Idioms and Phrases

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What are Idioms and Phrases?

English grammar is quite fascinating as it provides an explanation of different parts of speech. In fact, it is much easier to study English than most of the prevalent languages in the world. It is the most used language in the world as it is considered the official language for communication. The words in the dictionary have literal meanings. When used in a particular format, a couple of words can mean something absolutely different. This is where idioms and phrases enter in English grammar. Students often get confused with the figurative and literal meaning of these groups of words. Let us study the meaning of idioms and phrases properly and find out how to understand the difference in the literal and actual meanings.


In this summary, you will find out how the experts of Vedantu have simplified the concept for you. You can easily get hold of the concept, find out the meaning and use them in sentences properly.


Idioms and Phrases: Summary

The first step is to understand the idiom meaning and then move forward by practising a few examples.

An idiom is a group of words used as an expression to impart a meaning absolutely different from that of the literal meaning of the compiled words. These idioms are generally used to express your ideas, thoughts, emotions, etc in a dramatic way. You will be astonished to know that every language has idioms and phrases. It means that the native users like to use words that mean something different to give a twist to the context but make the listener understand what they mean actually.

English idioms are quite funny too. There are many examples you will find in grammar books. Let us consider one example in the beginning to understand the concept.

It has been raining cats and dogs since morning.

The group of words ‘raining cats and dogs’ literally means that the clouds are dropping dogs and cats on the ground. It sounds very funny. If you check the figurative meaning of these words, you will discover that this idiom means ‘raining torrentially and nonstop’.


For this, you have to learn the idiom definition properly and move on to the examples. Learn as many examples as you can as there is no hard and fast rule to create one. you will have to memorize the figurative meaning so that you can answer the questions in the exercise easily. Here is a list of idioms meaning and examples you need to understand and remember for scoring well in the exams.


English Idioms and Phrases with Meanings

Give me a Hand

The speaker does not want someone’s hand. He actually wants the person standing or present in front of him to help him out. This idiom is used when someone needs help from someone present at that time.


Catch Him Red-Handed

These words literally mean that someone needs to be caught whose hands are red. The idiomatic meaning states that someone needs to be caught in the act of doing something wrong. This is used when someone is caught while doing something unethical.


Shake a Leg

The literal meaning might sound like someone is telling others to dance on the floor. It actually means that a person is telling others to hurry up as they are late. It can also be told to a single person.


Beating Around the Bush

It literally means someone is trying to check for something but actually looking at the place where he should. In an idiomatic sense, it is used to tell someone to stop circling around and come to the point of a discussion without avoiding the subject.


Judging a Book by its Cover

This is one of the idioms sentences used popularly in different conversations. It means someone is buying a book by just looking at the decorative elements of the cover. Its idiomatic meaning states ‘relying on the superficial appearances’.


Once in a Blue Moon

This is one of the most common idioms and their meanings. It tells us about something that happens not very often.


A Piece of Cake

This idiom does not even mean what the words actually say. In fact, it signifies that someone can do a piece of work easily like eating a piece of cake.


A Dime a Dozen

This is also one of the common idiom phrases used in the English language that actually means something very common and obvious.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. Why Should You Study the Idioms and Phrases Meaning?

Ans. Idioms and phrases have different meanings than what they actually impart to common eyes. Learning these meanings will help you become a better user of the language.

Q2. How Can You Prepare This Chapter?

Ans. There is no hard and fast rule to follow and find the meanings. The only way is to study as many examples of English phrases with meanings as you can and remember it.