A LOOK AT SOME IDIOMS IN ENGLISH
How many ways can we express an idea in English, or any other language, for that matter? When learning a foreign language one of the major difficulties is in learning many of the idioms of that language. Who ever stops to realize all that we’ve learned in our native tongue?
Let’s take a look at how we can express some concepts in different ways in English.
For ‘he left’ you might say:
He hit the road; he was gone in a flash; he blew the joint; he cut out; he split; he slipped away; he quit the scene (if you know what I mean).
He ran lickety-split; he took off; he beat it; he made himself scarce. There are probably several other ways to express the idea. And this is just one concept. By and large other language don’t use as many variations as English, but they non-the-less have plenty of idioms.
Let’s look at some more idioms in English:
He made a big mistake:
He blew it; he made a boo-boo; he screwed up; he flubbed it; he put his foot in it; he messed up; etc.
That angers me:
That gets my goat; that pisses me off; that really riles me up; that rankles me; that drives me nuts;
Or how about:
He is so stupid; he’s a jerk; he doesn’t know his a.. from a hole in the ground; what a bimbo! He doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going; he a half wit;
Stop and think how many idiomatic expressions we use in a typical day. And then there are ‘buzz’ words, neologisms, new words and phrases that may die out in a few years. Do you know how to express those idiomatic expressions in the foreign language that you’re trying to learn?
Some foreigners are accused of not speaking English very well, when in fact they know thousands of words and expressions in English, but there is so much to learn, as you find out when you try to learn a foreign language. There are several on the market. They’ve been around for a long time. Barron’s Educational Series has them for several foreign languages. But your study of a foreign language is incomplete if you don’t take a good look at idiomatic expressions. They are the core of our every-day speech!