Ten Idioms from Cartoons

As a part of my effort to use interesting ways for teaching English, I’ve decided to gather a collection of pictures from popular cartoons which are perfect for teaching idioms in English. You can use these images for practicing speaking and vocabulary.

Every image represents one idiom. The focus of you lesson would be to explore the meaning of the idiom and to analyze the image, and figure out how to relate the image to the idiom. Along the way, you could:

  • Introduce other idioms
  • Talk about the cartoon
  • Talk about situations when students were in the similar situation

Exercise: Each image illustrates one idiom. There are three possible answers below each image, and the goal is find the correct one. (Correct answers are in the end of this article).

1. Against the clock

idiom_against_the_clock

a) In a great hurry to get something done before a particular time.
b) Just in time, at the last possible moment.
c) Not worrying about the time.

2. Better late than never

idiom_better_late_than_never

a) You should not be late.
b) It is better to do something after it was supposed to have been done than not to do it at all.
c) It is better not to do anything if you are going to be late.

3. Have eyes in the back of your head

idiom_have_eyes_in_the_back_of_your_head

a) To wear glasses.
b) To know everything that is happening around you.
c) To have a friend behind your back.

4. Tip of the iceberg

idiom_tip_of_the_iceberg

a) The part of a problem that can be seen, with far more serious problems lying underneath.
b) Uncertain situation that could cause harm.
c) Almost doing or experiencing something.

5. Keep an eye on

idiom_keep_an_eye_on

a) To be enthusiastic about someone or something.
b) To be responsible for someone or something.
c) To watch or give your attention to someone or something.

6. It’s raining cats and dogs

idiom_raining_cats_and_dogs

a) To fall or drop down on someone or something like rain.
b) To rain very heavily.
c) Doing something that spoils someone’s plans.

7. Smell something fishy

idiom_smell_something_fishy

a) To seem suspicious.
b) To seem to easy to be true.
c) To have a strong or unpleasant smell.

8. Miss the boat

idiom_miss_the_boat

a) Not being able to do something because it’s too difficult.
b) To be just in time, at the last possible moment.
c) To be too late to get something that you want.

9. Not see the forest for the trees

idiom_not_see_forest_for_the_trees

a) To pay too much attention to details and not understand the general situation.
b) To do everything others are doing.
c) To be lost and unable to find the way.

10. Sleep on it

idiom_sleep_on_it

a) To sleep until you’re fully relaxed.
b) To wait before making an important decision.
c) To sleep despite the problems and worries you might have.

Answers:

1. a            2. b          3. b            4. a             5. c
6.b            7. a           8. c            9. a             10. b

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6 thoughts on “Ten Idioms from Cartoons

  1. Pingback: Ten Idioms from Cartoons | English Language Tea...

  2. Pingback: Ten Idioms from Cartoons | Educational Innovation

  3. Pingback: Ten Idioms from Cartoons | STUDY CENTRE IH

  4. What an AMAZING idea! I want to use it in a class of challenged learners and I think it will be a brilliant way for them to remember idioms especially as they do come up in texts occasionally. Thank you!

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