If you already speak some English and now you would like to speak more like a native. One of the keys to speaking like a native is the ability to use and understand casual expressions, or idioms.English is full of idioms. You mayn’t learn these expressions regularly. But you hear them all the time in everyday conversations. Any language can’t be imagined interesting without idiomatic expressions. However, you may come across some difficulties in understanding them. You can’t know the meanings of them word by word in the dictionary.As an example, let's take one of the idioms presented in this book: «out of this world». This expression is often used to describe delicious food. If you have a party and you serve a delicious chicken dish, your English friend might tell you, «This chicken is out of this world!" Start translating the expression word-for-word and you'll have to ask yourself: «What world is it in?" and «Why is she even commenting on the chicken being in a world, any world?". Here are some very necessary idiomatic expressions used for our daily life.
Be about to do — ready to, on the verge of. This expression is used for actions which are expected to happen in near future. Or actions are nearly prepared to be happened: “Oh, you are finally here, we were just to leave for the cinema without you”. After all — despite everything, when everything has been considered. The expression is used in such uncertain conditions in which some body makes his point concluding from all details: “you had better invite Bob to yourparty, after all he is a good friend”. “it doesn’t matter what your teacher thinks of you, you asked him for permission to leave?”. At least — anyway, the amount of the lowest possible. We use the expression when we can have or do the last possibility: “You borrowed two thousand dollars from me. Now I am in a poor condition, at least you have to give me half of it.” “Jane can’t afford to buy a car, at least she has a good bicycle”. To break the news– to make something known: “Lilly’s classmates were making a cake for her birthday, however, suddenly one of her friends broke the news to her”. “You had better break the news to your parents carefully, after all you don’t want them to have a heart attack”. Cost an arm and aleg – to be very expensive. The expression suggests that something costs all the money stored in a mint, a place where money is coined, or that something costs the same value as someone’s arm and leg: “I go shopping together with my wife, we have to be in the market the whole day, it can cost an arm and a leg for me”. But there are some differences between cost an arm and aleg and pay through the noise. The latter is mostly used when someone pays till the latest coin he has and he can get into very poor condition: “Tom had been looking forward to his favorite lottery game, even he bought nearly all lottery tickets, approximately nothing matched in the lottery, it is a pity, he paid through the nose for them. To lose one’s temper — to be very angry. It is used when somebody suddenly changes into negative manner: “When I told the teacher I had broken his glasses, he lost her temper and cried me to get out of the classroom. Make up one’s mind — to a decision, decide. We can use the expression when we think something over and decide or stop to one point: “–What are you going to do on holiday?– I haven’t made my mind yet. No point in— to be useless or unworthy. It is used when doing something is useless:“there is no point in pushing the car, whatever it doesn’t run”. “There is no point in crying after you had done all things.” Call aspade aspade. To speak plainly or to call something by its right name, even if it is unpleasant: “George always praises among his friends, I call a spade a spade, he has nothing except his old car. The expression is usually used when something is described in a favorable way. Get the message — To understand something that is only hinted at, and perhaps it is unpleasant:“when the teacher said the pupils who hadn’t done their homework would be punished, Tom got the message and asked teacher to go out to breathe in open air, that’s why he was the only pupil who hadn’t done his homework”. It can be used the same as getsomethingthrough one’s head.However, there is some difference between them. Get the message is used when somebody hints, the other is used when any unpleasant idea goes through one’s mind. When pigs fly — means “never”. It is used for actions that can’t be happened. Or one may be distrust to do something: “–oh, dad when will you buy me a new laptop. — when pigs fly”. “Really, Susan is going abroad to study? — when pigs fly”. Beside the point— not relevant, not important or out of the topic. It is used when one speaks out of the topic or unimportant things: you were ill, is beside the point, the fact is that, you were absent in the lesson. Get real — be realistic or serious about what is going on. It is used for someone, when he is acting himself crazily or he is going into the wrong way: you can prove nothing by sacrificing yourself, Get real”. “Love gives you nothing, Get real”. Shut up— be quiet, or not speak at all. It is used for someone whose sentences are disappointing and if one is angry about it: “Diana is always talking in the lesson, now her teacher said: shut up, otherwise you will get out of the classroom”. Way to go — means good work. It is used to give positive comment to someone’s work: “You have done all the tests well, Way to go”.In these passages, you get acquainted with several idiomatic expressions used for your daily life. You should try to follow them on your own and improve your speaking skills in English. The more you try to get knowledge, you began to see that, the more knowledge you should get. However, the world of knowledge is endless, one should never stop learning, at that time he can make a step on perfectness.
- Something to crow about. Shelley Vance Laflin.
- English phrases and idioms. Anna Maria Malkos.
- English idioms. Frank Smolinski.