Master Idioms - Learn 52 Common, Useful & Interesting Idioms

Learn 52 of the most common, interesting and useful idioms to sound more natural and more like a native speaker.
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Instructed by Ganesh Kumar Language / English
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  • Lectures 60
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2015 English

Course Description


Are you an English language learner?
Do you wish to sound more natural, interesting and more native-like when you speak?

If your answer is yes to these questions, then read on...

Did you know that one of the biggest differences between native and non-native speakers of English is idioms?

Linguists, researchers and teachers all know this. They know that the speech of native speakers is idiomatic... that is, full of idioms.

Whereas the speech of non-native speakers is unidiomatic... that is, direct, literal, and as a result, uninteresting!

What does all this mean? It means that non-native speakers (and that includes learners of English!) speak using common, everyday vocabulary with almost NO CREATIVE OR SOPHISTICATED USE OF LANGUAGE. This is the one thing that makes most non-native speakers sound simple, bland, and, even, boring!

Does that sound like you?

If you're an English learner, chances are this is exactly YOUR problem:

You have worked hard on improving your fluency, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation... you're an upper-intermediate or even an advanced learner


There's something still missing. You still lack that X-factor. No matter how hard you try, for some reason, you still don't sound like a native-speaker and you don't know why.

Well here's a possibility...

You're not using idioms.

You have an impressive range of vocabulary that you can use in a variety of situations...

BUT your speech is still literal and unidiomatic.

Your grammar is impeccable, and your sentences are refined and accurate

BUT they're still lacking in expressive power.

You're extremely fluent and have no problem talking about almost any subject

BUT you still come across as less than a native speaker. And that's because...


If you're an Upper-Intermediate or Advanced learner of English, then this is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING that is keeping you from native-like proficiency.

And that is exactly why I've created this course. On this course, I will teach you the most common, interesting and useful idioms in the English language that you can use in over 15 different situations in daily conversation.

These are the same idioms and expressions that I have taught to hundreds of my students over the years and helped them to sound natural, interesting and more like native speakers of English.

But wait...

What's so special about idioms anyway?

Well, this: idioms are often THE BEST, MOST INTERESTING WAY to express your ideas when you speak.

Take a look at this sentence:

"I was reading the newspaper this morning and I noticed an article about green tea."

Fascinating? Not really. Now take a look at this:

"I was reading the newspaper this morning and an article about green tea caught my eye."

Now THAT is an interesting sentence. Why? Because it contains an idiom - to catch one's eye.

Idioms, like this one, make your speech more sophisticated and entertaining. They break the drab monotony of everyday conversation. In other words...

Idioms make the English language come alive.

And this is why you need to learn them.

On this course, you will learn the most common and important idioms that you can begin using today.

So how many idioms do you need to learn?

The short answer: as many as you can. But...

Here's the challenge. There are at least 25,000 idioms in English!

But before you panic, there's good news: not all of them are common in native-speaker speech.

This means you only need to learn the most common idioms to achieve native-like proficiency in English.

And that is why I have created this course.

This course will help you to finally kick the habit of using the same old tired and boring vocabulary when you speak. It is your first step towards sounding more natural, interesting, and more like a native speaker in conversations by learning and mastering idioms.

Click the 'Take this Course' button on the right and let's get started.

What are the requirements?

  • A desire to sound more natural, interesting, and more like a native speaker of English
  • A minimum of B2 (Upper-Intermediate) on the Common European Framework

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn and master 52 of the most common, interesting and useful idioms in the English language
  • Learn idioms that you can use in over 15 everyday situations
  • Begin to sound more like a native speaker of English with colorful, relevant and accurate use of idiomatic expressions
  • Communicate more effectively with native speakers with the most frequently used idioms in English
  • Better understand native speakers' use of common idioms in movies, music and real-life conversation
  • Impress your friends and coworkers with interesting idioms

Who is the target audience?

  • Any Upper-Intermediate to Advanced learner of English who wishes to achieve native-like proficiency in his/her speaking
  • This is NOT a basic English course.
  • This course is probably not for you if you are at A2 (Pre-Intermediate) level or lower on the Common European Framework
  • This course is not for you if you are a native speaker of English

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

Hi and welcome to the course! In this lecture, we'll look at what idioms are, why you need to learn them, and how this course is organized.


In this lecture, we'll go over some practical tips on how to learn the material in this course most effectively.

Section 2: Great Stuff

Guess which idiom caught my eye today...

Idiom: to catch one's eye


Warning: This lesson might just take your breath away!

Idiom: take s/o's breath away


Watch this video and I guarantee you'll look like a million bucks at the end of it! Okay, maybe not, but at least you'll learn the idiom!

Idiom: look like a million bucks

Section 3: Mental States - Feelings

How does it feel to be over the moon? Learn all about the superlunary idiom in this video!

Idiom: over the moon


Feeling blue? I know just the thing that'll cheer you up: this lesson!

Idiom: feel blue


I have a gut feeling you're going to learn a new idiom today!

Idiom: gut feeling


Want to be in my shoes? Find out what that feels like in this lesson!

Idiom: in s/o's shoes

Section 4: Mental States - Anger

I'm going to blow my top if you don't watch this lesson right now! Actually, I won't, but let's learn that idiom!

Idiom: blow one's top


You know what gets on my nerves? Find out in this video!

Idiom: get on one's nerves

Section 5: Mental States - Knowing

Hey who turned the lights out?! Can you turn them back on, please, so I can teach you yet another exciting idiom?

Idiom: in the dark


Quick, watch this lesson before it goes up, up, up in the air!

Idiom: up in the air


Hey, look under your nose! It's a new idiom!

Idiom: right under one's nose

Section 6: Mental States - Thinking

I bet you can't put your finger on this idiom!

Idiom: put one's finger on something


I've been racking my brains all day but I just can't remember our idiom for this video! Hmmm...

Idiom: rack one's brains


Want to learn how to think outside the box? Here's how! (Actually it's just the idiom, sorry!)

Idiom: think outside the box


Hello?! Do you have you head in the clouds? Well, here's a cloudy idiom for you...

Idiom: have one's head in the clouds

Section 7: Test your progress - quiz 1
16 questions

Ready to test your progress? Take this quiz and find out how many idioms you've mastered on the course so far.

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Section 8: Shock & Surprise

Woah! Did you see that idiom? It was like a bolt from the blue!

Idiom: a bolt from the blue

Section 9: Social Idioms - Talking and Discussing

Want to break the ice with me? Let's do that in this freezing cold lesson!

Idiom: break the ice


Watch this video and learn how to hit the nail right on the head!

Idiom: hit the nail on the head


What can you put in a teensy-weensy little nutshell? Why, this idiom, of course!

Idiom: put sth in a nutshell


Don't let your heart pour out! Watch this lesson and find out how!

Idiom: pour one's heart out


An idiom for zombies, perhaps? Scary!

Idiom: pick s/o's brain


Hey, how about we put our heads together and learn another interesting idiom today!

Idiom: put heads together


Wait, don't shoot! I promise I'll teach you that idiom if you spare my life!

Idiom: shoot from the hip


What do brick walls talk about? Idioms, maybe?

Idiom: talking to a brick wall

Section 10: Social Idioms - Relations

Somebody help that idiom! It's stuck on a burning bridge! The horror!!!!

Idiom: burn one's bridges


Are you a cat person? Well, here's a fancy feline idiom for you!

Idiom: let the cat out of the bag


How do you give someone a taste of their own medicine? Find out in this lesson!

Idiom: a taste of one's own medicine

Section 11: Social Idioms - Behavior

What's the right way to pull someone's leg? Up? Down? Round and round? Learn the idiom and find out on this lesson!

Idiom: pull s/o's leg


What a snobby idiom! Hmph!

Idiom: turn one's nose up at s/o, sth


Meet the most enthusastic idiom in the whole wide world!

Idiom: eager beaver

Section 12: Habits

Want some nice delicious cold turkey? Get it free on this lesson!

Idiom: cold turkey

Section 13: Test your progress - quiz 2
16 questions

Ready to test your progress? Take this quiz and find out how many idioms you've mastered on the course so far.

Like this course?
1 page
Section 14: Business - Idioms at Work

Like basketball? You'll love this idiom!

Idiom: on the ball


Here's an idiom to learn on the run!

Idiom: on one's toes


The easiest idiom in the world. Trust me, it's a piece of cake!

Idiom: a piece of cake


Quit sitting on your hands and watch this lesson!

Idiom: sit on one's hands


...and don't leave your idioms behind!

Idiom: jump ship

Section 15: Business - Finance

They say you should never put all your eggs in one basket. But what about all your idioms?

Idiom: put all eggs in one basket


What ever happened to the idiom that fell in a hole? Find out in this video!

Idiom: get out of the hole


Sounds like an idiom for bank robbers! But wait, can you even break a bank?!

Idiom: break the bank

Section 16: Success & Failure - Success

Did you ever hear about the lucky idiom that hit the jackpot? Learn all about it in this video!

Idiom: hit the jackpot


What's the tallest idiom in the world? Watch this lesson and find out!

Idiom: on top of the world

Section 17: Success & Failure - Failure

You can drop a ball... but can you drop an idiom?

Idiom: drop the ball


How to not burn your fingers: 1. don't play with fire, 2. watch this video!

Idiom: burn one's fingers

Section 18: Hardship - Trouble

What does it feel like to have butterflies flying all over your tummy? Find out in this lesson!

Idiom: butterflies in one's stomach


What's the one place you should NEVER go skating? Learn all about it in this video!

Idiom: on thin ice


Did you hear about the fish that jumped out of the water? They say it became... an idiom!

Idiom: a fish out of water


Meet the world's yuckiest idiom!

Idiom: in a pickle


Is there any skin on your teeth? No? What's this idiom about then?!

Idiom: by the skin of one's teeth

Section 19: Hardship - Struggle

Here's a punchy idiom for all you boxing fans out there!

Idiom: take it on the chin


Who ever came up with the idea of biting a bullet? Thank goodness it's just an idiom now!

Idiom: bite the bullet


You know you should keep your chin up. But how high? And for how long? Watch this lesson and find out!

Idiom: keep one's chin up

Section 20: Test your progress - quiz 3
20 questions

Ready to test your progress? Take this quiz and find out how many idioms you've mastered on the course so far.

Section 21: Test your progress - Master quiz
52 questions

Ready for this master quiz? Take this final quiz and find out how many idioms you've learned and mastered on the whole course!

Section 22: Conclusion

Some closing thoughts, tips and reminders on how to keep learning idioms effectively.


Here's a big collection of resources that you can use to continue learning and mastering idioms.

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Bonus Lecture: Free English Lessons!

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Instructor Biography

Ganesh Kumar, ESL Teacher, English Language Expert, Public Speaker

My job is to help you speak and write excellent English.

As an ESL teacher, I've taught English to hundreds of students from around the world, alongside running teacher training workshops to help teachers and language trainers deliver better lessons to their students.

If you would like to learn any of these things: conversation skills, grammar, vocabulary, presentation skills, email writing, essay writing...

...then you're in the right place! See my Udemy courses below and you can start learning these skills right now!


What teaching experience do I have?

For the past five years, I have taught English as a Second Language (ESL) to students from India, Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, France, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. During this time, I have also worked with one of the biggest language schools in the world, and as part of this job, I have trained at several multinational companies, helping their employees develop their communication skills for work.

What do I teach?

I teach general English, business English, English for exams, presentation skills, telephoning skills, email writing, and accent and pronunciation. I am also a teacher trainer, focusing on helping novice teachers deliver quality lessons to their students.

Why do I teach?

I teach because I am extremely passionate about teaching, and have been for all my life. My #1 commitment is my students' success in whatever I teach them and beyond. Although a professional ESL teacher, in the past I have also taught web design, software development, and even martial arts!

What other work experience do I have?

I began my career by working as a copywriter for local publications and websites. I then worked as an office manager, web developer and online marketer, all while working part-time as an English language trainer. I took the plunge into full-time ESL teaching in 2010 and haven't looked back since.

What are my qualifications?

I graduated with a degree in Business Administration. My primary teaching qualification is a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) from the University of Cambridge. I also have a certificate in using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the classroom from International House, Barcelona.

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