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idioms / Slang

Banned for Life


Do you try to read English newspapers and magazines whenever you can? It's a great way to improve your English ability! This site is a long list of cliches (words or phrases that are used too much) and words that are used incorrectly, which are found in print. They were sent to the site from professional writers.


Your Turn:
Try to do a little detective work yourself. See how many of the words or phrases from the list you can find in newspapers, magazines, or on the Internet. Add any other cliches or mistakes that you find in your reading.

The Book of Clich?


A cliche is an expression that is so popular that people use it a lot.....maybe TOO much! Can you guess what these cliches mean?

-Rome wasn't built in a day.
-When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
-No guts, no glory.
-There are plenty more fish in the sea.

To use this site, click on the time you want to use a cliche. For example:

-For when you feel really bad


Your Turn:
Ask some native speakers to tell you 2 or 3 cliches that they use (and the meanings). Make a list of them. Then ask your classmates to guess the meanings of the cliches.

Idioms By Kids


Idioms By Kids is a website with over 1000 high quality (kid drawn) drawings of the literal meaning of a number of idioms.For example Big Apple is simply a drawing of a big apple. Many of these are extremely humorous.?There is also an extensive list of over 3000 kid safe idioms, with suggestions for "kids" to add their drawings to this website.


Dave Sperling's ESL Slang Page


Here's an excellent slang dictionary. Next time you see or hear a slang word that you're not sure about, try looking it up on this page!

GoEnglish.com Pocket English Idioms Dictionary


Here's a really excellent idioms dictionary. Each entry has a great drawing to illustrate the idiom. You'll find easy-to-understand definitions and examples. Use the search box or click on one of the keywords to find an idiom.


Your Turn:
First, read an idiom and look at the illustration. Then, try to guess what the meaning might be. Next, look at the definition and example. Finally, write your own sentence using the idiom.

The Idiom Connection


This site is a combination of an idioms dictionary and idioms quizzes. The idioms are organized alphabetically or by theme. Just click to get a complete list of idioms.


Your Turn:
Before you look at all the idioms on a page, try the quiz first. If you're not sure of an answer, look for the answer in the dictionary. When you find an idiom that you think might be useful for you, try writing 2 or 3 sentences using that idiom. Then try to use it in conversation whenever you have a chance.

Paint by Idioms


Idioms are special words or phrases that have their own meaning. For example, if I say "It's a piece of cake," I mean it's very easy. The meaning doesn't really have anything to do with cake. There are many idioms in English. If you learn to use idioms, your English will be much more colorful and interesting. At this site, you can learn lots of new idioms. Just choose a theme (easy or hard) and what kind of exercise you want to try. Finally, choose a character that you can paint if you choose the right answers.


Your Turn:
After you learn some new idioms, write a short conversation betweeen two people. See how many idioms you can use in the conversation.

The Simile Satellite


Do you know what a simile is? In English, we use similes to compare things and to make our language more colorful. Similes use "like" and "as...as."

For example:

-Her voice was like a songbird!
-He was as tall as a mountain!

At this site, you can learn about similes and practice writing your own!


Your Turn:
First, read about similies and take the short quiz. Then, read and listen to some simile poems. Finally, you'll see 3 exercises that let you practice writing your own similes. My favorite is the Simile Riddle. Write about an object with similes and see if your classmates can guess what it is!




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