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English Idioms: A Great Way to Write Your Essay Like a Native Speaker


Each language has special phrases native speakers use to express themselves. When you speak with English speakers, you will hear idioms in context. This will help you to use them like a native English speaker. You shouldn’t overuse idioms or use them in the wrong context. Learn and use the simple ones first if you want to connect in a more meaningful way. Using idioms in daily situations will make you sound more like a native speaker. 

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) focuses on how well you use idiomatic language. Knowing idioms and phrases for IELTS shows how well you speak English and helps you to improve your score. Learning how to write in English also involves using idioms in the right context. 

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a group of words that has a meaning different from the literal meanings of the words that make it up. “I’m feeling under the weather today” is an example of an idiom. The phrase doesn’t mention illness, but it tells the listener that you aren’t feeling well. There are many idioms in the English language. If you don’t understand and learn common idioms, it is hard to communicate like a native speaker. 

What is the purpose of an idiom?

Using idioms shows you are familiar with the English language. When you want to make your writing sound more informal, you can include idioms. Native writing of English often includes idioms because they add imagery and color to language. Most of them give some kind of advice, such as a good “rule of thumb” is to exercise for 30 minutes every day. A sentence like “He said it was time for him to have a taste of his own medicine” is memorable because you can imagine the bad taste. It means the person will get the same bad treatment he has given others. 

Common idioms

When you learn English idioms, you should focus on the ones that you are likely to come across more often. When a professor tells you not to “beat around the bush,” it means he wants you to get to the point. When other students say “No pain no gain,” they mean you have to work hard for what you want. I read the lesson word for word, but it is “Greek to me,” which means that you didn’t understand it.


Use idioms correctly in essays 

If you’re a non-native English student studying at university, you may find it difficult to use idioms correctly in your essays. Native English speakers can pick this up straight away. You can turn to an essay writing service if you are having difficulties. You can choose a professional writer to write a paper for you in native speaker style. EduBirdie is an essay writing service for students with many professional writers to choose from. It’s reputed and has positive reviews from every user.

More common idioms

To “hit the nail on the head” means to describe exactly what is causing a problem. “You can’t judge a book by its cover” means you can’t judge someone based on their outward appearance. To “let the cat out of the bag” is to reveal someone’s secret. To “add insult to injury” is to make something worse. “To cut corners” is to do something badly or cheaply just to get it done. To “kill two birds with one stone” means to solve two problems at once. 


Do idioms fit the subject and the audience?

Can you improve an essay by using idioms? In a more informal essay, they can create a relaxed tone and add color. Is the audience well versed in English idioms? You don’t want people to take them literally. When you know what your audience prefers, you can decide whether using idioms is appropriate. Using idioms will be more appropriate in some subjects than others. Research the type of writing that is common for your subject.


Keep your writing simple

When writing English essays, it is best to use a clear, simple style. Keep sentences short and say what you want to say in a simple way. If you include idioms, make sure to use them in the right context. Don’t include them in a forced way to try and make the reader think you are fluent in English. Getting a native speaker to check your writing can help you to improve. Practice and more practice is the best way to learn. 



Learning English idioms will help you to better understand native English speakers. The only way to speak English like a native speaker is to keep talking and practicing. Learning how to include idioms in your writing will make it sound more natural. Make sure you understand the idioms you use and include them in the right context to make you sound more like a native English writer.

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Jaime Pacheco

I am an English teacher 7-9 grade and I always try to introduce my students to idioms as a way to understand both the language and the culture. I always find a song, a movie, or something to show them whatever I´m teaching. For example, I was teaching the word BREW and and show them the song STRANGE BREW, abviously you can teach many other words or expressions from the lyrics.

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