Understand Idiomatic Expressions

Edited by Timbuktu, Charmed, Rose B, Lynn and 4 others

We all know that every language has phrases that cannot be understood literally. Even if you know the meaning of all the words and you understand the grammar completely but the meaning of the phrase is still confusing or may be different. This is just almost the same as trying to translate from a different language word for word that may just result into a different meaning. With idioms you may understand each word but you cannot interpret the meaning word for word. You have to do dig more and go deeper to understand what is behind the phrase.

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What is the meaning of idiomatic expressions?

Idiomatic expressions or simply idioms, are those verbal images that can add life to our communications, in writing and in speech. They liven up how we describe some people, things or even events that we encounter in our lives, compared with just using simple words, which are bland. We make use of these expressions to make our language more exciting and more meaningful. Having a good knowledge on how these idiomatic expressions are used, we can make our daily communication more effective.

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To learn more about the idiomatic expression aside from taking English classes

  1. 1
    You may also use the television or movies as your tool, as many characters in the movies use idiomatic expression.
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  2. 2
    Searching online also helps you to know what a phrase means instead of just trying to understand everything word for word.
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  3. 3
    Reading books is also helpful.
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  4. 4
    It is also recommended to have a dictionary of idioms.
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  5. 5
    By doing these things, you will not misinterpret what others may say, or sometimes you just tend to say, by using idiomatic expression.
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Idiomatic expression examples:

  1. 1
    There are no flies on someone.
    This means someone is not slow. This person is not wasting time. (If you were to translate this literally, it would mean that there are no flies (insects) on someone. This is totally confusing if you translate or define each word to its meaning.
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  2. 2
    Have feet of clay.
    This means to have a defect of character.
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  3. 3
    Have money to burn.
    This means to have a lot of money, to have so much money that some can be wasted.
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  4. 4
    Food for thought.
    This means something to think about.
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  5. 5
    Fall between two stools.
    To come somewhere between two possibilities and fail to meet the requirement of either.
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  6. 6
    Dead and buried.
    This means gone forever.
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  7. 7
    Keep bankers hours.
    To work less than eight hours a day
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So if you encounter phrases that don't seem to add up or make sense, even if the grammar is correct, do not define the meaning literally to not interpret someone's words or phrase to something else. Always try to check what it means first.

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Categories : Communications & Education

Recent edits by: Christine dela Cruz, Ephraim, Anonymous

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