An idiom is a phrase or an expression that has a figurative, or sometimes literal, meaning. Categorized as formulaic language, an idiom's figurative meaning is different from the literal meaning.
There are thousands of idioms, occurring frequently in all languages. In the English language alone, it is estimated that there are at least twenty-five thousand idiomatic expressions.
A proverb is a short, pithy saying that expresses a traditionally held truth or piece of advice, based on common sense or experience.
Nothing defines a culture as distinctly as its language, and the element of language that best encapsulates a society's values and beliefs is its proverbs.
Here we collect the most popular English idioms and proverbs for English learners.
You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours!
= If you do a favor for me, I will do a favor for you!
All that glitters isn’t gold!
= Not everything is as wonderful
as it seems (this can refer to material
things and also situations)
What goes around comes around!
= if you treat people badly, something bad
will happen to you and if you treat people
well, something good will happen to you.
This common idiom proves that Americans
= Stop, calm down! (usually said in the middle
of a discussion or argument)
= Let’s take a break now!
Time heals all wounds
= With time, sadness will pass
There’s no time like the present!
= It is best to do it now!
It’s raining cats and dogs!
= It’s raining hard (a lot)!
The cat’s out of the bag!
=The secret is not a secret anymore!
ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS
= in a bad/poor/undesirable neighborhood
Sam grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.
To have the inside track
= To have an advantage because you know certain people or you have special information
Bob knows what the president is going to announce in his televised speech this evening because he has the inside track!
I would write an article about Julia Roberts’ life if I could get the inside track!
get = obtain
You have a one track mind!
= You always think about the same (one) thing!
(we can also say he/she/we/they “has/have a one
a poker face
= a face with no expression
This idiom originates from the card game of poker because no gambling poker player should have an expression that is easy to read! (that way, the other players in the game won’t be able to guess how good/bad his/her cards are)
George has a poker face so you never know
what he’s thinking!