Considering ESL Courses? Here Are Some Common English Idioms to Know!
An idiom is a sentence, or group of words, also known as an expression. When someone says or writesan idiom, the meaning of the words are not always the same as they are in a dictionary.To understand an idiom, you have to learn the meaning of the whole sentence.
The meaning of an idiom is not literal.In a literal sentence, you can look up each word in a dictionary to understand the meaning. For example, there are no clouds in the sky today. If you know the meaning ofthe words, you understand the whole sentence. When someone uses an idiom, the meaning may come from a cultural idea, a tradition, or history.
In most languages, people use idioms all the time! Keep reading to learn about a few common English idioms.
Hit the Books
In an English program, you might hear an instructor say ‘hit the books’.The literal meaning of this is to bash, slap, or punch your books.Why would you do that?You might look up the word ‘hit’ and find many other synonyms like clobber, smack, or whack. None of them help explain the meaning of the phrase. So what does it mean?
When someone says hit the books, it means study!
A Piece of Cake
If you study well for a test in your ESL program and you complete the test easily, then you can say it was a piece of cake. People use this phrase to say that doing something was very easy or simple. Maybe it was so easy, you enjoyed it the way you would enjoy a piece of cake. Another idiom with the same meaning is easy as pie, as in ‘learning one idiom is as easy as pie’.
Keep Your Chin Up
As you learn vocabulary and grammar for ESL courses, idioms should be part of the process,too. Why? Idioms will help you become betterat English. Sometimes you might hear a phrase that doesn’t seem to make sense and a feel a little confused. This can be frustrating as you are trying to learn English. Don’t worry! As you practice more you will learn more of these phrases. Keep your chin up!That means, keep trying and don’t lose hope.
Under the Weather
In English, there are a lot of idioms that refer to the weather and nature. This idiom,to be under the weather, describes a state in which someone feels sick or not well in some way. It will likely not refer to a serious illness. Instead, it is meant to be used when you don’t feel your best.
For example, if you did not sleep well, you might be really tired the next day. In the morning, when someone asks how you are, you might answer that you feel a little under the weather.
After ESL Courses There’s Nothing but Blue Skies
In general, many native English speakers use weather words to talk about their feelings. In this idiom, as you might guess, blue skies refer to feeling happy or positive. This may help you understand other weather idioms like storm in a teacup, which is used to talk about a small problem.
After you finish an English course and pass your exam, you might say nothing but blue skies ahead of me! This means that you are feeling positive about the future.
Want to know more about how an English program can improve your language skills?
Contact the American Learning Institute today!
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