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What Exactly is An Idiom?


What exactly is an idiom? This is not an easy question to answer, because many parts of speech may be called idioms. In general, however, an idiom is an expression which has a special meaning, and this meaning cannot be understood completely by looking at the individual words in the idiom.

Look at the following example :

  • I went over my speech well
  • The politician’s speech went over well

In each sentence, you are looking at an idiom which has its own special meaning. In the first example, to go over means “to review”; in the second example, however, to go over means “to be received (by an audience). ” You should notice that each idiom is describbed in a different grammatical way. In the first case, go over is followed by a noun, and in the second case, go over cannot followed by a noun. This grammatical difference is one of the many we will learn in this blog.

This brief introduction should give you an idea of the new material you will be learning in this book, but learning new material is not all that you will be doing. Slowly but sure you will be learning new ways to guess the meaning of unfamiliar idioms by yourself. A studen who develops the necessary skills of guessing will be better prepared to learn the new, and more difficult, idioms he or she encounters outside of class.

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