Introduction to Idioms

Topics: Word, Phrase, Verb Pages: 2 (464 words) Published: February 25, 2012


Commonly Used Idioms
Other Useful References


Randolph Brock and William Griessel

Bangkok University Language Institute


A student who wishes to have a reasonably good grasp of English should learn the basic forms of English and how to use them, particularly commonly used idioms and verbs. Therefore this book is prepared to assist students of English in learning more commonly used idioms and verb forms.

Most, if not all, languages have numerous idioms. Therefore to really understand what is spoken or written in a language and to really speak or write reasonably well in a language, it is important to understand the common or basic idioms in that language.

Idioms are words and phrases that are used in such a way as to mean something different then the usual meaning of the word or the individual words in the phrase. Idioms differ from figurative language in that figurative language creates pictures of other things in what is spoken or written. For example in the simile, “He is as sly as a tiger,” the words “as sly as a tiger” are literal, but suggest that the person “he” is very sly. Whereas in the sentence, “I smell a rat,” the expression “smell a rat” has little or nothing to do with the literal meanings of the words (nothing to do with a literal rat and nothing to do with the sense of smell), but mean “I think something’s wrong” or “I think someone is doing something against what we are trying to accomplish.”

There are thousands of idioms in English, as might well be true of other languages. As such it would take a long time to master all these idioms. That is not necessary, because many of them are either used by only a segment of the population of native speakers or are used by native speakers in rare situations.

In addition to idioms, students of English often have considerable difficulty with verb forms including the spelling of verb forms and the use of tenses.

Tenses are...
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