Monday, February 27, 2006

Learn some idioms

If you read my article on globish, you will know that you can communicate quite effectively with people of any nationality with a limited amount of vocabulary. But what if you want to take your English a little further, to be able to speak like the natives? Then your language needs to become more idiomatic. In some languages the word "idiom" just means "language", but here I'm talking about those expressions that mean something different to the literal meaning of the individual words. Everyone knows the idiom "it's raining cats and dogs". There are no literal cats or dogs, so what we understand is different to the actual words, and we gather that it simply means, "its raining very hard". If English is not your first language, or you are studying another language, these expressions are not easy to learn. In French, if you say, "it's fingers in the nose", you are talking about something very easy to do. How could you know that if you weren't told? To an unsuspecting student, this would sound like a disgusting habit!

I've put some useful English idioms on my site. I'm going to improve the explanations by adding example sentences, so keep checking back. There is a different one every day for a month, so that's thirty to start with. Go here:
English idioms

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