This is an easy-to-follow guide that will help you understand the most common American idioms.
The main goal of this guide is to help you become a more fluent speaker. It’s not a dictionary and I’m not a native English speaker.
STEP 1: Pick a Topic to Learn
When I first started learning American English idioms, I had a lot of trouble picking the right topic. After much research, I’ve found that idioms are the most popular topics among learners because they’re both fun and useful.
STEP 2: Find the Right Resources
There’s no one perfect resource for learning idioms. However, there are a few books and websites that I recommend:
Idioms Dictionary (Penny Eckert): This is my favorite resource because it’s comprehensive and easy to use. There are a total of 790 entries in this dictionary, and you can download it as a PDF file. You’ll find the word in context with examples and definitions.
Linguee (Linguee): Linguee is a comprehensive resource that includes all of the most commonly used idioms in English. It also has a dictionary where you can search by keyword or by context. The best thing about Linguee is that you can see a list of synonyms and antonyms, so you can learn which words are similar in meaning.
STEP 3: Study the Idioms
Now that you’ve found the right resources, it’s time to start studying. Read through the dictionary for each idiom and then try to understand its definition. The dictionary will give you a lot of information, but it won’t be enough to really understand what the idiom means.
For example, if the dictionary says “to have a lot of fun”, you might assume that it means “to have a lot of fun”. However, this isn’t true. To really understand the idiom, you need to understand what the word “have” means in the sentence. You may think that “have a lot of fun” means to have a lot of fun, but in reality it means “to have fun a lot”.
STEP 4: Repeat It
When you’ve learned the meaning of an idiom, it’s time to test yourself. Find other examples of this idiomatic expression and see how well you can use it.
STEP 5: Use It
Once you’re comfortable with an idiom, you can start using it in your speech. In English, idioms are used all the time, so it’s important to practice them and get comfortable with their use.
STEP 6: Understand Its Context
When you learn a new word, it’s important to understand its context. Knowing the context helps you understand the word in a more meaningful way. For example, if you say “he has a lot of fun”, it means that he’s having fun a lot, but if you say “he has fun a lot”, it means that he’s having fun a lot.
STEP 7: Learn More
I recommend that you take advantage of your newfound knowledge and learn more idioms!
Thanks for reading and learning.