Idiomatic Expression

Welcome to today’s class!!

We are excited to have you join our class!!


In today’s English class, we will learning about Idiomatic Expression

To some, understanding idioms is to see the forest for the trees, or to look at the phrase as a whole rather than focusing on the individual words. 

idiomatic expressions

Stay with me as we learn more.

Idiomatic Expression

First, let’s define what an idiomatic expression is. 

An idiom is a phrase that, when taken as a whole, has a meaning you wouldn’t be able to interpret from the meanings of the individual words. It is majorly the same thing as taking a different route, but arriving at the same destination. 

Idiomatic expression allows a person to express themselves with words that can only be understood when taken as a whole.

The phrase “kill two birds with one stone” is an example of an idiom. 

two birds

Regular English speakers understand that this doesn’t refer to harming birds or using stones, but that someone is completing two tasks at once. 

Let’s take a look at Pure Idioms, Binomial Idioms and Partial Idioms

Pure Idioms

This is your typical idiom, the meaning of which cannot be interpreted by its individual components. For example, when someone says, “Spill the beans,” they are asking someone to reveal a secret, not to pour out a can of beans. But you wouldn’t know that by looking at each word of that phrase.

Binomial Idioms 

This idiom is a phrase that contains two words joined by a conjunction or a preposition. Some examples include “by and large” (everything considered), “dos and don’ts” (guidelines on what to do and/or avoid in a certain situation), and “heart-to-heart” (a candid conversation between two people). 

Partial Idioms 

This idiom is one that’s been shortened into one part, with the second part generally being understood by regular speakers of the English language. People often use the partial idiom “when in Rome,” with the understanding that the other person knows the second part: “do as the Romans do.” 


In summary, mere looking at an individual word will not allow you the opportunity to grasp the entire meaning of a phrase unless it is wholly combined. For this reason, we define idiom as a phrase that, when taken as a whole, has a meaning you wouldn’t be able to interpret from the meanings of the individual words.


What must be done to be able to understand Idiomatic Expression?


Reading Assignment

Give the right interpretation to these Idioms:

  • A stitch in time saves nine
  • Don’t cry over a spilled milk
  • Let the sleeping dog lie
  • A bird in hand is worth two in the bush


Weekend Assignment

Give two examples each of Pure Idioms, Binomial and Partial idioms. 


We hope you enjoyed today’s class. In our next class, we will be learning about Formation of Verbs.

Let us know your thoughts and questions in the comment section, and we will attend to them as fast as we can.

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