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Hello,

My name is Ellen and I am a student from The Netherlands. I am currently working on my MA Thesis in Applied Linguistics and I would like to ask you, as native speakers of English, if you can help me by filling in this questionnaire. It will only take you about 10 minutes.

Below you will find a list of English proverbs and fixed expressions. Can you please indicate how transparent you feel that the given proverbs or expressions in English are, by giving them one of the following grades:

1 = If you did not know this expression, it would be almost impossible to understand this sentence.

2 = If you did not know this expression, this expression would be quite difficult to understand.

3 = Even if you did not know this expression, this sentence would be quite easy to understand.

4 = Even if you did not know this expression, it would be almost impossible not to understand this sentence.

The old man drank the young man under the table.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Clothes make the man.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

He made a joke to break the ice.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

One swallow does not make a summer.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Many hands make light work.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

New brooms sweep clean.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The wish is the father to the thought.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Tread in someone’s footsteps.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

That leaves me cold.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

To weep crocodile tears.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

A bad taste in the mouth.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The scales fell from her eyes.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Hand on the baton.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

There is nothing new under the sun.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

He has blue blood.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Rest on your laurels.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The bird has flown.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Lull before the storm.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Rats deserting a sinking ship.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Speech is silver, silence is golden.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Her eyes were bigger than her stomach.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

That remark is below the belt.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

East, west, home’s best.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

No room to swing a cat.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Jump out of your skin.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

As red as a beetroot.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Blow your own trumpet.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

What is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Pass the parcel.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

To be all hat and no cattle.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Hard words break no bones.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

To kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Well begun is half done.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

By a long chalk.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

A watched pot never boils.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Fix someone’s wagon.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Money for old rope.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Measure twice, cut once.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

To have many irons in the fire.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Fine feathers make fine birds.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Thank you very much for your help!

Kind Regards,

Ellen
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(My only comment is that some of these are American idioms - I would guess - as I'm not familiar with them as an English person. I don't know if that matters to your study)

The old man drank the young man under the table.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Clothes make the man.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

He made a joke to break the ice.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

One swallow does not make a summer.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Many hands make light work.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

New brooms sweep clean.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The wish is the father to the thought.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Tread in someone’s footsteps.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

That leaves me cold.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

To weep crocodile tears.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

A bad taste in the mouth.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The scales fell from her eyes.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Hand on the baton.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

There is nothing new under the sun.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

He has blue blood.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Rest on your laurels.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The bird has flown.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Lull before the storm.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Rats deserting a sinking ship.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Speech is silver, silence is golden.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Her eyes were bigger than her stomach.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

That remark is below the belt.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

East, west, home’s best.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

No room to swing a cat.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Jump out of your skin.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

As red as a beetroot.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Blow your own trumpet.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

What is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Pass the parcel.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

To be all hat and no cattle.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Hard words break no bones.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

To kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Well begun is half done.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

By a long chalk.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

A watched pot never boils.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Fix someone’s wagon.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Money for old rope.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Measure twice, cut once.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

To have many irons in the fire.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Fine feathers make fine birds.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4
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1 = If you did not know this expression, it would be almost impossible to understand this sentence.

2 = If you did not know this expression, this expression would be quite difficult to understand.

3 = Even if you did not know this expression, this sentence would be quite easy to understand.

4 = Even if you did not know this expression, it would be almost impossible not to understand this sentence.

The old man drank the young man under the table.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Clothes make the man.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

He made a joke to break the ice.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

One swallow does not make a summer.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Many hands make light work.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

New brooms sweep clean.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The wish is the father to the thought.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Tread in someone’s footsteps.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

That leaves me cold.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

To weep crocodile tears.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

A bad taste in the mouth.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The scales fell from her eyes.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Hand on the baton.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

There is nothing new under the sun.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

He has blue blood.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Rest on your laurels.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The bird has flown.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Lull before the storm.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Rats deserting a sinking ship.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Speech is silver, silence is golden.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Her eyes were bigger than her stomach.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

That remark is below the belt.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

East, west, home’s best.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

No room to swing a cat.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Jump out of your skin.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

As red as a beetroot.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Blow your own trumpet.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

What is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Pass the parcel.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

To be all hat and no cattle.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Hard words break no bones.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

To kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Well begun is half done.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

By a long chalk.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

A watched pot never boils.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Fix someone’s wagon.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Money for old rope.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Measure twice, cut once.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

To have many irons in the fire.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Fine feathers make fine birds.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

So often the meaning should be evident from context.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Comments  
"Below you will find a list of English proverbs and fixed expressions."

I would like to make an observation even though I am not a native speaker. I don't know what exactly you are researching, but these are not just English expressions, as you can find some of them (or very similar ones) in other languages too, in this case in Serbian (my native language). Since many proverbs (I mean generally) are actually latin, greek, arabic or biblical, I believe you should be well-read and/or educated to understand their meaning. Maybe you should take that into consideration (or maybe that's actually the point of your research?).

Best wishes!
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Thank you all for helping me and thanks for your comments.
This questionnaire is a pre-test for the real questionnaire that will be given to native speakers of Dutch. The proverbs that were give here, are divided in two parts; the ones that can be translated literally into Dutch and the ones that do not exist in Dutch. The participants will receive a list of several proverbs that have been selected on their transparency and their similarity to Dutch. My assumption is that when two languages are very much alike, such as Dutch and English, learners are reluctant to translate proverbs that are not very transparent and that are very similar to Dutch, because they feel that two languages cannot be that similar to each other. This effect (the fear of transferring a construction from your language into the target language) is called homoiophobia, or the Kellerman effect, after Eric Kellerman, the researcher who has first written about this phenomena.

Kind Regards,
Ellen
If there are any more native speakers of English who would like to fill in this questionnaire; please do so, because I still need a few more people who can fill it in for me in order to let the results be reliable.
Thanks in advance.