Learn 100 British English Idioms for English Conversation
- 30 mins on-demand video
- 1 article
- 2 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- 100 British English idioms and how to use them correctly
- Sound more like a native when you speak English
- Understand English: films, TV , and writing better
- How to have better English conversations
- Good knowledge of English
- An interest to improve English
Idioms are an exceptional way to improve your English and they can help you to both sound like a native speaker but also understand them better, natives use idioms all the time when they just talk normally and often don’t even realise it, this is why without them you are likely to find understanding native’s speech difficult, even when you can understand all the words!
In this course I will tell you 100 common idioms that are used in everyday speech by native British English speakers, I will then explain what the idiom means and then also how you can use it, or give an example of how I can be used. The course has been designed to last 1 month, the 100 idioms had been broken down into 20 sets of 5, this way over the period of a month you can learn one of the sets of 5 each day and complete the accompanying activity and also read about the origin, once you have seen all the idioms in the course its then time to go back and look again at the idioms that you learned in the month to make sure you have remembered them all, and then you will be able to use the practice assessment to check that you know them all.
- People who want to upgrade their spoken English, to understand and speak like a native
Origins of the idioms in this lecture:
A penny for your thoughts: Comes from a time when the British penny was worth a significant amount. The first recorded usage was in 1522 when Sir Thomas More's Four Last Things he wrote: “It often happeth, that the very face sheweth the mind walking a pilgrimage, in such wise that other folk sodainly say to them a peny for your thought.”
Actions speak louder than words: The first recorded use was in 1736 in a work called Melancholy State of Province. However Michel de Montaigne in an essay in the 1500s wrote: “Saying is a different thing from doing.”, so the idea behind t has been around for even longer.
An arm and a leg: The origin is not completely clear, some say it was from a time before cameras, when rich people would have portraits of themselves painted, and if they wanted arms and legs painting too they would have to pay extra and the phrase came about like this. It more likely from the USA after the Second World War, when soldiers lost their arms and legs and therefore paid a high price, and the earliest published use is likely in The Long Beach Independent in December 1949. However the phrase, “give an arm” was used in Sharpe's London Journal in 1849, and the idiom “an arm and a leg ” may be related to this.
Back to the drawing board: First used in New Yorker in 1941
The ball is in your court: Comes from tennis, because when the ball is in your court it's your turn to play. It has been used in tennis since the early 1900s, and is unclear as to when it was used as an idiom.