Saturday, April 10, 2010


An idiom is an expression which can not be understood from the literal meanings of the word of which it is composed. Idioms sometimes ignore law of grammar or the law of logic. Considered literally, word-for word, idioms often do not make good sense, but the meaning of the phrase as a whole is perfectly clear,
1. to give : memberi
In : di dalam
To give in : menyerah
2. to run : berlari
Out : keluar
Of : dari
To run out of : kehabisan
This an idiom which consists of two or more word will have a specific meaning, which usually does not relate to the literal meanings of its components. For this matter an idiom should be learned in context. The context will help you in some ways to guess the meaning of an idiom intelligently.

Study the following sentences and guess the meaning of the underlined word:
1. the rabbles were forced to give in after neing blocked from all direction and finding no way to escape
2. feoriats last a bomb in the main station and several people were killed when it plow up
3. I was not sati flat with my hotel room, so I made a fuss to the hotel manager
4. I can’t make up my mind whether to spend my semester vacation in Bali or in Jakarta
5. just about here in your composition you seem to have run out of ideas

I believe that you have guessed the meaning of the idiom in the sentences above correctly. They mean:
1. Surrender : menyerah
2. Exploded : meledak
3. Complained : mengadu
4. Decide : memutuskan
5. Become short of : kehabisan

Yet, you should also know that some idioms have various meanings depending on the context. Look at the examples below:
1. the airplane took off at 5 p.m. (the opposite of flanked)
2. Being too hot, he took off his jacket. (the opposite of ‘put on’)
3. I can come at the answer to this problem. (Find?)
4. The elephant came at the hunter .(reached to attack?)

Idioms may be neutral, formal, colloquial or slang. Study the sentences below:
1. We ran out of sugar so we drank tea without it. (and no more)
2. The king passed away in 1950. (died)
3. He is red in the face. (easily made angry)
4. He was confused not knowing what to do when he suddenly got the kick. (be dismissed from employed)
when an idiom does not have any special implication in terms of meaning we call it neutral (1). When it is used to show respect, politeness, and formality we call it formal (2). When an idiom belongs to or is suitable for, ordinary conversation (not formal or literary) it is called colloquial (3). When an idiom is commonly used in talk but not suitable for good writing or formal occasion, especially the kind used by typical of a class of person, then it is called slang (4). Slang lacks dignity and is often cheap and vulgar the continuous creation of slang term is part of the natural process of language making, and that slang expressions frequently rise to be acceptable colloquialisms and even parts of english formal vocabulary.
There are various kinds of idiom in terms of forms. Different writers classify idioms differently yet of course the meanings are the same. David peaty in working with English idiom lists 20 different kinds of idioms while Jennifer said in idiom in practice only lists eight. A large number of English idiom are made from such common verbs as fall, come, get, lay, look, set, stand, run, take, put, keep, hold, pull, and make in various combination with such preposition (and preposition used as verbs) as at, by, to, in, on, which, without, of, off, out, down, for, under, above, over, upon, again, behind, and along. The verb to come, for example, combines to make such idioms as to come at, to come by, to come to, to come in, to come on, to come of, to come off, to come out, to come down, to come for, to come under, to come over, to come upon, to come along, to come against, and so on. look for the meanings of these idioms in your dictionary!
Common verbs like those listed in the preceding paragraph combine also with adjectives, adverbs, and nouns to form familiar idioms: to make good, to run low, to make friends. A rich source of idioms is the human body in its various parts: to keep one’s head, to nose out, to see eye with, to turn a deaf ear, to set one’s heart on, to change hands, to stand on one’s own leg, to put one’s best foot forward, and hundred of others. You can find such idiom by guessing from its contents or to be on the safe side through your dictionary or your idiom dictionary.
Finally you should know that good writers use much idiom since it is the life and spirit of language. It gives energy and colour to language which other wise might become dull and without taste or flavour.

Identify whether the idioms used in the following sentences belong to neutral, formal, colloquial or slang. Write N for natural, F for formal, C for colloquial and S for slang in the space provided. Consult your dictionary when necessary.
1. that old main was red in the face
2. it is easy as anything
3. how are you going, buddy?
4. the parent is doing nicely
5. he is a natural or the job

exercise 2.
Choose the correct from of the idioms by putting a circle on the letter of your choice.
1…..the television appeal, thousands of viewers donated money in aid of the flood relief fund.
a. for response to b. on response to response to
2. these new machines produce glass bottles…two thousand per hour.
a. at the rate of b. in the rate of c. on the rate of
3…. All the extra work at the office, I’ve decided to postpone my holiday.
a. with a view to b. with the view of view of
4. I was just…..ringing up to complain that my taxi hadn’t arrived, when I heard it draw up outside. the point of b.on the point of this point
5. Mrs. Fairbanks is badly … a cleaning help. She can’t manage that big house by herself any longer.
a. in want of b. for want of c. from want of
Exercise 3.
Complete the following sentences by choosing the correct idiom. Encircle the letter of the correct idiom:
1. I was christened Elizabeth, but most people call me Beth….
a. in short b. for short c.short for
2. Don’t waste your time … and let’s get on with the rest of the business.
a. wander off the point b.take my point c.get to the point
3. it’s no use translating English idioms .. they never make sense:
a. word for wore a word word of month
4. Brian swears that he didn’t do the damage – and since I can’t prove it, I ‘ll have to…
a. have the last word b.take his word for it my words
5. the business is going quite well. We had our troubles at first; but … we can’t complain.
a. by and large and by the by
Exercise 4.
Complete the following sentences by choosing the correct idiom; encircle the letter of the selected idiom.
1. We’ve got a new secretary, fresh from the secretarial college. She’s little naïve, still…
a. wet behind the ears b.on her tales c. a pain in the neck
2. we have spent a lot of be a very rude, bad – tempered person, we’ll have to … if we want to take chat skiing holiday.
a. draw in our horns b.kill two birds whit one stone c. do the donkey work
3. we’ve a new shop assistant in our department, but she is rather … a bit naïve and inexperienced. I don’t think she’ll self much.
a. grey b. blue c. green
4. our butcher seems to be a very rude, bad -.limbered person, but in fact … and he sells the best meant in town
a. he has a been in his bonnet b. he lets the cat out of the bag c. his barks worse than his bite
5. I got a telegram this morning telling me I’d won a lot of money on the football polls, I can hardly believe its l hadn’t checked my coupon, so it was completely…
a. out of the blue b. in the black c. a yellow streak

No comments:

Post a Comment