id·i·om ˈi-dē-əm. plural idioms. : an expression in the usage of a language that is peculiar to itself either in having a meaning that cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements (such as up in the air for "undecided") or in its grammatically atypical use of words (such as give way)
A phrase or combination of words that collectively have a meaning that differs from the meanings of the individual words is known as an idiom. In other words, idioms cannot be taken literally.
For instance, the phrase "once in a blue moon" refers to unusual occurrences. So, if you take the above line literally, "I eat pizza once in a blue moon," it makes no sense (you only eat pizza when there is a blue moon?!). You don't often eat pizza, but when you realize what the phrase means, the sentence makes perfect sense.
When studying English, idioms are crucial since they are frequently used in spoken conversation and can make you sound more native. To talk and understand conversational English better, learning the correct use of idioms is essential. Idioms also help give character to the language; making it more colorful and interesting.
Examples of idioms:
1. A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
Something that appears bad at first but ends up having good results
Missing that plane turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I got to spend more time with my dog.
2. A STONE’S THROW
Something is very close or near
Luckily the party is just a stone’s throw from our hotel so we can walk there.
3. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
What you do is more important than what you say; someone’s words may not be trustworthy
Lila: “John keeps saying he wants to take me out for dinner, but then he never does!”
Alan: “Actions speak louder than words.“
5. ADD FUEL TO THE FIRE
When someone does something to make a bad situation worse
When Sarah started laughing during the argument, it really added fuel to the fire!
6. ADD INSULT TO INJURY
To make a bad situation worse
As if breaking my arm isn’t bad enough, to add insult to injury I have to pay £1,000 in hospital fees as I didn’t have travel insurance!
7. ALL EARS
To be eagerly waiting to hear about something
Person A: “I have to tell you about what happened on our trip to Spain…”
Person B: “I’m all ears!”
8. AT A CROSSROADS
To be at a point in your life when you need to make an important decision
I was at a crossroads when I was offered a job in the US, but my boyfriend wanted to stay in London.
9. BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE
To be wrong or misguided about the reason for something
He thinks the company’s problems can be solved just by firing the sales team, but he’s barking up the wrong tree.
10. BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH
To talk about unimportant things because you’re avoiding a particular topic
Stop beating about the bush! Are you planning to quit university, or not?