Idioms Workshop

What are "idioms"?

The phrase Give it all you've got is an idiom. But what is an idiom?
1. A speech form or an expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements, as in keep tabs on.
2. The specific grammatical, syntactic, and structural character of a given language.
3. Regional speech or dialect.
a. A specialized vocabulary used by a group of people; jargon: legal idiom.
b. A style or manner of expression peculiar to a given people: "Also important is the uneasiness I've always felt at cutting myself off from my idiom, the American habits of speech and jest and reaction, all of them entirely different from the local variety" S.J. Perelman.
5. A style of artistic expression characteristic of a particular individual, school, period, or medium: the idiom of the French impressionists; the punk rock idiom.

What does all that mean? An idiom is a sentence that does not make sense just by looking at the words. It has a meaning that is understood by the speakers and listeners. All languages use idioms. In fact, even in one language, people from different places can have different idioms. Idioms we aren't used to have to be explained to us. Why have them? Idioms make language more fun and interesting. Sometimes it is easier to explain yourself using an idiom.

What do you think "Give it all you've got" means?

Class idioms

What idioms do we use most often?

Links to Learn More about Idioms

Paint By Idioms Game Play this Game!
Idioms Site
The Free Dictionary
ESL Cafe
English Idioms
American Idioms

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License