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15 Summer Idioms to Teach Your ESL Students

As the weather warms up and we approach summer (in the Northern hemisphere), kick off the season with some idioms and expressions in your online ESL class! The English language is full of idioms, often leaving English language learners confused because the meaning of the expression usually doesn’t match the literal meaning of the words.

Teach these 15 summer idioms to your ESL students to help them on their path to English fluency!

Idiom #1: A breath of fresh air

Meaning: Something refreshing, new, or different in a positive way.

Example: After months of working on the same project, the new team member’s ideas were a breath of fresh air.

Idiom #2: Sun-kissed

Meaning: Touched lightly by the sun, made warm or tanned.

Example: She had a sun-kissed glow after her vacation on the beach.

Idiom #3: Take a shine to [someone]

Meaning: Developing a liking for someone, often quickly or unexpectedly.

Example: She really took a shine to her new neighbor.

Idiom #4: Dog days of summer

Meaning: The hottest period of summer.

Example: It’s so hard to find the motivation to go outside during the dog days of summer.

Idiom #5: Summer fever

Meaning: A heightened sense of excitement, restlessness, or enthusiasm.

Example: He always gets summer fever around May, feeling an irresistible urge to explore new places.

Idiom #6: Make hay while the sun shines

Meaning: Take advantage of favorable conditions or opportunities while they last.

Example: The stock market is doing well right now, so it’s a good time to invest. Make hay while the sun shines!

Idiom #7: Light as a summer breeze

Meaning: A sense of ease, effortlessness, and comfort.

Example: The conversation flowed easily, light as a summer breeze, making everyone feel at ease.

Idiom #8: Like a fish out of water

Meaning: Describes someone who feels uncomfortable, awkward, or out of place in a particular situation.

Example: She was like a fish out of water on her first day at the tech company, having come from a completely different industry.

Idiom #9: Rain or shine

Meaning: An event or activity will proceed regardless of the weather conditions.

Example: The outdoor concert will take place rain or shine, so bring your umbrella just in case.

Idiom #10: Sail into the sunset

Meaning: Leave a situation behind and move towards a peaceful, happy, or better future.

Example: After 30 years with the company, he decided it was time to sail into the sunset and enjoy his retirement.

Idiom #11: Brighter than a summer’s day

Meaning: Describes something or someone that is exceptionally radiant, cheerful, or full of life.

Example: My mom’s smile is brighter than a summer’s day, lighting up the whole room.

Idiom #12: Catch some rays

Meaning: Spend time outside in the sunlight.

Example: Let’s head to the beach and catch some rays.

Idiom #13: Cool as a cucumber

Meaning: Someone who is calm and collected, especially in stressful or challenging situations.

Example: Despite the large audience, he delivered his speech cool as a cucumber, without any signs of nervousness.

Idiom #14: Sunny disposition

Meaning: A person’s naturally cheerful, optimistic, and pleasant temperament.

Example: My boss always maintains a sunny disposition, even when things don’t seem to be going well.

Idiom #15: Everything under the sun

Meaning: Includes every possible thing or topic related to a particular subject or situation.

Example: He’s a handyman who can fix just about everything under the sun.

We hope you enjoyed these summer idioms and will teach them to your ESL students! Are there any other summer idioms you know? Share them in the comments below!

Ellier Leng
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