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Idiom Worksheets and Tests

Students are often required to identify idioms on state tests, but what are idioms? It’s hard to define them. Idioms are one of the more elusive parts of figurative language. This is because idioms are made from other figurative language techniques (like simile, metaphor, or hyperbole).  

For example, let’s look at the idiom “He’s running out of steam.” This is a metaphor that compares “him” to a steam engine, but it’s also an idiom. What separates idioms from other figurative language techniques is that people use idioms a lot. In other words, idioms are just cliched figurative expressions.  To complicate matters, many students have not been exposed to a lot of these dated expressions.  Most of today’s students do not understand the origins of the phrase “hang up the phone” yet alone the idiom “bought the farm.” The best way to prepare students is to expose them to a wide range of idioms. This page contains tests, worksheets, and interactive activities to help your students master idioms.


Idiom Test 1 – This idiom test will help you evaluate how well your students can determine the meaning of idioms based on context. 15 multiple choice questions.
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Ereading Worksheet – Online Idioms Test 1 With Long Response Questions

Idiom Test 2 – Here’s another idiom test with 15 multiple choice questions. This one is a bit harder than the other one, so level accordingly.
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Ereading Worksheet – Online Idioms Test 2 With Long Response Questions

Idiom Worksheet – 15 commonly used expressions with which students may not be too familiar.  Students read each idiom and, based on the context of the sentence, determine the meaning of the expression.
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Idiom Worksheet 2 – Give your students more exposure to idiomatic phrases.  This worksheet contains 15 more idioms.  Students determine the meaning of each expression based on the context.
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Idiom Worksheet 3 – Another 15 examples of commonly used idioms.  Students will gain exposure to idioms while determining their meaning based on the context of each sentence.  Great practice.
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Idiom Worksheet 4 – Here are 15 more common idioms used in sentences. Students read each sentence and attempt to determine the meaning of the idiom based on its context.
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Idiom Worksheet 5 – Still looking for idiom worksheets? Here are 15 more problems! Students read the sentences and determine the meaning of the bolded phrase based on the context of the sentence. Then they explain their answers. This one is a little bit harder than some of the other idiom worksheets.
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Idiom Worksheet 6 – Here is another idiom worksheet. 15 more problems with commonly used idioms bolded. Determine the meaning based on the context and explain your answer.
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Idiom Worksheet 7 – One more idiom worksheet to give students the practice that they need. Idioms are used in context rich sentences. Students determine the meaning of each idiom and explain their answers. This one is a little bit harder than some of the others.
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Common Core State Standards Related to Idiom

Anchor Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 – Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.5 – Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Expand to View All Common Core State Standards Related to Idiom

ELA Standards: Literature

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

ELA Standards: Language

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.5 – Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5a – Explain the meaning of simple similes and metaphors (e.g., as pretty as a picture) in context.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5b – Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.5a – Interpret figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.5b – Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.7.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., literary, biblical, and mythological allusions) in context.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g. verbal irony, puns) in context.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., euphemism, oxymoron) in context and analyze their role in the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., hyperbole, paradox) in context and analyze their role in the text.

View Source
Common Core Lesson and Unit Plans
Understanding Common Core State Standards

 

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68 Comments

  1. Tinh Cao

     /  July 25, 2017

    Thank you very very very much. Love!

    Reply
  2. mohsaid kissoum

     /  March 23, 2017

    Thanmirth! That’s absobloodilootly a great job! I really enjoy what you are doing. MyThumb’s up!

    Reply
  3. Ana Martinez

     /  March 12, 2017

    This site is AWESOME! Thanks for sharing for free! This makes my job easier! Kind regards from Mexico! 🙂

    Reply
  4. Zehra Suleman

     /  November 15, 2016

    i think there should be some more exercises for more illustration

    Reply
  5. keertti mutreja

     /  August 11, 2016

    Kudos to the Team…Amazing work !! Would be of Great help..Thank you

    Reply
  6. Nonette Romero

     /  June 28, 2016

    This is the best website I’ve seen. More power to you and your team! May God bless you and your team a hundrefold!

    Reply
  7. BUJJI

     /  June 10, 2016

    You saved my life with these exercises. Much appreciated. Thanks.

    Reply
  8. cassie

     /  April 28, 2016

    very great website. really help me to gain my knowledge in terms of idiomatic expression!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS SITE!!I SALUTE

    Reply
  9. cassie

     /  April 28, 2016

    this is a nice website! really much help me in school

    Reply
  10. Mariesa

     /  April 27, 2016

    Thank you so much. Fantastic worksheets that have helped me greatly and saved me a lot of time too!

    Reply
  11. Roxana Santee

     /  March 20, 2016

    Excellent! great job, you just saved my life! Thank you so much!

    Reply
  12. DUAA LAKANI

     /  February 10, 2016

    WOW! EXCELLENT

    Reply
  13. Deana

     /  October 9, 2015

    I love this site. Do you think there is anyway you could add some expository writing activities?

    Reply
  14. Bonnie

     /  August 25, 2015

    Great website!

    In Idiom Test 1, I believe the correct answer for #5. is a, and #8 is c.

    Reply
  15. carlos

     /  July 9, 2015

    You saved my life with these exercises. Much appreciated. Thanks.

    Reply
  16. Jim

     /  July 2, 2015

    It’s just great that people are willing to share such valuable resources. Thank you indeed.

    Reply
  17. faresa

     /  March 24, 2015

    Wow wonderful

    Reply
  18. Sarah

     /  December 31, 2014

    Your entire website is an excellent resource for teachers! Thank you for sharing your work:)

    Reply
  19. Nupur

     /  October 26, 2014

    This website is amazing and very helpful!!thank you so much. I am sure i’m going to do better with the help of these worksheets! 🙂

    Reply
  20. Bhargavi

     /  September 5, 2014

    I’m not a native speaker of English and these idioms are a great help for me to learn the language. I aim to learn one new idiom a day, but I just get caught up in these worksheets since they’re so much fun! Thank you for all your efforts!

    Reply
  21. Teacher Barry

     /  July 10, 2014

    Excellent resources. Just what the doctor ordered. Thank you.

    Reply
  22. Merlo

     /  April 21, 2014

    thanks these are excellent worksheets helpful a lot.

    Reply
  23. ruby

     /  March 26, 2014

    excellent

    Reply
  24. Kiera

     /  December 5, 2013

    Are there answer sheets to all the worksheets?

    Reply
  25. Jennifer Kerr

     /  November 19, 2013

    I was moved from middle school to high school this year and am starting over with curriculum! Thanks for all the great materials!!!!!!

    Reply
  26. Denise Haydon

     /  November 9, 2013

    Thanks so much for sharing these worksheets. I needed something that my 5th grade students could use to help them figure out idioms in reading context and these are perfect.

    Reply
  27. Brenda

     /  November 7, 2013

    It will be nice, if it had the answers as well !! 🙂

    Reply
  28. Yara

     /  September 29, 2013

    Perfect!! thanks a lot. A great help

    Reply
  29. Bharathy Shree

     /  April 22, 2013

    The worksheets are excellent and very apt for my grade level.Keep up the good work

    Reply
  30. Melinda Gamargo

     /  January 10, 2013

    Wow. I loved these worksheets!! Lots of learning in one 2-sided sheet. Great for teaching idioms AND context clues. Bravo.

    Reply
  31. Gary

     /  November 27, 2012

    I’ve bookmarked your site. You have my gratitude and admiration.

    Cheers,
    Gary

    Reply
  32. Sai Bun Kham

     /  November 16, 2012

    What should I write while every one says your website is fantastic. I would say ” you can say that again”. As I am in a preparation of TOEFL test, it would nice if you can find some of the TOEFL materials and post it. Thanks for your hard-work. 🙂

    Reply
  33. Michelle

     /  October 12, 2012

    This website is great! It is so hard to find good handouts that are not too elementary for my high school students. I have passed this on to my colleagues. Everyone loves the idea that not only do you have printable worksheets, but also editable ones!

    Reply
  34. Minara

     /  August 14, 2012

    Your website is fantastic. I use your materials to teach my little brother. I really appreciate your hard work. I love your website. I am looking for parallel structure/sentence worksheet. I noticed, writing is easier when they know how to write a correct parallel structure sentence. Can you please post some parallel structure worksheet or email it to me?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • That’s awesome. I don’t have any such worksheet at this time, but thank you for the suggestion. I’d love to make such activities sometime in the future.

      Reply
  35. Tawfiq

     /  August 5, 2012

    Such a fantastic website … All of your worksheets did a great help to me … It would be so nice if you could provide the answer key too… Anwz, thank you for all ..

    Reply
  36. Ms. A

     /  May 20, 2012

    Thank you very much for posting all of these worksheets! I just began teaching English and suddenly am being attacked from every angle with new assessments for skills that students should have learned ages ago. Not only are these sheets a great way to test them before the test, but they prevent having to prepare a full lesson to refresh their memories. Also, they follow the rules of all of the workshops I have been attending which tell us not to hold students’ hands when doing this work. Thank you Mr. Morton!

    Reply
  37. joel machava

     /  April 9, 2012

    thank you for the data you throw to us. i didnt have any opinion of a worksheet before and i thought it to be hard to find. now i am in a good position to design my own for my students. thank you very much. keep doing so!….

    Reply
  38. beatrice

     /  April 3, 2012

    Do you have the answers to your worksheet? they are great but I am somtimes uncertain of the answers.

    Reply
  39. Thank you, I shall be trying these with a class later.

    🙂

    Reply
  40. Mike

     /  February 26, 2012

    I am an ESL teacher and these worksheets are great tools for my students. They are beginning to pick up the nuances of the English language and slang. Thanks!

    Reply
  41. Kathi

     /  February 18, 2012

    Your website is amazing! This year I was assigned 7th grade English, which I haven’t taught for 10 years. A lot of things have changed since then, and your website has helped me tremendously! I have even told my high school English teacher about your website. THANKS SO MUCH!!!

    Reply
  42. Ross

     /  February 2, 2012

    Wow, I am very impressed with this website! There are so many useful worksheets! Thank you so much for your hard work!

    Reply
  43. Brook

     /  January 23, 2012

    WOW! Great job on the worksheets. It was a nice surprise to foind something well done for classroom use…lots of useless garbage floating around out there.

    Reply
  44. Melissa

     /  December 8, 2011

    Are there any answer keys for the idiom worksheets? I LOVE this site btw!!!

    Reply
  45. Tara

     /  December 7, 2011

    Are there answer keys for the Idiom worksheets?

    Reply
  46. Gunn

     /  November 28, 2011

    YEA……this went over well with my students, now we are working on different cultures idioms…..thanx

    Reply
  47. All of your worksheets are excellent. So far above the usual cookie cutter fare found on most educational websites. Thanks you so much for sharing your time, effort and obvious skill level with us all.

    Reply
  48. Excellent!
    The worksheets are a great help.
    Just what I needed.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Mr. Morton

       /  April 15, 2011

      Happy to hear it, Mr. Cannon. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Reply

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