How to make your English colorful – use expressions and idioms!

How to make your English colorful – use expressions and idioms!

How colorful is your language ? Do you want to sound like a native speaker ? Well in that case, you better start using expressions and idioms to make your English come alive !

Idioms are a fun part of language learning and apart from giving colour and interest to your conversation they also add humour and flair to your language skills. 

So tune in to this podcast and listen as we test each other with 15 expressions, you’ll hear that some we know well and some we don’t know at all. 

We all have specific expressions to where we live, what are your favorite idioms in your language? Let us know we’d love to hear them.

You can check your comprehension of the podcast with this great quiz.

Expressions Comprehension Quiz


You can also build your stock of idioms with this quiz about sporting idioms.

 Go the extra mile and listen to this podcast about expressions which William Shakespeare coined back in the 17th century and we still use today.

Chris and Sue’s bucket lists

Chris and Sue’s bucket lists

Bucket Lists

Sue and Chris talk about a Bucket lists.

Before listening, do you know what bucket lists are?

While listening.

1. Does Sue want to swim with dolphins?

2. Where does Chris want to go for his bucket list?

3. Where does Sue say she thinks the Northern Lights are?

Listen to the podcast and try the following :

  1. First relax, sit down, close your eyes then listen to the podcast all the way through.
  2. Note down some ideas of what you expect the Podcast will be about. If needed have a look on the Internet for the keyword, ‘Bucket Lists’ to prepare yourself for the listening. Here is a link HERE and HERE to start you off.
  3. Listen to JUST Sue, ignoring Chris and try to work out globally what her questions and comments are. (you won’t understand everything, so there is no point trying at this point.)
  4. Listen to just Chris as above.
  5. Now go back and listen to Sue – take a sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle, on the left of the paper, write any ideas that you have of what Sue was talking about.
  6. Now do the same for Chris.
  7. Now listen to the podcast all the way through THEN write down any more ideas that you have about the podcast.
  8. Leave the podcast for a day or two, then come back and listen.
  9. Do you understand any more than from the first session of listening you did?
  10. How do you rate the difficulty level for you? (Too difficult at the moment / A challenge / I understand enough).
  11. When will you return to this podcast to check your listening progress?

Remember :

  1. You won’t understand everything you hear.
  2. There is a lot of regular work to do to tune your ear into Real English – you need to work on listening regularly.
  3. NEVER write notes at the same time that you are listening.
  4. ALWAYS – try to set yourself realistic objectives.
  5. REMEMBER – this is just a part of your learning and you need to be able to connect this work with your other work.
  6. This is REAL English – we don’t believe that slow, over-articulated speech prepares learners for the real world – you may be able to understand an audio extract that is spoken slowly, but what good is that if you don’t understand real people in real situations.
  7. At we want to help you to be ready for the real world – it will be difficult at first, but later you will feel the benefit – it is just pure, common sense.


Why do people love quizzes?

Why do people love quizzes?

Who invented the umbrella?

Why is the Mona Lisa so famous and why was Pol Pot in Cambodia?

Why do people love quizzes?

How many flies does it take to fall off a horse and what does Albert Einstein have in common with Justin Bieber?

These questions and many more are probed as to how they were invented, why they became so popular or why they can be thought provoking.

Why do people love quizzes?

It’s a tough question but one that we’ll take on in this podcast.

If you’ve spent any time in the UK, you’ve no doubt noticed that the Brits are a nation that loves to test themselves.

Say what you want about them, but they love a little competition and as for the rest of you, well…we love to make fun at how terrible you are at organizing your lives (I’m looking at you, Americans!).

Not only do quizzes make a lot of people’s Facebook feeds a little less bland, but these tiny bits of entertainment also serve an essential purpose: Nobody ever finished a Buzzfeed or Snapchat quiz without recalling some old memory from their life just to answer the question at the end.

Test your own memory with this quiz!

Quizzes are commonly categorized as being a fun activity to participate in, but why have they become so popular?

Does this mean that people only take quizzes to test their knowledge and have nothing else to do in the time they use them?

Why aren’t people learning facts in other ways?

Is it purely for entertainment, or is there more beyond the internal appeal of taking a quiz?

Guns, Gingerbread and the American Constitution

Guns, Gingerbread and the American Constitution

Whatever your view of guns, this podcast will fascinate you.

Sue, as a European, listens in amazement to Cindy as she describes her everyday life living with guns in the USA. 

Cindy recounts why she needs to own a gun, how she practices and how the constitution allows American citizens to carry an arm (and shoot) for their own protection.

As a language learner, listen out for Cindy’s southern American accent and American English vocabulary such as “purse”, “pants” and “packing”.

Try to answer these questions:

  1. What do the background checks consist of?
  2. How many guns does Cindy own?
  3. Where does she keep her gun?
  4. Where do many women keep their gun?
  5. How (and when) does she practice shooting?
  6. Why does she feel the need to have a gun with her?
  7. What is “Open” and “Conceal” carry?
  8. What does Cindy say about bullets?
  9. What does she say about a recent hold up in her local supermarket?
  10. What does she say about Shoot Unseen ?
  11. What does Cindy explain about the American constitution?

In this podcast, the team at english-podcasts has no intention to pass any opinion, bias or judgement on the subject, and we thank Cindy for her personal account of gun use and general attitudes. 



The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Quiz

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Quiz

What is a Platinum Jubilee ?

It’s a celebration to mark 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

She was crowned Queen in 1958 at the age of 27 and now she is 97 years old. 

Buying and Selling on-line

Buying and Selling on-line

Have you ever sold anything online? In recent years it has become part of our everyday life. The internet is full of sites specializing in selling second-hand items from houses, to cars, to handbags, to children’s toys.

Listen as Sue asks Chris about his experience.

Listen out for these key words and expressions. This podcast is bursting with everyday useful vocabulary.

Time wasters

Secure payment



You need your wits about you.

Do the benefits outweigh he pitfalls?

To knock someone down  – to knock a bit off

To be above board

To be messed about.

To be in awe of someone

To be on your guard


English Podcasts

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