Essential English Idioms
4.4 (17 ratings)
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Essential English Idioms

Learn 77 commonly used English idioms, better understand native speakers, and start sounding more natural when you speak
4.4 (17 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
187 students enrolled
Created by Dara Sheahan
Last updated 3/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 36 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • 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.
View Curriculum
  • 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! :)

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!

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.
Compare to Other English Grammar Courses
Curriculum For This Course
46 Lectures
1 Lecture 04:17

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.

Preview 04:17
Lessons 1-5: Mood and State 1
9 Lectures 23:19

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

Preview 02:32

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

Preview 02:53

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

Lesson 2.1 - Cry Your Eyes Out

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

Lesson 2.2 - Cry Your Eyes Out

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

Preview 02:11

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.

Lesson 4.1 - Can't Stand ~

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

Lesson 4.2 - Can't Stand ~

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!

Lesson 5.1 - Be Sick and Tired of ~

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

Lesson 5.2 - Be Sick and Tired of ~
Lessons 6-10: Mood and State 2
9 Lectures 21:09

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

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

Lesson 6.1 - Can't Wait

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

Lesson 6.2 - Can't Wait

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

Lesson 7 - Can't Believe ~

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

Lesson 8.1 - Lose Your Temper

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

Lesson 8.2 - Lose Your Temper

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

Lesson 9.1 - Be Up to Your Eyes

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

Lesson 9.2 - Be Up to Your Eyes

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

Lesson 10.1 - Take It Easy

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!

Lesson 10.2 - Take It Easy
Lessons 11-15: Time
8 Lectures 19:30

At the moment? At which moment?

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

Lesson 11 - At the Moment

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.

Lesson 12.1 - (Every) Now and Then

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

Lesson 12.2 - (Every) Now and Then

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

Lesson 13.1 - For the Time Being

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

Lesson 13.2 - For the Time Being

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

Lesson 14.1 - Sooner or Later

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

Lesson 14.2 - Sooner or Later

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

Lesson 15 - In the Long Run
Lessons 16-20: Thinking
5 Lectures 16:10

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

Lesson 16 - Off the Top of Your Head

Does this idiom ring a bell?

Lesson 17 - ~ Rings a Bell

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

Lesson 18 - Make Up Your Mind

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.

Lesson 19 - Change Your Mind

"Beats me!"

No, not with a stick!

Lesson 20 - (It) Beats Me!
Lessons 21-25: Everyday Activities
7 Lectures 15:14

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

Lesson 21.1 - Be Off

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

Lesson 21.2 - Be Off

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

Lesson 22 - Call It a Day / Call It a Night

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

Lesson 23.1 - Hit the Sack

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

Lesson 23.2 - Hit the Sack

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

Lesson 24 - Toss and Turn

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

Lesson 25 - Have a Lie-In
Lessons 26-30: Eating Out
7 Lectures 16:01

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

Lesson 26 - Grab a Bite (to Eat)

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

Lesson 27.1 - Would Kill for ~

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

Lesson 27.2 - Would Kill for ~

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

Lesson 28 - Splash Out

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

Lesson 29 - Get a Doggy Bag

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

Lesson 30 - On the House

A Final Word
About the Instructor
Dara Sheahan
4.4 Average rating
17 Reviews
187 Students
1 Course
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.