Spring Idioms ESL Students Need to Know

The start of spring in the United States signifies an increase in daylight. For example, there is warmer weather, flowers blossoming and positive energy. Spring is also the time to reflect, make changes and spring (move) forward. Read some of our favorite spring idioms below.

“spring fever”

Definition: a feeling of excitement because you know springtime is coming and the weather is getting warmer

Example: Jane had a very cold, and lonely winter in New York. Once April began, she was filled with spring fever because the sun was shinning and her family was coming to visit her.

“putting all (my/ your/ their) eggs in one basket”

Definition: Putting all of one’s energy or resources in one thing. This could be seen as negative because you might lose it all if it does not work out.

Example: Joe and Jane went to watch the horse races. Joe bet on one race and put all his money on hopes that a horse called Lucky Charms would place first. Jane bet on a few different outcomes because she did not want to put all her eggs in one basket.

“the grass is/ isn’t  (always) greener on the other side”

Definition: when a person looks at someone else’s situation and thinks it is better than their own. However, they do not see the negative aspects of a situation because they only have a partial view.

Example: John is very wealthy and has a very nice family. Joe wishes his life was more like John’s because of it. At the same time, he always reminds himself that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

“a spring in (my/ your/ their) step”

Definition: when someone walks with a happy and positive energy

Example: Did you see Joe today? Joe is walking with a spring in his step. I heard he won the lottery!

Springtime weather

“a stick in the mud”

Definition: a person who may often be seen as boring or unadventurous

Example: Sometimes Karen is such a stick in the mud. She said no when I invited her to go to Los Angeles to explore downtown Los Angeles. She said she didn’t have plans, but refused to go to LA because she would have to sit in the car for longer than twenty minutes.

“black sheep (of the family)”

Definition: a person who stands out as an odd and is sometimes the outcast

Example: John’s relatives value following the rules and they are often very serious. John is very different. He likes to tell jokes and play pranks on his siblings. He gets in trouble often and is seen as the black sheep of the family.

“spring cleaning”

Definition: to thoroughly clean a place, more specifically, during springtime

Example: Jane was tired of her old, dusty furniture. She decided to do some spring cleaning: threw all her old furniture away and bought shiny, new furniture.

If you want to learn more about spring idioms or other common phrases and idioms used in the United States, we would love to have you join our ESL program. A classroom is the best place to learn about American culture, language, conversation strategies, and grammar.

Love and Relationships Idioms

In February, there are several special dates observed or celebrated in the United States:
Groundhog Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Rosa Parks Day, Presidents’ Day, Chinese New Year, and
the Super Bowl among others, but none is more popular than Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated by
approximately 54% of Americans. Considering that the population of the U.S. is 325.7
million… that’s a lot of people!


Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14. It is a day in which many people celebrate their
love for their partner. This includes giving cards, flowers, chocolate, jewelry, fancy gifts,
romantic dinners, and many other demonstrations of love. Here are some idioms connected with
love and relationships.


fix somebody up with somebody – to find a romantic partner for somebody
Example: I tried to fix him up with my friend, and he said he wasn’t looking for a relationship,
but the next time I saw him, he was engaged!


be an item – to have a romantic relationship
Example: I was surprised when I found out that they were an item.


love at first sight – to have strong feelings for somebody from the first moment you see them
Example: They met at a party and it was love at first sight. They started to go out and got
married six months later.


be head over heels – to be very much in love with somebody
Example: I never saw him so head over heels for any other girl.


lovey-dovey – to express love in public by constantly kissing and hugging
Example: They were all lovey-dovey at the movie theater.


pop the question – to ask somebody to marry you
Example: So, how did he pop the question?


tie the knot – to get married
Example: When did they tie the knot?


a match made in heaven – a couple that is great because they complement each other so well
Example: I think that their marriage will last; they’re really a match made in heaven.

Thanksgiving Feast at Pasadena Center

Who loves Thanksgiving food? Poly Languages Institute at Pasadena does!

On November 15, 2018, we held our annual Thanksgiving potluck in the Student Lounge. Each one of our ESL class and TOEFL class students have unique backgrounds from various countries. Not only was this a gathering to celebrate an American holiday and enjoy food, but it was also an opportunity to learn from each other and try new types of food. There was food from China, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Hong Kong, Japan, and many more.

Since our students are all adults, they have responsibilities outside of the classroom. Most students only show up to their classes and leave right after. There is not a lot of opportunity to socialize and get to know each other. This is why these potlucks and other planned events are so vital to our Poly community. We planned our Thanksgiving potluck between two classes; therefore, there was no excuse our ESL students to miss it.

Everyone had a blast (great time). Students were enjoying delicious food, conversing with other students in their class and with those in different English speaking levels. Even teachers and staff members had a great time having casual conversations with the students.

It was a time to be stress-free and focus on being grateful for things that we can easily take for granted. We are grateful for food, friends, family, and the opportunity to expand our knowledge. No matter how old we are, all of us here at Poly have a common goal: improving and refining our understanding of the English language.

We are looking forward to future events so that our students, teachers, and staff members get to know each other better and have a great time together.