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Britlish Library - Idioms Lessons

Once I realised that idioms were incredibly problematic for my students, I set about gathering as many idioms as I could and making videos about them for my YouTube channels. I am determined to make idioms as accessible for all students as any other part of the English language. Reading and memorising lists of vocabulary is not the most productive, interesting, or useful exercise in English language learning. I wanted to create a series of lessons in the form of Activation Packs that would encourage the reader to not only learn and remember the idioms, but also to have fun with them, as having fun is a great aid to learning and remembering. It is important that you know as many idioms as possible as native English speakers use them with alarming regularity. I hope that as you work your way through the Idiom Activation Packs you will make some of the idioms your own and use them regularly like a native.

23 Idioms Lessons

Alphabetical Categories

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This is my retelling of Aesop’s fable, The Ant and the Grasshopper. It tells the tale of the hardworking ant and the apparently lazy grasshopper and presents the moral message that we ought to enjoy our lives while we can. The lesson is also packed with vocabulary which you can test yourself on in the two activators in the lesson. There are lots of useful vocabulary items to lear...

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The sea covers two thirds of our planet. The sea has always been an important source of food. Any food that we take from the sea is called seafood. There are various types of seafood and many idioms related to seafood in English. In this lesson, I will introduce you to idioms like blue around the gills, loan shark, a find kettle of fish, holy mackerel, a beached whale, red herring, hook, line and ...

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Blood is the vital fluid found in humans and other animals. There are many expressions in English that use the word blood. The expressions in this lesson include get blood out of a stone, blood is thicker than water, bloodshed, cold-blooded, in cold blood, hot-blooded, blood up, blood boils, blueblood, fresh blood, new blood, half-blood, run in the blood, own flesh and blood, young blood, blood...

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This vegetable idioms activation pack will help you to learn remembers and use some common English idioms related to vegetables. The idioms include, spill the beans, veg out, couch potato, without a bean, carrot and stick, know your onions, in a pickle, hot potato, two peas in a pod, red as a beetroot, and as cool as a cucumber.

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The fruit idioms in this lesson include a real lemon, sour grapes, another bite of the cherry, a peach, tree is known by its fruit, bear fruit, drive someone bananas, the apple of my eye, the fruits of my labours, forbidden fruit, rotten apple, Adam’s apple, life’s a bowl of cherries, and as brown as a berry. It also contains some English humour.

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Learn some common English idioms with this vocabulary activation pack. The idioms are: Give someone the cold shoulder, To have broad shoulders, Rub elbows or shoulders with, Shoulder to cry on, Shoulder to the wheel, Have a good head on your shoulders, Carry the world on your shoulders, Look over your shoulder, Stand on the shoulders of giants, Shoulder to shoulder, A chip on your shoulder, Fall s...

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How to talk about the weather in English using a video lecture and some self-test questions to help you learn. This lesson also looks at some English idioms related to weather and will help with your listening skills and your pronunciation. If you want to learn how to talk about the weather in English, you need to do this lesson.

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Learn some common British English idioms in this video English lesson from Britlish. The idioms are: As plain as the nose on your face, Keep your nose out, Turn your nose up at, Stick your nose in where it’s not wanted, Can’t see further than the end of your nose, Under your nose, Cut off your nose to spite your face, Brown-nose, Put someone’s nose out of joint, No skin off my nose, Look down your...

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Learn some common British English idioms with this lesson from Britlish. The idioms are: Pay lip service, Lick your lips, Bite your lip, Give someone lip, My lips are sealed, Smack lips, Slip of the lip, Tight-lipped, Lock lips, Pass my lips, Stiff upper lip, A bit lippy, Read my lips, Loose lips, Button your lip, and On everyone’s lips. This lesson is part of the Body Idioms series at Britlish.co...

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Learn some common British English idioms in this video English lesson from Britlish. The idioms are: Tail between your legs, On its last legs, Get a leg up, Pulling your leg, Shake a leg, Break a leg, Not have a leg to stand on, Stretch your legs, Legwork, and Sea legs. This lesson is part of the Body Idioms series of idioms lessons.

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Idioms are expressions that are natural to native English speakers. They are very confusing for non-native English speakers. They're confusing because idioms don't mean what the words say. You cannot literally translate English idioms into another language. For example: A black mark has a literal meaning of a black mark on clothing or any other material. It also ...

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The food idioms are: Red herring, Look to laurels, A different kettle of fish, Chicken and egg, Jam down throat, Too many cooks, Drive bananas, Easy meat, Spill the beans, and Half-baked. Idiom Activation Pack - Food Idioms 9

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The idioms are: A banana republic, Bitter and twisted, Head on plate, Rotten egg, Sow your oats, On thin ice, Wolf down, Melt in mouth, and Lemon. Idiom Activation Pack - Food Idioms 8

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The idioms are: Beef about, An acquired taste, Eat alive, Salt-and-pepper, Bad apple, Carrot and stick, Take candy from a baby, Water off a duck's back, Save bacon, and Bad egg. Idiom Activation Pack - Food Idioms 1

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The idioms are: Break bread, Bread and butter, Crackers, Crumpet, Earn crust, Crusty, Best thing since sliced bread, Upper crust, Bun in the oven, Piffy on a rock bun, Finger in the pie, Humble pie, Nice as pie, Easy as pie, Finger in too many pies, Pie in the sky, Knuckle sandwich, and Warm as toast. Idiom Activation Pack - Bakery

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There are 13 arms idioms in this Idiom Activation Pack. To be up in arms, Have one arm tied behind your back, Cost an arm and a leg, Lay down your arms, Strong-arm tactics, Keep somebody at arm’s length, Have a list as long as your arm, To give your right arm, Welcome someone with open arms, The long arm of the law, Twist someone’s arm, Chance your arm, and To bear arms. After you h...

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The idioms are: Over-egg the pudding, Sour grapes, Throw into the pot, Bone to pick, On a silver platter, Think moon made of green cheese, Turn to jelly, Just deserts, Have cake and eat it, and Let stew. Idiom Activation Pack - Food Idioms 7

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The idioms are: Eggs in one basket, Cheesy, Cool as a cucumber, Forbidden fruit, Give a fig, Knife-edge, Mutton dressed as lamb, Proof of the pudding, Red as a beetroot, and Rest on laurels. Idiom Activation Pack - Food Idioms 6

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The idioms are: Eat your words, Teach grandmother to suck eggs, Cold shoulder, Cookie crumbles, Lolly, Blow off steam, Save own bacon, Run out of steam, Small beer, and In the drink. Idiom Activation Pack - Food Idioms 5

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The phrasal verbs are: pick at, pick off, pick on, pick up, pick up on, pick out, and pick away. The idioms are: a bone to pick, cherry pick, have your pick of something, pick your nose, pick to pieces pick to bits, pick a lock, pick and choose, take your pick, pick of the bunch pick of the crop, pick brains, pick pocket, pick through, pick up speed, pick up the pace, pick up the tab, pick your...

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The idioms are: Wine and dine, Jam tomorrow, Upset the applecart, Make mincemeat of, Play gooseberry, Eat my hat, Eat for breakfast, Drink like a fish, Simmer down, and Till the bitter end. Idiom Activation Pack - Food Idioms 4

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The idioms are: Pepper with, Butterfingers, Know which side your bread is buttered, Too much on plate, Lamb to the slaughter, Ginger group, Beer gut, Plenty of fish in sea, Let off steam, and Like a knife through butter. Idiom Activation Pack - Food Idioms 3

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The idioms are: A plum job, Boo to a goose, Chalk and cheese, Spice up, Greasy spoon, Sweet talk, Chopping block, Sweeten the pill, Done to a T, and Not cup of tea. Idiom Activation Pack - Food Idioms 2