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IDIOMS

This year I’m making an english project called “Do tanga trzeba dwojga: słownictwo i gramatyka nieodłączne w opanowaniu języka”. I was thinking of a topic which includes both grammar and vocabulary to write about and what occured to me were idioms. Who doesn’t want to air his knowledge by speaking like a native British? What are they? Idioms are words, phrases, or expressions that are either grammatically unusual or their meaning cannot be taken literally.

I will start with the most popular English idioms:

  1. ‘Something costs an arm and a leg’ – this means that something is very expensive. It’s a bit creepy, I guess...
  2. ‘If you will pardon my French’ – this idiom is used as a way of apologising for swearing, means ‘Excuse my choice of vocabulary’.
  3. ‘Shoot from the hip’ – to speak directly. There is another one which means the opposite: to beat around the bush (in Polish “owijać w bawełnę).
  4. ‘Let the cat out of the bag’ – this one means to disclose a secret that was supposed to be kept. So, when you hear that somebody let the cat out of his bag, don’t call the animal cruelty control!
  5. ‘It’s raining cats and dogs’ – it is raining very heavily.
  6. ‘Face the music’ – it’s obvious you can’t technically face the music – this idiom means ‘to accept the unpleasant consequences of one’s action’.
  7. ‘When pigs fly’ – I bet you have never seen a flying pig. ‘When pigs fly’ simply means ‘never’.
  8. ‘A penny for your thoughts’ – it’ s a way of asking what someone is thinking
  9. ‘Break a leg’ – against logic, this one means ‘good luck’!
  10. ‘Lose sb’s touch’ – I know we all we all think this means to no longer have the ability to touch or feel with fingers or hand but no – it signifies losing ability or talent somebody once had when dealing with things, people or situations.

What are the benefits of learning idioms? Well...

  • you will understand other English speakers and generally English language better – idioms are common used in books, movies and talks.
  • you won’t miss out on inside jokes and fail to grasp the concept of a conversation altogether. Idioms themselves give a deeper insight into British culture and actually make language a lot more interesting.
  • idioms could be helpful to understand English grammar and learn more vocabulary (or no. They are sometimes completely opposite to being grammatically correct).
  • you will be able to show off!

WORDS THAT MAKE YOU SOUND SMART

We all want to speak like native British but with these words we will be able to sound like educated British!

  1. ‘Elucidate’ which means to make something clear, explain.
  2. ‘Equanimity’ – it is a steadiness of mind under stress.
  3. ‘Equivocate’ - to be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information. (No, starting with ‘E’ doesn’t make a word sound smarter.)
  4. ‘Fastidious’ means ‘difficult to please’.
  5. ‘Gregarious’ is simply ‘sociable’.
  6. ‘Ostracize’ - to exclude from a group, banish, exile (this one comes from Greek!).
  7. ‘Propriety’ signifies ‘correct or appropriate behavior’.
  8. ‘Unrequited’ - not returned in kind.
  9. ‘Perfunctory’ - something done without much care or attention (it’s an adjective).
  10. ‘Scintillating’ - something fascinating or brilliantly clever (for example our vocabulary after learning those words).

Vocabulary and grammar are necessary to master English
Defining and non-defining relative clauses

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