Idiomatic Phrases in Everyday English


An idiomatic phrase, multi-word expression, or idiom, is a multi-word or multi-morphemic utterance at least one of whose components is selectionally constrained or restricted by linguistic convention such that it is freely chosen.

In the most extreme cases, there are expressions such as X kicks the bucket ≈ ‘person X dies of natural causes, the speaker being flippant about X’s demise’ where the unit is selected as a whole to express a meaning that bears little or no relation to the meanings of its parts. All of the words in this expression are chosen restrictedly, as part of a chunk.

At the other extreme, there are collocations such as stark naked, hearty laugh, or infinite patience where one of the words is chosen freely (naked, laugh, and patience, respectively) based on the meaning the speaker wishes to express while the choice of the other (intensifying) word (stark, hearty, infinite) is constrained by the conventions of the English language (hence, *hearty naked, *infinite laugh, *stark patience).

Both kinds of expression are phrasemes, and can be contrasted with ’’free phrases’’, expressions where all of the members (barring grammatical elements whose choice is forced by the morphosyntax of the language) are chosen freely, based exclusively on their meaning and the message that the speaker wishes to communicate.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


English Grammar Video


English Vocabulary. Words for Birthdays


Common Phrases with BIRTH & SELL



give birth to smth.

Yet capitalism is itself incapable of… giving birth to this new art. (R. Fox, ‘The Novel and the People’, ch. IV)


in one’s birthday suit

They were sunbathing in their birthday suits.


sell one’s birthright

…I do not wonder that you, the prostrate sons of labour, are incredulous of the existence of such a man. But he who sold his birthright for a mess of pottage existed, and Judas Iscariot existed… and this man exists! (Ch. Dickens, ‘Hard Times’, book II, ch. IV)


sell off

The store is selling off their old television sets to make room for the latest models.


sell one’s life dear

Here and there a little group of shattered Indians marked where one of the anthropoids had turned to bay, and sold his life dearly. (A. C. Doyle, ‘The Lost World’, ch. XIV)


sell oneself

If you want to advance in the world of business, you have to know how to sell yourself.


Grammar Video


English Phrases for the Supermarket


10 thoughts on “Everyday English

  1. This website give a great possibility to learn new words and phrases which use in real english. This is productive work.

  2. It’s a very wondeful website. We can find f lot off necessary and usful information for education english language. I like it. Thank’s.

  3. Thank you for a great opportunity to know and learn such useful English phrases, which English people use every day.
    Thank you also for your wonderful English Club! Every meeting is unforgetable!

  4. It’s a very interesting website. I’ve found a lot of useful and interesting things about English language here. Thank’s for your work!

  5. It’s a great website! There is a lot of useful and interesting stuff, which you don’t find at dictionaries and your school or even university teacher doesn’t tell you about that!

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