Starting with H
Idioms Starting with I
Idioms Starting with J
Idioms Starting with K
Idioms Starting with L
Let sleeping dogs lie (Future Lesson)
Idioms Starting with M
Idioms Starting with N
Nose around (Future Lesson)
Idioms Starting with O
On the back burner (Future Lesson)
Idioms Starting with P
Paddle your own canoe (Future Lesson)
Pain in the neck (Future Lesson)
Paint the town red (Future Lesson)
Put a sock in it (Future Lesson)
Idioms Starting with R
Rack your brains
Raise the bar (Future Lesson)
Recharge one’s batteries (Future Lesson)
Run out of steam (Future Lesson)
Idioms Starting with S
Spill the beans (Future Lesson)
Sweep something under the rug (Future Lesson)