Every language has its own set of idioms and expressions, and the English language has a wealth of them. Idioms are phrases or words that aren’t meant to be taken literally and have a cultural connotation.
The majority of English idioms you hear are advice-oriented, but they also reflect underlying concepts and ideas. You’ve probably heard some of them, particularly in TV shows and movies, and wondered why you couldn’t understand them despite knowing the words.
When learning a new language, we normally focus on the basics initially, such as grammar and vocabulary. While this is crucial, knowing idioms, expressions, and popular phrases is also useful when learning languages.
These will assist you in moving beyond being grammatically correct, allowing you to sound more native and gain insight into the culture of the people who speak the language. Because phrases and expressions are crucial when learning a new language, we’ll dive into ten common English phrases we use daily!
10 Common English Phrases
- Once in a blue moon
This phrase is used to refer to an event that happens rarely, such as the sighting of a blue moon.
- A penny for your thoughts
You can use this to ask for what someone thinks of something or to ask for their opinion regarding a specific subject matter.
- Best of both worlds
‘The best of both worlds,’ according to the Cambridge English Dictionary, is “a scenario in which you can enjoy the benefits of two very different things at the same time.”
- Under the weather
They love to talk about the weather in England, and they will do it frequently, but don’t be deceived by this prevalent term. If someone says they’re under the weather, the appropriate reaction is ‘I hope you feel better!’ rather than ‘Would you like to borrow my umbrella?’
- Spill the beans
To spill the beans means to share a secret. For example, if you accidentally tell someone that you’re planning to surprise them, then you have spilled the beans.
- Break a leg
When you wish for someone to break a leg, you don’t actually wish them harm but, rather, good luck. ‘Break a leg!’ is a cheer of good luck that is often accompanied by a thumbs up. It comes from the days when successful theatrical players would bow so many times after a performance that their legs would shatter.
- Through thick and thin
This simply means to remain devoted or loyal, no matter what. ‘Through thick and thin,’ a phrase often used to describe families or BFFs, signifies that you’re there for each other no matter what, through both good and terrible times.
- Take it with a pinch of salt
This phrase simply means that you should take a piece of information with caution, or not take it too seriously.
- See eye to eye
When two people see eye to eye, it means that they understand each other completely. It is also used when you agree to something completely.
- Beat around the bush
When you utter nonsense to avoid answering a question because you don’t want to convey your opinion or give a straight answer, you’re beating about the bush.
What is the difference between a phrase and an idiom?
The difference between a phrase and an idiom is that an idiom is a form of phrase with a figurative meaning that can only be understood by someone who is familiar with it, whereas a phrase has a literal meaning and can be understood by anybody. Another distinction is that idioms are fixed, whereas phrases are not.
Another distinction between the two phrases is that a phrase is a group of words that are used together to form an expression, whereas an idiom is an expression made up of words that have a meaning that is different from the literal meaning of the individual words.
Both the terms ‘idioms’ and ‘idioms’ are useful parts of linguistics, and they are frequently confused. Both names are also stated to be comparable in nature, based on their repeated fragments and string of syllables. Despite the fact that idioms and phrases are both essential parts of a sentence, there is a significant distinction between the two concepts.
A collection of words that are used together to make a sentence or an expression is referred to as a ‘sentence.’ The sentence is defined by a verb, an adverb, and/or a preposition. It is functional and direct, and it is one of the sentence’s separate grammar units. A phrase can also be a short element of a statement rather than a complete sentence.
An idiom, on the other hand, is a collection of words that form a single expression. The catch in an idiom is that the idiom has a completely different meaning than the separate meanings of the components that make up the term.
How to Learn Basic Phrases in English
Even for natural English speakers, speaking English can be challenging and frightening. However, there are a number of words that you might employ often in your daily life.
You will feel more at ease speaking English with friends, coworkers, or strangers if you follow these best practices when it comes to learning basic English phrases.
Learning is a process that takes patience and commitment. Only you have power over what you do when you do it, and how you do it. Remember that short, consistent practice is much better for the mind than long, irregular intervals, so you won’t need to practice all day: just a few minutes a day will suffice. You can practice in any way you want: reading, listening to music, or practicing exercises. Make it a habit to do things on a regular basis.
Why do people use phrases?
Idioms aren’t only for fun. They play a crucial role in how we communicate. According to some researchers, people’s common language may contain as many idioms as words.
Let us know your favorite phrases or questions in the comments!
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