Monday, April 28, 2014

Making "Figurative Speaking" Less Literal For Newcomers To The English Language

Let me first introduce a word that was new to me yesterday- idiom.

Merriam Webster defines this word as:

Main Entry: id·i·om 
Pronunciation: primarystressid-emacron-schwam
Function: noun
1 : the choice of words and the way they are combined that is characteristic of a language
2 : an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but must be learned as a whole <the expression "give way," meaning "retreat," is an idiom
id·i·om·at·ic  /secondarystressid-emacron-schwa-primarystressmat-ikadjective 
id·i·om·at·i·cal·ly  /-i-k(schwa-)lemacronadverb 

Idiom is basically a figurative word or phrase used in common conversation that has words that should not make sense while being used together, but the word or phrase are popularly accepted to have a generic meaning that has nothing (or little) to do with the actual words used, ie. "Bruce is taking forever in the bathroom!" This does not mean that Bruce is stealing "forever" while he was in the bathroom (that just wouldn't make sense); it likely means that he has been in the bathroom for a long amount of time.  Another example is: "It's raining cats and dogs!" understand that it's raining hard..., but to someone who hasn't heard that before?!?!  So, let's help cut out some confusion! :)

I have a link posted below that will take you to a page that allows one to study commonly used IDIOMS and their meanings.  This is a great conversation builder, and huge confusion cutter! :)  Thanks Dave from Dave's ESL Cafe!  

Special note:  I didn't see a way to download a copy of this list to print, but you could left-click and drag your mouse over the text (list) to highlight and then right-click your mouse and choose the "print" function.  This may make it easier to use, especially if someone is trying to help another individual for they can have two copies, and also it's much easier to make notes on paper than on the computer screen! ;)   

I hope that this is as helpful for you and yours as I hope it will be for me and mine! :)

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