IELTS| Idioms: How to improve your vocabulary, why you should learn Idioms and Examples

 

IELTS| Idiom: How to improve your vocabulary, why you should learn Idioms and Examples
IELTS| Idioms: How to improve your vocabulary, why you should learn Idioms and Examples

Idioms…

Hello there! It’s yet another day and today, we have something different but exciting… trust you will love it.

In our everyday life, we use this word IDIOM, but have we ever wondered to ask what it is all about?

Idioms are used by many native speakers of English and that’s what brings us to International English Testing System (IELTS) where we learn all about native English. So in actual sense, we learn idioms to speak like the native speakers, to improve our vocabulary and to diversify our knowledge in English language.

Before we start, I will like to ask…

WHAT ARE IDIOMS?

Why do we have to bother ourselves learning idioms?

 

WHAT ARE IDIOMS?

Idioms are expressions or groups of words which has its meaning completely different from the literal or actual/ figurative meaning of the individual words.

Examples:

  1. Hit the nail on the head

The literal meaning of this word is to hit a nail with a hammer

But the idiom in this word means the main point

  1. The apple of one’s eye

The literal meaning of this word is the apple in one’s eye

But the idiom in this word means one’s favorite

  1. Cloud nine

The literal meaning of this word is to be on the 9th cloud

But the idiom in this word means to be very excited or happy

  1. Carry your cross

The literal meaning of this word is to carry one’s cross

But the idiom in this word means to be patient

  1. Kick the bucket

The literal meaning of this word is to kick a bucket

But the idiom in this word means to die

So if you take a good look at the idioms used above, you will see that their meanings are completely different from the meanings of their individual words. That’s what idioms are all about… their literal meanings are completely different from their actual meanings.

These idioms cannot be translated or interpreted literally or word for word, you just have to learn and know their actual meanings. It will really help you improve your vocabulary and speak like the native speakers of English.

More examples of these idioms are:

  1. Put on your thinking cap

Literal meaning: to wear your cap

Actual meaning:  to reason carefully

  1. A piece of cake

Literal meaning: pieces of cake

Actual meaning: very easy

  1. At the nick of time

Literal meaning: at a time

Actual meaning: at the last moment

  1. Stop beating around the bush

Literal meaning: beating the bush with a stick

Actual meaning:  go straight to the point

  1. Rain cats and dogs

Literal meaning: cats and dogs are falling as rain

Actual meaning: rain heavily

Idioms are grouped into different categories such as clothes, animals, music, time, body and colors

CATEGORIES OF IDIOMS

IELTS| Idiom: How to improve your vocabulary, why you should learn Idioms and Examples

 

Now, let’s make a sentence with these idioms

  1. Face the music

Actual meaning: Surfer the consequences/ punishment

Example:  She didn’t study for her exams, she will face the music

  1. Once in a blue moon

Actual meaning: rarely

Example: I see her once in a blue moon

  1. Better late than never

Actual meaning: better to do something late than not doing it at all

Example: Hello! Paul, you’re late today, anyways better late than never

  1. Cats and dogs

Actual meaning: to rain heavily

Example: it rained cats and dogs yesterday afternoon

  1. My flesh and blood

Actual meaning: my relative

Example: she’s my flesh and blood

Note: Idioms are used in a sentence when its actual meaning can be well conveyed. Each idiom has a literal meaning. However, its actual meaning must first be understood before it can be used appropriately.

Okay! I trust we have all understood what idioms are. Let’s play with some

  1. I hope you come to your senses and realize that this fruit is bad
  2. You have to pull yourself together and think of a solution to this problem
  3. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she will pass her exams
  4. I will be on cloud nine if she comes to my house
  5. Please stop beating around the bush, I don’t have time

Wow…Good try. Right?

NOW! Let’s get back to class.

What are the literal and actual meanings of these words?

  1. I hope you come to your senses and realize that this fruit is bad

Literal meaning: to come where your senses are

Actual (idiom) meaning: to reason correctly

  1. You have to pull yourself together and think of a solution to this problem

Literal meaning: to drag oneself

Actual (idiom) meaning: control your emotions

  1. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she will pass her exams

Literal meaning: to cross ones fingers

Actual (idiom) meaning: hoping

  1. I will be on cloud nine if she comes to my house

Literal meaning: to be on the 9th cloud

Actual (idiom) meaning: excited or happy

  1. Please go straight to the point, I don’t have time

Literal meaning: go to where the point is

Actual (idiom) meaning: talk directly

  1. Are you out of your mind? stop shouting

Literal meaning: to lose one’s mind

Actual (idiom) meaning: crazy

  1. You always leave me in the dark with your personal activities

Literal meaning: to be in a dark place

Actual (idiom) meaning: don’t let me know

  1. Please keep me updated with what is happening

Literal meaning: update me

Actual (idiom) meaning: tell me everything

  1. I have done my part, the ball is now in your court

Literal meaning: the court has your ball

Actual (idiom) meaning: your turn to take responsibility

  1. I burnt my midnight candles and still failed the exams

Literal meaning: I burnt my candles in the midnight

Actual (idiom) meaning: studied hard

 

It’s good to know that you all have learnt it… well let’s see how far you can go doing it alone.

Practice this… Good luck!

Identify the idioms in these sentences

  1. Just let it go, am tired already
  2. I had to break the ice and told her my name
  3. She has been over the moon since she was told the family will be traveling
  4. I will stop stealing when pigs fly
  5. I have been listening to you for one hour now, you just keep blowing smoke
  6. Handle that bag with care, it cost an arm and a leg
  7. They all failed it, should we let the dog out of the bag?
  8. Don’t cry over spilt milk, I will see what I can do
  9. Without much I do, let’s introduce the topic for today
  10. Break a leg in your exams

Answer

  1. Just let it go, am tired already
  2. I had to break the ice and told her my name
  3. She has been over the moon since she was told the family will be traveling
  4. I will stop stealing when pigs fly
  5. I have been listening to you for one hour now, you just keep blowing smoke
  6. Handle that bag with care, it cost an arm and a leg
  7. They all failed it, should we let the dog out of the bag?
  8. Don’t cry over spilt milk, I will see what I can do
  9. Without much I do, let’s introduce the topic for today
  10. Break a leg in your exams

 

What are the actual meanings of the idioms?

  1. Just let it go, am tired already

Don’t think about it

  1. I had to break the ice and told her my name

Say something to break the silence

  1. She has been over the moon since she was told the family will be traveling

Excited

  1. I will stop stealing when pigs fly

Something that will never happen

  1. I have been listening to you for one hour now, you just keep blowing smoke

Saying something without meaning

  1. Handle that bag with care, it cost an arm and a leg

Very expensive

  1. They all failed it, should we let the dog out of the bag?

Reveal the secret

  1. Don’t cry over spilt milk, I will see what I can do

Something little/ a minor issue

  1. Without much I do, let’s introduce the topic for today

Without wasting much time

  1. Break a leg in your exams

Good luck!

 

 

Assignment

  1. What are idioms
  2. Why do you think you should learn idioms?
  3. Mention ten idioms you know
  4. What are their literal meanings
  5. What are their actual meanings
  6. Make a sentence with each of them

Wowww! This is lovely, isn’t it?

#Clap for me

#Clap for yourselves

#And clap for this beautiful post

Thank you all for your time.

Please if this was really helpful, don’t forget to rate, comment and subscribe for more… it’s a pleasure!

 

Remember to visit my other posts at https://smileypearl.com/ and read to your satisfaction. After all, it’s all about your reading pleasure.

Take care!!!

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