Idiom | A New Leaf

Idiom | A New Leaf

Idiom | Turn Over a New Leaf

To “turn over a new leaf” dates back to the 1500s and this case the ‘leaf’ in the idiom does not refer to the leaves growing on trees. It’s actually referring to the pages of a book, which were commonly called a leaf.

The idea of turning over to a blank page and starting over has been used since the 1500s. When someone turned to a new, clean page in a book they were leaving the past behind and starting over.

The idiom means to start fresh or to alter one’s behavior in a positive way.

「turn over a new leaf」の起源は、1500年代にさかのぼります。このイディオムにある「leaf」は木に生える葉のことではなく、本のページのことをさします。



Idiom Usage 使い方 | A New Leaf

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Learn Real English Idiom: Turn Over A New Leaf
Turning a Page (or leaf) On an Old Book (

To use this idiom properly we usually need to add a subject and a modal verb (like will or need) to make the sentence function grammatically.

Subject + Modal Verb + Idiom

I + need + to turn over a new leaf.

The idiom is appropriate for both casual and professional settings.


主語 + 法動詞 + イディオム

I + need + to turn over a new leaf.


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Examples 例文

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Learn Real English Idiom: Turn Over A New Leaf
A Man Eating a Healthy Salad (

Tomorrow is my first day of university. It feels like I am turning over a new leaf.


She promises to turn over a new leaf if we give her one more chance.


I decided to turn over a new leaf and eat healthier, so I’m going to start eating more salad.


Use mnemonic! ニーモニックテクニック

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Learn Real English Idiom: Turn Over A New Leaf
New Leaves Sprouting From a Tree Branch In Spring Time (

A great mnemonic device to help you remember this phrase is to imagine Spring time when many trees bud new leaves. It’s almost like a new start for the tree, one where it can grow bigger and strong throughout the Spring and Summer.

Of course, we always encourage you to create your own mnemonic device. It’s much more effect if you do that.

Check out our post on mnemonics basics to learn more.




Keep Studying

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