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A Boatload of idioms Over a thousand English expressions

A Boatload of idioms Over a thousand English expressions

by Lucia Sera

Idioms are informal expressions used in everyday speech. Often referred to as catch phrases, colloquialisms or clichés, they are groups of words that, together, have a special meaning that is different than each of the words alone. They serve as a colorful way to sum up an idea (for example, “mad as a hornet” illustrates a recognized degree of anger in a simple expression). However, idioms can be one of the most difficult areas to learn in another language, especially English. ESL/EFL students often attempt to translate literally from their native tongues, which can lead to confusion (sometimes humorous). As vital as grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are to basic language acquisition, even the best student’s speech will remain a bit stilted without a working knowledge of idioms; they are indeed the last measure of fluency in any language.
A Boatload of Idioms can help students become familiar with the most common idiomatic expressions found in modern American English. There are over a thousand idioms offered here, along with definitions and example sentences. In this straightforward presentation, the idioms (highlighted in bold) are listed alphabetically. Brackets appear at the beginning of some of the entries to show the full saying, ordered by topic word. Each idiom is followed by a short definition; several contain explanations of their origins. Also, example sentences (shown italicized) are given for further clarity. At the end, exercises are provided to check readers’ comprehension of the various idioms chosen from the body of this product.