10 minute English – Learn 4 common ‘head’ idioms

by Louisa / 04 September 2014 / No Comments

There are so many English idioms…what’s the best way to learn and use them?

Well, you will remember them better if:

a)      You learn them in context  – if they are related to each other or within a meaningful story.

b)      You don’t try to learn too many of them at the same time: 4-8 new idioms are optimum.

c)      You don’t just try to memorise them – but you actively do something with
them. For example you could try to  use them in written and spoken exercises.


Try our 10 minute English lesson to help you learn, remember and use  4 common head/face idioms:

  1. Read the following which contains 4 head/face  idioms in bold. What do you think they mean?

After many hours looking at the sales figures,  I realised I still didn’t understand why they were so low this month. My boss would want to know the answer but despite lots of research,  I just couldn’t make head or tail of the figures. But now, I had a decision to make; should I ignore the problem and bury my head in the sand?  Or, perhaps it was time to go to my boss, face the music and confess.  My boss has a quick temper and I felt sure she would bite my head off when I told her I had no excuses for our poor performance.  


2. Now match the idioms with their explanations.
     Answers are at the bottom of the page.

Head and face idioms

3. Now  draw an illustration of each idiom. For example, to illustrate ‘to bury your head in the sand’, you might draw something like this:

bury your head in the sand


4.  Now answer these questions out loud – and use the idiom in your response


a)       Do you prefer to face the music or are you the type of person to bury your head in the sand?


b)       Do you know someone who often bites people’s heads off?


c)       When was the last time you were unable to make head or tail of something?



* To be unable to make head or tail of something is almost always used in the negative. We don’t say ‘I could make head or tail of it.’ Instead it is nearly always, ‘I can’t make head or tail of something.’

Answers to question 2:
1d,  2a, 3c, 4b



How comfortable are you with these idioms?
Why not practise these and other useful English with your teacher? Find out more about our Skype English lessons 


About the author:

Louisa is Course Director at Phone English. She helped start Phone English after many years of teacher training and materials development at www.global-english.com.

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