What is the difference between idioms and expressions?


When learning English, many people will come up with idioms and idioms and will not be able to tell the difference. As the range of idiom expressions expands, the comprehension of English sentences will increase at once. If you study intensively, you will have a wider range of expressiveness. English idioms have the drawback that they are difficult to guess and remember from words.

Therefore, this time, after explaining the difference between English idiom expressions and idioms, we will introduce typical idiom expressions.

Difference between English "idiom" and "idiom"

English idioms and idioms can be confusing, but the two words are used interchangeably. Strictly speaking, it's a little different, and it can be said that idioms are often used in a broader sense. Here, we will introduce the meanings of idioms and idioms, respectively.


An English vocabulary is a vocabulary that is composed of multiple English words and has a specific meaning. For example, go for a walk literally means "going out for a walk," but in idioms it means "walking." When used in a set, it becomes an idiomatic expression that has a specific meaning.

Many of the words used can be inferred, and there are countless idioms such as verbs, adverbs, and conjunctions. There are many words you already know, such as a couple of (two, a few), at first (at first), and by the way (by the way).

In Japanese English education, the acquisition of idioms has been emphasized as well as grammar. For this reason, reference books and problem books that introduce only English idioms are also available.


Idioms also have a specific meaning in an array of words. The usage and meaning are determined by convention, and it is often the case that the meaning cannot be inferred just by looking at the words contained in it. There are also many idioms that consist of metaphorical and similar expressions. For example, a piece of cake means "easy, easy". English learners will not be able to imagine it unless they have mastered the meaning.

In this way, idioms can be thought of as idioms that don't literally make sense. There are many expressions that use the body and animals, which are indirect meanings, but if you study together with their origins, you can learn them while having fun.

How to efficiently memorize idioms and idioms

Without knowledge of idioms and idioms, you may not be able to understand the meaning of a sentence correctly, or you may not be able to broaden your range of expressions. However, some people may be worried that they will forget it soon after they remember it. Therefore, I will introduce the points to efficiently learn idiom expressions and idioms.

[Caution] Idioms and idioms are not allowed to be memorized.

There are countless English idioms and idioms, so many people will be impatient with exams and exam preparation and memorize them. However, idioms and idioms are often idiomatic expressions, and it is often difficult to guess the meaning from the literal translations of the words that make up them. It is dangerous to memorize the whole thing because it is difficult to memorize it and you may not be able to remember it in the actual test or practice.

Also, versatile words such as take, get, and look have many variations of idioms and idioms and can be confused. With rote memorization, it becomes difficult to remember similar expressions.

Learn while imagining the scenes represented by idioms and idioms

In order to correctly understand and remember similar expressions, it is effective to learn while imagining the meanings of idioms and idioms and the scenes that can be used. The degree of retention of memory differs between the case of memorizing while expanding the imagination and the case of memorizing only by looking at the letters.

For example, there are countless idioms that use take. The meaning is completely different depending on the difference of one word that follows, so it will be difficult to remember just by listing the list. Take over (take over), take back (take back, return), take out (take out, take out), take up (lift, protect), etc., even if you look at only a part, the meaning is confused. It will be necessary to memorize it with concrete example sentences while imagining what kind of scene it will be used in.

Know the origins of idioms and idioms

Understanding the components and knowing their origins is also important for establishing idioms and idioms in memory. Many verb idioms and idioms make sense with prepositions. Multiplying the original meanings and images of verbs and prepositions makes it easier to understand the meaning of idioms and idioms.

Also, when choosing a reference book, it will be easier to remember if it contains advice for understanding the cultural background and meaning. There are many expressions that are difficult to understand without knowing English-speaking customs, so it will be easier to learn if you enjoy and absorb knowledge while learning.

Write your own English

To learn many idioms and idioms, it is effective to write your own sentences. A simple sentence is fine, so let's write an English composition while imagining the situation.

For example, the above-mentioned take over is an expression often used when taking over a job or business. It will be easier to remember if you try a simple composition as shown below while imagining the business scene.

Example sentence: I understand the business and can take over when my boss is away.

If you try to write an essay with your own head, you will be able to pay attention to the details and deepen your understanding. As you can see, short sentences are enough, so if you stock the original examples, you will surely acquire the knowledge.

10 idioms using common verbs

Here, we will introduce 10 idioms that specifically use general verbs. Common verb idioms are easy to incorporate into everyday conversation and are useful to remember.

take off

Meaning: Take off, (airplane) take off

Example sentence: Please kindly take off your shoes here.

It is an expression used when taking off clothes, and when the object is attached to the back, it means "take off". If the object is a demonstrative, put it in the middle, like take it off, take them off. It also means that the plane will take off and land, so it's useful to remember.

put on

Meaning: Wear, wear

Example sentence: I put on a coat as it's so cold today.
(I put on a coat as it's so cold today.)

It means wearing clothes, hats, shoes, etc. It has the same meaning as wear and is an expression that can be used frequently in daily life. When using demonstratives, keep in mind that the word order is put it on or put them on.

In addition, put on weight means "get fat", so it's useful to remember it together.

come around

Meaning: Visit, change opinion, get rid of mood, regain consciousness

Example sentence: He didn't agree with the idea. I hope he will come around one day.
(He didn't agree with the idea. I hope he will change his opinion someday.)

As you can imagine from the word, come around means "visit", but there are many other ways to use it. The nuance depends on the situation you use.

come clean

Meaning: Tell the truth, confess

Example sentence: He will come clean about what he actually did.
(He will confess what he actually did.)

It's an idiom of nuances that tells the truth about what you were lying or hiding. If you say "tell the truth to (the other person)", it will be in the form of come clean with someone accompanied by with.

look for

Meaning: Find

Example sentence: What are you looking for?

It means "find" with an object. It is also used when you are simply looking for things or people physically, but you will often use it with the nuance of "searching" for work or things with expectations.

look after

Meaning: Take care of, take care of, follow with your eyes

Example sentence: Don't worry, I'll look after your children while you are out.
(Don't worry, I'll take care of your child while you're away.)

It is an expression often used in scenes where people are taken care of or cared for. The object is not only for people, but also for bringing things such as homes and luggage to the meaning of "being stunning and managing."

put away

Meaning: Clean up, put away, drive (thoughts, etc.) somewhere

Example sentence: Would you kindly put away your books?

It means putting things away in their original place. The object is valid whether it is placed in the middle or behind. When taking a demonstrative such as it as an object, the word order is put it away. It is also used to mean to drive away worries and stupid ideas.

run out

Meaning: Run out, run out of time

Example sentence: The store ran out of stock.

It means that you will run out of what you have saved in run out. It means "run out of" in run out of. It also means that the time runs out, and the expression run out of time is often used.

come off

Meaning: Come off, take off, realize

Example sentence: The doorknob came off. Can you fix it?

Come off has various meanings, but it is often used to mean that parts or parts of things come off. It is an expression that can be used even when paint etc. comes off. As a completely different usage, it means "success/realization".

deal with

Meaning: Dealing with, Dealing with, Corresponding to

Example sentence: I have to deal with stress.

Although deal with has many meanings and is a versatile expression, it is often used to mean dealing with problems and issues. It is an expression often used in situations where you face difficult things such as work, stress, and complaints.

5 idioms with prepositions

Keep track of idioms that use prepositions. Here, we will introduce 5 typical prepositional idioms with example sentences.

pitch in

Meaning: Help, cooperate

Example sentence: Would you pitch in with contributions of money?

It is an expression used when helping out at work or providing financial assistance. It's hard to imagine from a literal translation, but it's useful to remember with the nuance of contributing to or joining something.

on the ball

Meaning: Competent, swallowing fast, responsive

Example sentence: Have you already finished the task? You're really on the ball.

The expression on the ball is the best way to describe how well you do things and how quickly you swallow. It can be used when you want to absorb what you have taught immediately, or when you have a task or work that is quick.

get over

Meaning: Overcome, blow out, overcome

Example sentence: I hope she will get over the death of her cat soon.

Get over something means "overcome, overcome". It is also used to mean overcoming fences, but it is often used to mean overcoming sad and painful things as an idiom.

up in the air

Meaning: Vague, not yet decided

Example sentence: Our plans are still up in the air, so we'll contact you as soon as we decide.

Translated literally, it means "floating in the air," meaning that things haven't been decided yet. It is a perfect expression to express the state where the plan has not been decided.

side by side

Meaning: Next to each other, together

Example sentence: I would like to put them side by side.
(I would like to put them side by side.)

It is a convenient idiom that can be used with the nuances of "cooperating" and "at the same time" in addition to the meaning of "next to each other" and "close to each other".

5 idioms using body parts

There are many expressions that use body parts in idioms. Here, we will introduce 5 idioms that use body parts.

split hairs

Meaning: Stick to the details, slam the little things, quibble

Example sentence: I think he is just splitting hairs. Don't worry too much.
(I think he's just quibbling. Don't worry too much.)

It is used to mean sticking to the details and snooping, instead of separating the hair one by one.

count heads

Meaning: Count the number of people (such as attendees)

Example sentence: The team leader has to count heads before we leave the place.
(The team leader has to check the number of people before leaving the place.)

It's about counting the number of people in a particular place. It is also used to count the number of participants in meetings and events.

make a face

Meaning: frown, make a funny face

Example sentence: Why did he make a face?

It represents an unpleasant face when you are in a bad mood or you don't like it. In the UK, it is sometimes referred to as pull a face. You can imagine a scene where you intentionally make a face to express an unpleasant feeling.

keep an eye on

Meaning: Keep an eye on, don't talk from, watch over

Example sentence: Don't worry, I will keep an eye on your daughter while you go to the bath room.

It means keeping an eye on people and things and monitoring them. It is often used with the nuance of keeping an eye on it so that problems do not occur.

play it by ear

Meaning: Do it in a bumping production, do it flexibly

Example sentence: I don't know wha to do, but I'll play it by ear.
(I don't know what to do, but I'll do it flexibly.)

Originally, it is an expression derived from the meaning of listening to and playing an instrument such as a piano with your ears without looking at the score. It is used in the nuance of doing it in the actual production by hitting it, and doing it in the air on the spot.

5 idioms using words related to nature and weather

Idioms that use words related to nature and weather can also be useful in everyday life if you remember them. We are not always talking about nature and the weather exactly as the word means. Here are five idioms that use words related to nature and the weather.

under the weather

Meaning: I'm sick, I'm not feeling well, I'm not feeling well

Example sentence: I feel under the weather. I'll go to bed.

This expression is used when you are not feeling well or feeling unwell and you are not as usual. It is not a serious illness, but is used when you are tired from studying or working too much, or when you are sick due to lack of sleep or a cold.

weather a storm

Meaning: Endure and overcome difficulties

Example sentence: I could weather the storm with the support of my friends.
(Thanks to my friends, I was able to overcome the difficulties.)

Weather is sometimes used as a verb to mean "overcome storms and difficulties." It's an idiom that means surviving difficult situations and crises.

chasing rainbows

Meaning: Chasing a dream that is unlikely to be achieved

Example sentence: She should stop chasing rainbows.
(She should stop chasing rainbows.)

Translated literally, it means "chasing the rainbow," but it's an idiom for chasing unrealistic dreams and ideals. It means that you are chasing your dreams even though you cannot see the reality and have no chance of achieving it.

rain or shine

Meaning: No matter what, anyway

Example sentence: OK, let's meet up on Sunday, rain or shine.
(Then, let's meet up on Sunday.)

This idiom is also literally used to mean "rainy weather" at outdoor events and sports competitions. Derived from this, it is an expression that is also used to mean "whatever fits" in every scene of daily life.

under the sun

Meaning: Anything, everything

Example sentence: We were close friedns; we used to talk anything under the sun.
(We were best friends, we were talking about anything.)

It means everything on earth, that is, "anything."

5 idioms using words related to food

Finally, I would like to introduce 5 idioms that use words related to food. Again, there are idioms that you can't imagine from the original meaning of food, so it's useful to remember.

cool as a cucumber

Meaning: Calm, calm, calm

Example sentence: My sister is cool as a cucumber.

Cucumber seems to have a cool and refreshing vegetable and a calming image. For this reason, it is used as an idiom to compare a person's calm and calm state.

couch potato

Meaning: A person who is rumbling on the sofa all day without moving

Example sentence: My brother always watches TV. He became a real couch potato.

It's easy to imagine a person sitting on the sofa and eating potato chips all the time. It is a casual expression and is used as a noun meaning lazy people and TV addicts.

compare apples and oranges

Meaning: Incomparable

Example sentence: It's impossible to compare those candidates. It's like apples and oranges.

Even if you try to compare things with completely different properties, you will not be able to compare them. It is used for nuances such as "I can't compare in the first place" and "It's strange to try to compare".

not one’s cup of tea

Meaning: I don't like it, I don't like it

Example sentence: The author is no t my cup of tea.
(This writer is not my favorite.)

Indicates an object or person that the person does not like. Derived from the fact that each person has his or her own taste for tea, it is an expression that can be used for various purposes such as cooking, fashion, and people.

food for thought

Meaning: Food for thinking, things to consider

Example sentence: His speetch offered much food for thought.

It is an expression that means something that makes you think seriously or important judgment material. Shows that you will deepen your thinking by facing challenges and themes.