An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally – for example “as sick as a dog”. This has nothing to do with a dog, and simply means you are very ill.
Students are often required to identify idioms on reading tests, but they are one of the more difficult parts of figurative language. Often, idioms use other figurative language techniques like similes or metaphors.
Idioms are very common in many languages and this is where clichés come in. Many idioms are just cliched figurative expressions.
A cliché is a figure of speech (often a metaphor or simile) that is used so often it has become unoriginal and has lost its intended descriptive meaning.
This collection of 35 idioms (many of which are clichés) are an excellent way to give students exposure to a range of idioms – especially as some of these cliched phrases are dated and might not be understood by students right away.
After completing these worksheets students will be able to:
- Understand what an idiom is and recognize them
- Understand and recognize a cliché
- Write down or repeat a number of examples for both idioms and clichés
- Explain why a certain idiom might also be considered a cliché
Included in this study guide
- What are Idioms and Clichés?
- What Does it Mean? 35 Idiom Examples
- Is It a Cliché? Writing Activity
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.