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5 top tips on learning idioms – Courtesy of Tony

Hello to all,

I hope that you are well wherever you may be in the world. Is the sun shining or is it raining? Are you enjoying warm or cold weather? Here autumn has really kicked in and the trees are almost naked. It is amazing the difference naked trees can make to the landscape. Many people often think that London is a concrete jungle but you will be amazed at the amount of greenery there is. For example where I live there are some amazing huge trees that have been there for many many years. So when you come to study English in London make sure you explore the city and its many nooks and crannies! (You might need to ask for help on this one!) You will be pleasantly surprised. Our weekly social programme will introduce you to some of them.

How did you find my 10 tips on using the internet? Did you try any? By the way have you been reading Tony’s idiom of the week? This week was ‘caught red handed’. As you can see Tony always puts the idioms in context. So this week I have asked Tony to give me his 5 top tips on learning idioms. Thanks Tony!!

Tony’s top five tips are:

1)      If you see an idiom in context i.e., in a magazine, newspaper or a book, try to understand the context and this will help you with the idiom. For example: my boss was really angry:  shouting and screaming until he tripped and fell over the table.  Everyone laughed and I couldn’t keep a straight face.

2)       Keep an ‘Idioms’ diary.  Every time you hear an idiom or read one, write it down but then make sure that you can look it up at home in a dictionary (English dictionary for learners) and to write it in a sentence otherwise you will forget the meaning.

3)       A lot of idioms can be found in songs.  If you can download the lyrics, have a look at the words and find the idioms – remember an idiom does not make sense if you translate every word but more that you see it as a whole expression.

4)      Try to see the idiom in your mind. Can you see the image? Many idioms are made of images.  Try to imagine them and this will help you remember them by seeing the pictures in your mind.

5)      Use the idioms you have learnt in everyday life.  Should you be in a certain situation then don’t be afraid to use one either in writing or in speaking.


Last week we had to say goodbye to the lovely Yuriko who had worked in our cafeteria. We are so going to miss her!! Yuriko was always so charming and always a ray of sunshine in the cafeteria. She will be sorely missed. (A great collocation there!!) We wish her all the best in her new adventures and please stay in touch!

Goodbye to Yuriko from all of us!

We also have to wish a warm welcome to Mika who has replaced Yuriko. We hope you will enjoy working with us.

Bloomsbury’s newsletter is out this week so please take a look. Thank you Lucia for your hard work and getting it out on time! Have you tried her puzzle? There are a teachers and students walking around Bloomsbury scratching their heads!! Have you managed to solve it? We would love to hear from you so please forward us your answers.

I would like to say thank you to all of you for your support regarding Tok’s disappearance. Sadly he has not been returned or found and now it is looking unlikely that he will ever be returned. I hope that wherever he is that he is okay. Tik has been renamed. Clearly calling her Tik without Tok just sounds wrong. In fact a Tik (tick) has two meanings in English, one gross and one to say well done:

Two ticks!!


Tick one lives off your blood! How unpleasant!! Two ticks is a collocation also!! I’ll be back in two ticks, means that you will be gone for a very short time!! So now I am comptelyl ticked out!!

Anyway back to Tik (confused? Bear with me, I started rambling the) I have renamed her Snow!

Not the most original but she is white as snow and it is a girly name and she is a girly cat! What do you think of the name? Do you like it? Do you have any other suggestions? Please contact me through the usual channels and if you come up with a better name I’d love to hear from you. So temporarily Tik is now Snow unless you come up with a more original name!

Well I am off this week on Thursday & Friday. So if you are reading this on Friday I will be stripping and painting my hallway. Guess what colour? Snow white!!!! Really!!! I recently bought a new tall slim shelf unit in ice white for storage to go in the hall so thought I’d better paint the hall to match. Plus some of the wallpaper had been coming off and I’ve been attacking it a little bit every day so now it looks a bit shabby.

Well that is all from me this week. Don’t forget to check out Lucia’s newsletter and Tony’s idiom of the week.

Snow or no Snow, you decide!!

Toodle pip


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