Learn idiomatic expressions on an English holiday

By Famworld
Learn idiomatic expressions on an English holiday

To speak like a native English speaker, attending standard English courses is sometimes not enough. It is not enough to learn grammar, you have to work on other aspects as well. Among these are pronunciation, accent, and idioms.

In the English language they are called “idioms”. They should not be confused with the Spanish "idiomas" or the Italian "idiomi", which mean languages.

Every nation has its own idiomatic expressions, so translating Italian idioms into English doesn't work.

For a foreigner, idioms can be counterintuitive. Taken literally, it is not easy to grasp its meaning. The only way to learn them is to know them in context, especially in conversations with native speakers. Even better if during an English holiday, where you are in contact with local people.

However, not all idiomatic expressions are difficult, some are simple to learn.

It's worth knowing and incorporating these expressions into conversations, so your English will sound more natural.

In this article we will list some more common idiomatic phrases. Memorizing and using these sentences will increase your level of spoken English, which will seem advanced and no longer academic. We'll also see how an English vacation is the most effective way to learn to speak like a native speaker.

Some English idiomatic expressions

Idioms can be divided according to the context in which they are used, or according to the frequency of use. Some are quite intuitive, once translated it's easy to grasp the meaning. Others, on the other hand, are less obvious and must be known to understand how to use them.

Here are some of the more common ones, with their explanations:

  • A blessing in disguise: not everything bad comes to silver.
  • Break a leg! : Good luck !
  • Beat around the bush: avoid being clear about something that is difficult to say.
  • Call it a day: finish the day.
  • Cut somebody some slack: give someone some breathing space, don't be too hard on someone.
  • Get along: get along.
  • It's not rocket science: it's not that complicated.
  • It's not a big deal: it's not a big deal.
  • It's not my business: it's not my business.
  • It' up to you: it's up to you, it's up to you to make a decision.
  • Being fed up: being fed up, tired.
  • No pain, no gain: nothing is achieved without pain/effort.
  • Not my cup of tea: it's not something for me, it's not my thing.
  • Pull yourself together: compose yourself, calm down.
  • Start from scratch: start from scratch.
  • Under the weather: not being fit, sick, being subdued.
  • Your guess is good as mine: I have no idea, I know as much as you.

Below we list other less common, but still useful to learn English idioms:

  • A perfect storm: the worst situation.
  • Add insult to injury: in addition to the damage, insult.
  • Between a rock and a hard place: being in the middle of two unpleasant situations or people.
  • Burn bridges - cut off a relationship chance, quarrel.
  • Don't cry over spilled milk: don't continue to suffer for something that cannot be changed.
  • Go down in flames: fail completely.
  • Get a taste of your own medicine: wishing someone to experience the same unpleasant feeling.
  • I have enough on my plate: having many things to take care of.
  • Spill the beans: revealing secret information.
  • The ball is in your court: it's up to you to do something.

The list goes on, because there really are a lot of them. If you come across parts of speech that don't make sense to you, perhaps the person you're talking to is using one. The advice is to apologize, ask to rephrase the concept and keep note of these phrases.

How to learn English idioms

If you want to learn idiomatic phrases, there are some steps you can take. First, it's important to focus on the listening phase and improve your listening in general. This also includes a better understanding of accent and pronunciation. If a sentence just doesn't make sense, then there's a good chance you're dealing with an idiom.

Once you understand the meaning of the expression you can move on to practice and begin to introduce idioms into your language. With experience, you will notice that the most common ones are not many, so it is better to focus on a few expressions and learn how to use them.

Just as an Italian course is not enough to learn the typical expressions of the Italian language, an English course is also not enough to learn idiomatic expressions. A course should be supplemented with other support material and, even better, with an English holiday.

Obviously, books, articles and media help to learn the most used idiomatic expressions and figures of speech. Online resources provide further support, and practicing with native speakers helps incorporate these phrases into everyday conversation. It is important to be patient and keep practicing. Over time, you will build confidence, which will help you speak English more fluently.

The most effective way is to practice speaking with a native speaker, perhaps through summer English courses or an English holiday.

Learn to speak like a native with an English vacation

An English holiday can greatly improve your understanding of spoken language, including idioms. Immersing yourself in a new language, and a new culture, helps you speak like a native.

Hebe organizes trips to Ireland for students who want to learn or improve their English. In contact with local people, students learn faster. This is very important for diversifying learning, an objective that is difficult to achieve only through study. Ireland is an ideal destination for a language trip. It is known for its hospitality and friendliness, which can make it easier for students to immerse themselves in the language and culture. Students can stay with a host family, attend language courses and participate in organized activities that will help improve their English skills.

Hebe also offers a large selection of Irish families wishing to host an overseas student. Families are verified before the stay and parents can always communicate with them.

In summary, a language trip to Ireland can be a fantastic way to learn to speak English. Immersing yourself in Irish culture and traditions can provide a unique learning environment, ideal for students who want to learn to speak like a native speaker.

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