Isn’t it fascinating that many languages have similar, or even identical, idioms?
For example, in English, if I want to communicate that people should not judge others by their appearance, I say:
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
A French speaker who wanted to communicate the same thing might say:
L’habit ne fait pas le moine.
i.e., The habit (robes/clothing) don’t make the monk.
Some idioms are very common in everyday English. But there are other idioms that we would never hear if it weren’t for our grandparents using them!
What is an Idiom?
An idiom is an expression used by a group of people (often by people who live in the same part of the world). An idiom typically creates a picture in one’s mind, instead of being an exact translation of the words.
Do you need to learn English idioms?
There are two answers to that question: yes, and no. (That helps a lot, doesn’t it?!)
Yes, because native speakers use them. So if you do not learn them, you may feel lost when others are speaking, especially in a group conversation when it often is not convenient to ask for help.
You need to learn popular idioms for UNDERSTANDING.
No, because you can typically find another way to say the same thing.
Using idioms for SPEAKING is personal choice.
To Eat Like a… what? You Decide.
Here are 3 questions to test your knowledge of idioms.