Idioms at GrammarSongs by Melissa. What
is an idiom? More importantly, how can understanding idioms make me a better
reader, speaker, listener, or writer. Let’s get started! An idiom is an expression
that cannot be understood from the meaning of its separate words but must
be learned as a whole expression. What? Huh?
Okay, I know that sounds confusing, so let me explain! Idioms are a form of
figurative language, which means the words cannot be taken
literally or exactly. Literally? Exactly? Let me show you an example. You may have
heard someone use the idiom, “It’s raining cats and dogs.” In a literal, or exact,
sense, this expression would look something like this! It’s raining cats
and dogs. But the meaning of an idiom is figurative. The words and meaning don’t
exactly go together. “It’s raining cats and dogs,” really means “It’s raining very
hard!” People use idioms every day when
speaking English without even realizing they are doing so. These groceries cost
an arm and a leg! This can be really tricky for people
learning to speak English. An arm and a leg? Hmm! Maybe I should shop somewhere
else! Authors use idioms to communicate a
special and precise message to the reader. Famous authors like William
Shakespeare used and even created many idioms that we still use today. In fact,
it is estimated that there are at least 25,000 idioms used in the English
language today. Oh, no! Yikes! How will we ever learn them all?
Relax! I don’t think any one person actually knows all of them! The important
thing is to understand that the words used in an idiom are not literal. They
mean something else. Practice your understanding of idioms
in real life when you read…. “You are the apple of my eye,” watch TV….” I’m glad you
didn’t get cold feet,” and especially when you listen and speak to others at home or
in other places….. “This game is coming down to the wire!” May we practice now? Sure! Can
you make it rain cats and dogs again? That was fun!
Not this time, but I’ve got some other ideas. Let’s explore the meanings of some
of the more common idioms you may encounter on a daily basis. This cupcake
is out of this world. So a literal interpretation of these
words would cause you to believe that a cupcake is floating around in outer
space. Hey, come back here! But of course, idioms are a form of figurative language.
“This cupcake is out of this world’ really means “This cupcake is delicious!” YUM!
That was silly! Let’s practice again! Okay, let’s practice again!
I am going to toss my cookies. A literal interpretation of these words would make you
believe that someone is going to throw cookies up in the air! Woohoo! What’s going
on in here? I just baked those! But idioms aren’t literal. They are
figurative. “I’m going to toss my cookies” really means “I am going to be sick”
or “I’m going to throw up.” We hope he feels better!
Thanks! So do I! Next we have “You’re driving me up the wall.” A literal
interpretation will look something like this!
Help! Let me out! But an idiom isn’t literal. It is
figurative. “You’re driving me up the wall” really means “You are irritating me!”
So remember, idioms are a form of figurative language. The words in the
expression have a different meaning when put together. The best way to learn
idioms is to practice them in real life when you read and listen, and to use them
when you speak and write. That was a piece of cake! Oho, now! I’m glad it was
easy for you! You are doing a great job using idioms! Thank you for joining me at
GrammarSongs by Melissa. Enjoy other videos about related topics at GrammarSongs.com.