Go Back to English Idioms
An idiom is an expression with a meaning very different from the literal definitions of the words that comprise them.
The English root, 'liter' means 'letter'. The word 'literal' means "the real meaning of letters in a word/sentence". So, an idiom has two "meanings": the literal meaning and the idiomatic meaning. The idiomatic meaning of an idiom is related to the literal meaning, but very different.
to TAKE something WITH A GRAIN of SALT
Literal meaning - to put salt on things that people say to you (We do not use this meaning)
Idiomatic meaning - to be careful before you believe the things that people say (to you)
In English-Speaking, we use the idiomatic meaning.
Enjoy these English Idioms...use them in English conversation!
to ADD INSULT to INJURY
-to increase your problems
He woke up late, missed the bus, hadn't studied for the test, and to add insult to injury, he was late arriving to the exam room!
to STICK someone's NECK OUT
-to take a risk (to help someone)
Everyone knows the boss is angry, but why should I stick my neck out for them in the upcoming meeting? They never helped us with anything.
to COST an ARM and a LEG
-to be very expensive
That two-carat diamond engagement ring that he bought her cost him an arm and a leg!
to CUT CORNERS
-to reduce the use of something to save money
They tried to cut corners on their wedding expenses by having their wedding outside, reducing the wedding-list, and had the reception at the bride's family's house.
to HAVE the BEST of BOTH WORLDS
-to enjoy a convenient and harmonious life
Actually, we have the best of both worlds. We have a happy marriage and both have satisfying careers!
to TAKE something with a PINCH of SALT
-to be careful about believing what someone says
She needs to take what her critics say about her with a pinch of salt. They are out to trash her not to support her.
to MAKE ENDS MEET
-to make enough money to only survive
In these tough economic times, it has become very difficult for some people to make ends meet.
to SEE EYE to EYE
-to agree with each other
They didn't see eye to eye on having kids and staying at home. After two years of marriage, they sought divorce.