Essential English Idioms

Learn 77 commonly used English idioms, better understand native speakers, and start sounding more natural when you speak
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Instructed by Dara Sheahan Language / English
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  • Lectures 46
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 2/2016 English

Course Description

So, you’ve been studying English for years. You’ve reached a good level of communication, but you sometimes struggle to understand native speakers, and you still don’t sound natural when you speak. What can you do to reach the next level of fluency?

One way to improve your proficiency is to focus on idioms – phrases and expressions that all native speakers use but that are difficult for non-native speakers to understand.

But are they really that common? The quick answer is yes! According to research led by Howard R. Pollio of the University of Tennessee, native speakers use on average 4 idioms per minute when speaking. So, clearly, focusing on developing a mastery of English idioms will help you not only understand native speakers more easily, but also sound more natural and interesting when you speak.

Sure, there are many lists of idioms available online. But they don’t prioritize the most common, useful, or frequently used idioms, and they don’t provide enough example sentences to truly help you master these idioms.

In contrast, this course focuses only on essential idioms that can be used in a variety of day-to-day situations. A series of fun, informative, and detailed video lectures provide clear explanations, numerous example sentences, and a list of common phrases and structures using each idiom.

The videos themselves are presented by a friendly native English speaker and include related images for each example sentence. They will not only give you a clear understanding of the meaning of the idioms – they will also show you the key phrases and structures you need to use the idioms naturally. Furthermore, they will model how to pronounce the idioms in a natural manner, so that you can truly sound like a native!

In addition to all of that, Essential English Idioms comes with 30 activity sheets, offering both writing and speaking activities to help you truly master each and every idiom on the list. There are also six review activity sheets, so that you can test yourself and track your progress.

Included in this package:

44 video lectures (2 hours of video), covering a total of 77 frequently used English idioms.

  • 30 Essential English Idioms videos, each containing:
    • a clear definition
    • 5+ example sentences
    • a list of common phrases and structures using the idiom, each with a further example sentence
    • a list of common phrases and structures using the idiom, each with a further example sentence
  • 14 Other Idioms with the Same Meaning videos, covering:
    • a further 47 frequently used idioms
    • 2+ unique example sentences per additional idiom
  • 30 activity sheets, including:
    • comprehension questions that test your ability to recall the key vocabulary and grammar structures related to each Essential English Idiom
    • writing and speaking questions to help you use each Essential English Idiom in a natural way
    • writing and speaking questions to help you use each Other Idiom with the Same Meaning in a natural way
    • key notes from the video including the definition and common phrases and structures using the idiom
  • 6 review activity sheets, including:
    • ordering exercises
    • mix and match exercises
    • writing and speaking questions

So, what are you waiting for? Improve your English today with Essential English Idioms!

What are the requirements?

  • There are no particular software requirements for you to complete this course.
  • I suggest that you get a paper notebook just for this course, though! :)

What am I going to get from this course?

  • 44 lecture videos (2 hours in total) covering 77 commonly used English idioms!
  • 30 activity sheets and 6 review sheets!
  • Master a large number of extremely useful English idioms that can be used in a variety of day-to-day situations.
  • Start sounding more like a native English speaker.
  • Communicate and connect with native English speakers in a more natural way.
  • Better understand movies, TV shows, songs, and conversations with native English speakers.
  • Impress examiners, teachers, colleagues, and friends with a wide range of natural English phrases.

Who is the target audience?

  • Intermediate to advanced level English learners (B1 level and above on the Common European Framework) who want to sound more natural when they speak.
  • This course is probably not suitable for you if you are at A2 level or lower on the Common European Framework.
  • This course is not suitable for beginners.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

Hello, and welcome to Essential English Idioms! In this video, you will learn about the course, how it is organized, and how to effectively use it as a study tool.

Section 2: Lessons 1-5: Mood and State 1

If your friend is laughing his head off, should you call an ambulance? Find out in this video!


Are there any other ways to say "laugh your head off"? Find out in this video!


If you cry your eyes out, will you go blind? Watch this video to find out!


So, you can cry your eyes out. Can you cry anything else out?


You're feeling under the weather? That's because you were out in the rain without an umbrella all day yesterday!


You can't stand this weather? You mean it's too hot to stand up?

Learn all about this very useful idiom in this lesson.


Discover many other ways to say that you can't stand something.


If you're sick and tired, you should go to bed, right?

Yes, but if you're sick and tired of something, that's not the solution!


Are there any other ways to say "sick and tired of something"? There certainly are!

Section 3: Lessons 6-10: Mood and State 2

You can't wait? You mean you have to go now?

No! Find out what can't wait means in this lesson.


I bet you can't wait to learn about these alternative idioms with the same meaning as "can't wait"!


This is a common idiom? I can't believe it!


I lost my temper last night. I can't find it anywhere!


Don't lose your temper with me, but there are many other ways to say "lose your temper"!


I'm sorry, but I can't describe this video right now -- I'm up to my eyes in work!


After this lesson, you'll be up to your eyes in idioms!


After you have finished this lesson, you can take it easy for a while!


OK, OK... take it easy! I know you want to learn more idioms with the same meaning as "take it easy".

Well, here's the video you've been waiting for!

Section 4: Lessons 11-15: Time

At the moment? At which moment?

Learn all about this incredibly common idiom in this clear video lecture.


Now and then? You mean at the moment and in the past?

This lesson tells you everything you need to know about this very useful idiom.


Every now and then, I use a different idiom to express this idea. Discover what alternative phrases I use instead in this helpful video!


For the time being, you may not understand this sentence. But you'll certainly understand it after watching this video!


Is "for the time being" the only idiom you can use to express this idea? Watch this video to find out!


Sooner or later, you're going to need this idiom!


Sooner or later, you're going to hear some of these alternative idioms with the same meaning as "sooner or later".


All of this study will help you in the long run!

Section 5: Lessons 16-20: Thinking

Can you guess the meaning of this idiom off the top of your head?


Does this idiom ring a bell?


I've made up my mind. I want you to watch this video!


You've changed your mind? You mean you've had a brain transplant?!

No! In this lesson, find out what this idiom means and how to use it naturally.


"Beats me!"

No, not with a stick!

Section 6: Lessons 21-25: Everyday Activities

Where are you off to? You're supposed to be watching this video!


OK, so now you understand "I'm off". But can you say it another way?


Study this lesson, and then you can call it a day until tomorrow, OK?


You're going to hit the sack? Why? What did the sack do to you?


There's more than one way to say "hit the sack". Learn all about it in this helpful video!


I hope you're not tossing and turning all night thinking about idioms!


If you watch this video and complete the review, you can have a nice lie-in tomorrow!

Section 7: Lessons 26-30: Eating Out

Is it OK if I just grab a quick bite before we watch this video?


You'd kill for a burger? You must be hungry!


Pardon? You'd kill for some more useful idioms? OK, here you are!


It's your birthday? Let's splash out on a fancy meal!


Oh, that fancy meal was delicious yesterday! Did you get a doggy bag?


Don't forget to watch the next video, too -- it's on the house!

A Final Word

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Instructor Biography

Dara Sheahan, English Language Expert; MA in English Literature; CELTA

I am a CELTA certified native English teacher from Dublin, Ireland. I have 10 years' experience teaching students at all levels, from beginner to advanced, working in colleges and universities in Ireland and South Korea.

I have designed and taught credit and non-credit courses in general English, conversation, business English, academic writing, academic speaking, presentation, British culture, and English literature. I have also led numerous workshops for both students and teachers on a number of specialized topics including email writing, poetry analysis, teaching methodology, and using technology in the classroom.

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