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Idioms - English Grammer
1925    Dibyendu Banerjee    05/12/2018


An idiom is an expression, a group of words that has a figurative or inner meaning, which is completely different from the literal meaning. Idioms never mean exactly what the words say. In other words, the symbolic sense of an idiom is quite different from the literal meaning of the words of which it is made. Idioms are very commonly used in all languages. They have great potential to make a language interesting and attractive.

However, idioms are not easy to understand for the non-native speakers, as their meanings are metaphorical, based on the custom, culture, rituals and history of a particular part of the world. Learning idioms are a real fun, especially when the English idioms are compared to the idioms in the other vernacular languages.

There are numerous idioms in the English language. The following chart includes some commonly used English idioms, with their actual meanings.




A blessing in disguise

A good thing that seemed bad at first

Beat around the bush

Avoid saying what you mean

Better late than never

Better to arrive late than not to come at all

Call it a day

Stop working on something

Get out of hand

Get out of control

Hang in there

Don't give up

It is not rocket science

It is not complicated

Make a long story short

Tell something briefly

Miss the boat

It is too late or missed the chance

No pain, no gain

To work hard for better results

Pull someone's leg

To joke with someone

So far so good

Things are going well so far

Add insult to injury

To make a bad situation worse

 Let the cat out of the bag

 Give away a secret

Every cloud has a silver lining

Good things come after bad things

Give someone the cold shoulder

Ignore someone

It is raining cats and dogs

It is raining heavily

Kill two birds with one stone

Get two things done with a single action

Look before you leap       

Think twice, before you take any action

Once in a blue moon


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Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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Rabindranath Tagore
It is no easy task to lead men. But it is easy enough to drive them.
Rabindranath Tagore
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