10 minute English – Learn 4 common ‘head’ idioms

by Lea Hook / 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:

My name is Lea Hook.
I’m am the proud owner of Phone English Online Language School.
Phone English was created in 2004 by Louisa and William when Skype had just been invented, it moved with the times and since then other platforms have been used such as Zoom, Meet etc. I have been working with Phone English since 2013.
In the new year, Phone English will launch a new platform with Learncube.
With qualified and experienced native British teachers already on board living in the UK, I am hoping to expand in the next few years with native English teachers from all over the world with different accents.
In the next few years, I hope that Phone English will be a multi-subject platform with qualified teachers teaching all languages, maths, nutrition and diet, music, writing services, business, and any subject that can be taught online.
January will see a completely new website design and things will be added as we go.
Coming soon, Phone English Juniors, Phone English Spanish, Phone English writing and proofreading services.
It always seems impossible until it’s done-Phone English

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