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Articles and idioms - Elementary

Average: 3.3 (6 votes)

Articles (the;an;a) can often cause a lot of frustration. See how spot-on you are by matching them to these everyday idioms.  How well do you know these idioms. Do you have the same ones in your language?

Only use a, an, the

Submitted by Jozua van der Lugt. Teacher at EC Cape Town English language school

Animal Expressions - Elementary/Pre-Intermediate

Average: 3.6 (8 votes)

We sometimes use animals to describe people or things. Choose the correct animal to complete these comparisons. Do you have similar expressions in your country?

 Today's lesson is from Nasreen Narkedien, EC Cape Town English language school.

Link: 10 Animal Idioms

Christmas Expressions

Average: 3.5 (10 votes)

Here are fours festive expressions related to Christmas. Ho, ho, ho!

like turkeys voting for (an early) Christmas

If people are like turkeys (the large bird eaten at Christmas) voting for Christmas, they choose to accept a situation which will have very bad results for them.

"Oil companies asking their customers to use less oil is like turkeys voting for Christmas."

5 Fantastic Idioms!

Average: 3.8 (87 votes)

Let's a look at some natural English idioms. Can you guess what they mean from the context? Match the idioms to their definitions. Do you have similar idioms in your language? Tell us about them.


He was beside himself when he heard he had been promoted.

If you have any ideas, I'm all ears.

We've only just started, don't throw the towel in yet.

5 Clothes Idioms and Quiz

Average: 4 (10 votes)

Take a look at these idioms. They all use clothing vocabulary.

5 British English idioms

Average: 3.3 (19 votes)

Here are some idioms that you will only here in the UK:

Bob's your uncle

Usually used after a set of simple instructions and has the same meaning as the phrase "and there you have it". It shows that something will be successful:

'To access the site, simply enter your password here and Bob's your uncle..'

cheap as chips

When something's very cheap, it is as cheap as chips:

'These shoes are only ten pounds a pair - cheap as chips!'

Idiom of the day 'Sent to Coventry'

Average: 3.6 (9 votes)

To send someone to Coventry is a British idiom meaning to ostracise someone, usually by not talking to them. When we send someone to Coventry we avoid them intentionally or prevent them from taking part in the activities of a group. This is usually done as a form of punishment for having done something to upset the group.

Idiom of the day 'Needle in a Haystack'

Average: 4 (9 votes)

When something is very difficult to find it is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Especially because the area you have to search is too large and because of everything around it. We also say trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Three-part phrasal verbs

Average: 3.9 (15 votes)

Face Idioms

Average: 4.1 (24 votes)

Time to face up (to bravely confront something) and take on these idioms face to face (together in the same place). Do it now so that you don't lose face (to do something which makes other people stop respecting you).

slap in the face

Something that you find insulting or that disappoints you is a slap in the face: