How to Successfully Learn English Idioms
Students of English love to learn English idioms because they believe idioms can make their
English more "natural", more like the English of native speakers. This is true only if students
can use the idioms naturally. In fact, students often try to use idioms at the wrong time. This
does not help them sound like native English speakers. Instead, it makes them sound very
strange! Below are some tips for successfully learning and using idioms.
First, be sure you understand the feeling behind the idiom. For example, if you learn the
idiom "as easy as pie", you should realize that pie is something delicious, people enjoy
eating it! So, this idiom must be a good thing, right? Something that is "as easy as pie"
(or similarly, something that is "a piece of cake") must be very easy.
Second, use examples to help you understand the meaning. Do NOT learn idioms from
a list, because a simple list cannot help you understand. Try learning
the most common
English idioms by reading the examples given for each one. You can
common English idioms with examples by clicking here. Try to say
each example out loud so that you can repeat it naturally when you are in a
You can learn all kinds of idioms, including some of these
idioms used in business. For example, think about the expression, "An
800 pound gorilla". You know that gorillas are big and strong. They can be
very dangerous! In business, then, a big 800 pound gorilla must be very strong
competition. Click on the link above and read the example given. "If we follow
our plan to make this new software, we're going to have a lot of competition,
including from the 800 pound gorilla, Microsoft." You know Microsoft is big,
so, they are similar to a big gorilla in the jungle - very dangerous if you try
to compete with them!
Remember to think carefully when you learn idiomatic expressions in English. If
you really think deeply about the meaning, it should be a piece of cake for you.
Have fun and good luck!
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