The English language is one of the vastest and most vivid languages in the world. It is made up of over 1.5 million words. Over and above that, the same word can have a variety of different meanings depending on the context it is put in; two (or more) words can have the exact same spelling but are pronounced differently, depending on their meanings.
Today's article will mainly focus on those combinations of words which are commonly referred to as idioms or idiomatic expressions . It is important to point out that idioms use language in a non-literal (and sometimes metaphorical) way.
One of the most famous idioms, yet quite easy to understand!
This implies that ‘the meaning of the idiomatic expression cannot be deduced by looking at the meaning of the individual words that it is made up of' (Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language, David Crystal). Another important feature to point out is that idioms are fixed, which means that people cannot just decide to make up their own.
The following is a list of some of the most widely-used idioms in everyday English and their meanings. This will hopefully help to illustrate Crystal's point in the previous paragraph clearly.
Idioms, can you guess their meanings? (Answers below)
Courtesy of Elanguest Language School.
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