English is a language that is incomplete without idioms and phrases. An individual is expected to know about these for an important exam like IELTS. Individuals need to have a broad range of knowledge about each part of English that is reading, speaking, listening, and writing. They have to practice it and learn it thoroughly to score a good band. Idioms and phrases help an individual to perform better in the examination. Idioms and phrases can be used for all 4 sections.

Using these can give a good impression to the examiner about the rich knowledge the individual has about English. In this article, you will learn about what is the difference between idioms and phrases? How to remember idioms and phrases IELTS? How many idioms and phrases are there in English?

Secret of How to Identify the Difference between Idioms and Phrases?

Many individuals get confused between idioms and phrases. But it is okay to have confusion. Here we will tell you the secret of the difference between idioms and phrases and proverbs as well. To understand the difference first have a look at their meanings:-

These are regarded as the word or a phrase that is different from the words. These are used when the individual has to transfer the message that is not the literal meaning of the words, it is beyond the literal meaning.

A phrase is a group of words that are put together as one conceptual unit. Individuals use the phrase when they have to express the significance of the sentence with the idiomatic meaning.

Proverbs are considered the older saying that is different from idioms. It is when the individual is willing to give advice, to make the other individual understand they use proverbs.

Also Read:- Does the IELTS Essay Question Repeat? Here’s all about the IELTS Writing Task 2

How to Remember Idioms and Phrases IELTS?

To remember idioms and phrases for better understanding and to use them in the IELTS examination they can follow the given below tips. But the most important thing is to understand them with an example. Once you understand them thoroughly it will be difficult for you to forget them. So let’s understand the idioms, phrases, and proverbs

Idioms Example

  • Under the weather which means to feel sick
  • Spill the Beans which means to speak up the secrete
  • Pull someone’s leg which means to crack a practical joke about someone
  • Sat on the face which means to be unsure


  • Walking in the rain
  • Singing for his supper
  • Sailing into the sunset
  • To make lemonade


  • When you want to make an omelet, you need to break a few eggs
  • The poor carpenter blames his tools
  • The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
  • Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise

Number of Phrases

Talking about the number of phrases there are in the English literature, the answer is that there are 8 types of phrases. You can understand these phrases with the help of the example below:-

  • Noun phrases:-  The bewildered tourist; a story as old as time; the long and winding road.
  • Verb Phrase:- Was eager to eat dinner; have been sleeping for a long time; might enjoy a massage.
  • Gerund Phrases:- Getting a sore back; Going for ice cream; Walking in the rain
  • Infinitive Phrase:- To see the stage; to get his priorities in order
  • Appositive phrases:- My favorite pastime; A cheetah, the fastest land animal;
  • Absolute phrase:- Picnic basket in hand; His tail between his legs
  • Participial phrase:- Knowing what I know now; Grinning from ear to ear.
  • Prepositional phrase:- Between a rock and a hard place; of strawberries and cream.

Also Read:- How to Answer Essay Questions in IELTS? Step by Step Explanation to Score Band 9

Number of Idioms

You will be surprised to know that there are around 25,000 idioms in English literature. Along with so many idioms, it is a great responsibility for you to learn them for the IELTS examination. You can follow the tips given below to learn the idioms. You can try to learn most of the idioms to perform well in the IELTS examination.

1. Practice Practice and Practice

There is an old saying that practice makes a man perfect. It is definitely true when it comes to applying the saying in the real world. The more you practice the more used you become and you come closer to perfection. To learn idioms you need to learn them, understand them, and practice them. But how can you practice idioms? You should bring them into your routine life. You can practice them with the help of examples. You can also practice idioms by using them in your daily communication. This way you prepare yourself for each section of the IELTS examination: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.

2. Identify Idiom, Phrases, and Proverbs

When you identify idioms, phrases, and proverbs separately, your knowledge becomes more refined. In different sentences, you can identify idioms, phrases, and proverbs. Understand the meaning and purpose of being used in the sentence. This will help you understand the difference between idioms and phrases and proverbs. You move more closer to understand idioms vs phrases.

Also Read:- How to Differentiate Between Idioms and Phrases? Check this to Crack the Next IELTS Exam


For the IELTS examination, you have to learn smart techniques to complete the examination in the stipulated time of 2 hours and 45 minutes along with greater accuracy. One smart technique to perform the examination well is through learning idioms, phrases, and proverbs.

There are a total of 25,000 idioms in English literature. There are 8 types of phrases and many proverbs. You can aim to learn most of them so that you can use them in the IELTS examination.

In this article, you learn about how many idioms and phrases are there in English? How to remember idioms and phrases IELTS? how to identify the difference between idioms and phrases? What is the difference between idioms and phrases? Hopefully, this information will help you to prepare well for the IELTS examination.

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