The following pages will familiarize your students with the use of different English idioms.

Idioms are set phrases that are specific to each language and culture that regularly share a common language. These phrases are not intended to be taken literally. Idioms are a form of figurative language that breathe life into the language that they are commonly spoken in. They offer hidden meanings in the words that are spoken. A common example is "That was a piece of cake!”" When interpreted by the listener or reader it would mean that what ever action was performed was simple or very easy. Each language has a set of well-known idioms present. The English language has tens of thousands, at last count. More are being created daily for example a recent idiom is, "hug it out". Which means come to a quick agreement. Though idioms often function as a metaphor, they are not considered to be one. Idioms require total familiarity with a culture in order to be correctly interpreted because the individual definitions of the words are not supporting the comparison. Instead, it relies on shared cultural references to make its point.

This collection of worksheets will introduce your students to common English idioms. After finishing this section students should have a solid grasp on this skill and be ready to get to that next level of language development. Project idea: Have your students choose a favorite idiom and research its origin. Note that some have many different theories as to where and how they developed. I bet you never could have guessed the history on that one?

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Print Idiom Worksheets

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Using Idioms

The sentences below express literal thoughts. Rewrite each sentence using the bank full of words.

Sentence Meanings

Use each words in a sentence. Then tell what the idiom you think it means.

Filler Up!

Read the word bank below. Fill in the blanks to complete each sentence.

Track It Down!

Underline the word that sticks out "Like a Sore Thumb!" in each sentence.

Change Up

Read the sentence. Then, on the line below, rewrite the sentence to convey the same meaning without using the word that is pointed out.

Sentence User

Look at each picture below. Match it to the word that describes what is going on in the picture. Write what the sentence or thought really means. Then use it in a sentence.

Literal Words

Underline the idiom in each sentence below. Then rewrite it using only literal words.

Translate It

Rewrite each sentence below, translating the highlighted word(s) into literal language


Find the word of interest in each sentence and explain what it means.


Explain the nature and use of each short phrase that you are shown here.

The Common List

Typical examples include: I know this place like the back of my hand. This product uses cutting edge technology. I figured that getting Ed to agree ought to be a snap.

Sentence Stuffers

Use the word chunk or phrases to complete the sentences.

The Big Olde' Bank

Choose the word that best matches each situation. Write the idiom’s letter on the line next to each item.

Box of Beats

Explain the meaning of everything that is presented to you.


Translating the meaning of slang is a huge profession in other countries around the world.