Here's an example of an idiomatic expression:
Hold your tongue.
This idiom does not actually mean that you should stick your fingers in your mouth and grab a hold of your tongue. It means that you should not talk. People "hold their tongues" when they are in situations where they want to talk, but it would be better if they didn't. So, while their tongue is ready to do some talking, they "hold" it and don't say anything.
Every language has idioms, and they can be difficult to learn if you are not a native speaker of that language. The best thing to do is to have conversations with native speakers and ask them about phrases that you don't understand. Since idioms are influenced by the culture, learning the idioms of a language can be very interesting and enlightening!
I’m Jerran and this is my Strategic Intervention Material about idiomatic expressions and the figures of speech. Are you ready? Let’s go!!!
A figure of speech is the use of a word or words diverging from its usual meaning. It can also be a special repetition, arrangement or omission of words with literal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it, as in idiom, metaphor, simile, hyperbole, or personification. Figures of speech often provide emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity. However, clarity may also suffer from their use, as any figure of speech introduces an ambiguity between literal and figurative interpretation. A figure of speech is sometimes called a rhetorical figure or a locution. Rhetoric originated as the study of the ways in which a source text can be transformed to suit the goals of the person reusing the material. For this goal, classical rhetoric detected four fundamental operations that can be used to transform a sentence or a larger portion of a text: expansion, abridgement, switching, and transferring.
An implied comparison between two unlike things that actually have something important in common. * Metonymy
A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated; also, the rhetorical strategy of describing something indirectly by referring to things around it. * Onomatopoeia
The use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to. * Oxymoron
A figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms appear side by side. * Paradox
A statement that appears to contradict itself.
A figure of speech in which an inanimate object or abstraction is endowed with human qualities or abilities. * Pun
A play on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound of different words. * Simile
A stated comparison (usually formed with "like" or "as") between two fundamentally dissimilar things that have certain qualities in common. * Synecdoche
A figure of speech in which a part is used to represent the whole (for example, ABCs for alphabet) or the whole for a part ("England won the World Cup in 1966"). * Understatement
A figure of speech in which a writer or a speaker deliberately makes a situation seem less important or serious than it is.
The repetition of an initial consonant sound.
The repetition of the same word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or verses. (Contrast with epiphora and epistrophe.) * Antithesis
The juxtaposition of contrasting ideas in balanced phrases.
Breaking off discourse to address some absent person or thing, some abstract quality, an inanimate object, or a nonexistent character. * Assonance
Identity or similarity in...