The word ‘show’ can mean many different things. As a verb, it means allow to be seen, appear or a display a quality/emotion.

For example:

  • I’ll show you the scar on my leg. (allow to be seen)
  • The gatecrashers showed up and ruined the party. (appear)
  • My two-timing ex really showed his true colours. (display a quality/emotion)

Show is an irregular verb. The past tense is showed and the past participle is shown. I’ll give you an example sentence of each tense:

  • I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. (present)
  • I showed my family all my holiday pictures. (past simple)
  • The court has shown the jury all the evidence. (past participle)

idioms list with ‘show’

  • show of hands – raise your hand to vote/answer a question
    e.g. What is the capital of Peru? I’ll have a show of hands please.
  • show one’s face – attend an event/make an appearance
    e.g. This is the first time Walker has shown his face this season, what an appearance it was.
  • show one’s true colours – reveal your real thoughts, behaviour, feelings, intentions etc.
    e.g. The new girl soon showed her true colours by breaking into the company safe.
  • show someone the door – order someone to leave a place/job I was too drunk last night, they showed me the door before midnight.
  • show someone the ropes – teach someone how to do a particular job/task/activity
    e.g. I’ve spent three weeks showing her the ropes but she’s still useless.

Let’s see these idioms with pictures and meaning using real-life scenarios.

verb idioms and expressions - show
show idioms - show of hands
show idioms - show one’s face
Idioms with verbs - SHOW - show one's true colours
Idioms with verbs - SHOW - show someone the door
Idioms with verbs - SHOW - show someone the ropes