Useful Idioms

English Idioms

What is an idiom?

Basically, an idiom is a phrase that is used to express a very different meaning than it’s literal meaning. The word “Idiom” comes from the Greek language and means “one of a kind”.

An example: “It’s raining cats and dogs.

What does this mean?

Of course it doesn’t mean that cats and dogs are falling down from the clouds, but it means it is raining very heavily ( as it often does in Thailand).

English language changes over the times, so some idioms are slowly disappearing, only to be replaced by new ones.

Instead of “it’s raining cats and dogs“, some people might say “It’s chucking down” or even, the not so polite, “It’s pissing down“.

Why do native English speakers use idioms?

If you listen to native English speakers you will certainly here lots of idioms. Idioms are a part of every day English language.

They are used for several reasons, but mainly to make the language more colourful. They are also used to describe a complicated situation in a simple way.

“Learning English is an uphill task“. Learning English is a difficult and slow process just like walking up a steep hill.

How Do You Recognise an Idiom?

You can recognise an idiom because the literal meaning won’t make sense.

“He got cold feet and didn’t ask her to marry him”.  This doesn’t mean he didn’t marry her because his feet were cold. That would be a stupid reason. “to get cold feet” means to become very nervous.

There are many, many idioms in the English language and I will post some of the more everyday and useful idioms on this site.

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