Idioms Advanced | Advanced Introduction


What is this episode about?

Learn about what idioms are and why we should learn them in this advanced introduction to idioms from English Plus Podcast.

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I am using an automatic transcript service as it is not possible for me to do it on my own and I cannot afford human transcription at the moment. The service claims to have about 95% accuracy, which means there will still be some mistakes, so my apologies for having a less than perfect transcript, but I hope I can afford human transcription soon and I will solve this problem. However, the service is pretty good, and the transcript is almost perfect.


Welcome to a new episode from English plus podcast. Today is going to be about idioms. And the level of this episode is advanced. We will talk about an advanced introduction to idioms and we will understand more what idioms are and why we study them. But before I do that, let me remind you that you can find a transcript of this episode in a link.

[00:00:27] I will leave in the descriptor and you will also find a link to Patreon where you can go and become a patron of English plus podcast to support us. And you will also get a PDF practice worksheet with every single episode we release with that being said, Let’s jump right in and talk about what idioms are.

[00:00:45] Well, idioms are a type of formulaic language. Now, formulate language consists of fixed expressions, which you learn and understand as units, rather than as individual words. For example, we use that with greetings and good wishes. For example, we say hi there. We use it just together or see you soon. Happy birthday.

[00:01:06] We use these expressions together and that is type of formulate language. It could be prepositional phrases, like at the moment in a hurry, from time to time, et cetera, it can be sayings, Proverbs and quotations. Like it’s a small world. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket to be, or not to be. That is the question.

[00:01:26] Formulate language can also be compounds like car park, bus stop. Homemade can be phrasal verbs, like takeoff, look after a turndown and can be colocations like blonde hair, deeply disappointed, et cetera. So idioms are a type of formulaic language, just like all the rest. Now let me remind you that we have special series for colocations intermediate and advanced and phrasal verb.

[00:01:50] So if you’d like to dig in deeper in these topics, you can follow the series. Now let’s continue talking about ADM. Now we said idioms are a type of formulaic language, but the most important thing to understand about ATM’s is that idioms are fixed combinations, words whose meanings is often difficult to guess from the meaning of each industry.

[00:02:12] Do a word. For example, if I say I put my foot in it the other day at Linda’s house, I asked her if she was going to marry Simon. What does that mean? If you do not know that put my foot in, it means, say something accidentally, which upsets or embarrass someone. It is difficult to know exactly what the sentence means.

[00:02:31] It has a non-literal or idiomatic meaning. So that is the importance of learning idioms and keep in mind that there are fixed expressions. Fixed combinations of words. It’s difficult to understand the meaning of the EDM just by guessing the meaning of the individual words. So knowing the individual words, mainly not help you understand the meaning of the EDM.

[00:02:51] That’s why it is important to understand and to study idioms. But there are a lot more good reasons why we should study idioms, but just in a bit first, let me tell you how idioms are constructed. Now. Idioms can be a verb with object than preposition. Like when we say Tim took a shine to his teacher, Took a shine to means immediately liked or idioms can be an idiomatic noun phrase, like a flash in the pan.

[00:03:16] For example, the band’s number one hit was just a flash in the pan. And that means something that happens only once. Idioms can also be similes. Like when we say little Jimmy has been as quiet as a mouse, which means extremely quiet, or it can be binomials like when we say we arrived safe and sound, and that simply means safely.

[00:03:38] Now idioms are often based on everyday things and ideas that, for example, the human body Mark and Alistair don’t see eye to eye, which means they don’t agree with each other. And we will see in the episodes to come that we have a lot of idioms that use parts of the human body. So we can find idioms are based on everyday things and ideas.

[00:03:57] Now, how can we use idioms? Many idioms are quite informal, so use them carefully, and it will need to be able to understand a lot of idioms. If you want to read English fiction, newspapers or magazines, or to understand TV shows, films, and songs, people also often use idioms for humor or to comment on themselves, other people and situations.

[00:04:19] You will sound more natural and fluent. If you can use idioms in everyday conversation or informal writing, but be careful not to use too many though. Don’t use them everywhere sometimes too much is just too bad. Now, before I tell you about what idioms are used for, which is the most important point in this episode, let me talk a little bit about how idioms change mediums frequently change in English.

[00:04:44] Although many idioms last for a long time, some disappear very quickly. Therefore some idioms that were popular 50 years ago may sound very old fashioned and odd today. For example, the idiom as stiff or as straight as a ramrod. And that means sitting or standing with a very straight and stiff back is not frequently used nowadays.

[00:05:05] It is therefore important to be careful. If you learn an ADM from say an older novel, as it may sound unnatural, if you use it in your own speech or writing. Now we come to the most important point, as I told you. And that is what our ATM’s used for. So what our ATM’s used for, we use idioms for a lot of purposes.

[00:05:25] The first one is to emphasize things. We use it for emphasis. Like when we say the singer second album sank like a stone, and that means failed completely sank like a stone. We use it to agree with a previous speaker. For example, one person says, did you notice how Lisa started listening when you said her name?

[00:05:45] And the other person said yes, that certainly made her prick her ears up. When you prick your ears up, that means you start listening carefully. We use it to comment on people. For example, did you hear Tom has been invited for dinner with the prime minister? He certainly gone up in the world here. He’s certainly gone up in the world.

[00:06:05] That means gained a better social position or more money than before we use idioms to comment on a situation. Like when we say the new finance minister wants to knock the economy into shape. Oh, here to knock the economy into shape means to take action, to get something into a good condition, but that’s not everything.

[00:06:24] We also use idioms to make an anecdote more interesting. For example, we say it was just one disaster after another, today, a sort of domino effect. Domino effect. We use that when something usually bad happens and causes a series of other things to happen. And using this idiom kind of made the anecdote more interesting.

[00:06:45] We also use idioms to catch the reader’s eye. Particularly those with strong images are often used in headlines, advertising slogans and in the names of small businesses or the writer may play with the idiom or make a pun upon means a joke involving a play on words. And they do that in order to create a special effect.

[00:07:06] For example, at that of this honor, instead of the usual debt of honor, now debt of honor means a debt that you owe someone for moral rather than financial reasons. So here debt of this honor is a way to play with words and create this special effect. And now let me finish this advanced introduction of idioms by talking about where we can find or hear idioms.

[00:07:29] Now people think sometimes that ATM’s are just found in speaking and mostly in informal speaking, but that’s not really true. You will see and hear idioms in all sorts of speaking and writing. They are particularly common in everyday conversation and in popular journalism. For example, they’re often found in magazine horoscopes.

[00:07:48] For example, you can hear something like you’ll spend much of this week, licking your wounds. Now lick your wounds means to try to recover from a bad experience or in problem pages. For example, do you think that my relationship has run its course? When you say something has run, its course means come to a natural end.

[00:08:07] However, idioms are also used in more formal contexts, such as lectures, academic essays, and business reports. For example, it’s hoped the regulations will open the door to better management. I opened the door to hear means, let something new start. So we see, we can use idioms in all sorts of speaking and writing.

[00:08:27] But again, let me remind you use idioms carefully, and if you’re not confident about the meaning of the idiom and when you can use it appropriately, don’t use it until you make sure you’re using it in exactly the appropriate place, because that may offend somebody. And more importantly, it might be commonly used in writing and use it in speaking and vice versa.

[00:08:48] No, that’ll be all for today’s episode. I hope you understood idioms a little bit more. Of course. In the next episode, we will dig in and talk about specific idioms based on certain topics. Let me remind you that you can find the transcript of this episode in a link. I will leave in the description and you can get a PDF, have practice worksheet.

[00:09:05] If you become patrons of English plus podcast on Patreon. And I will leave a link to that too. This is your host, Danny. Thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcast. I will see you next time.

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