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Common Idioms
Some idioms are used by most people that speak English; others are used by a more select group. Common idioms that refer to people include:

A chip on your shoulder - means you think you know a lot High as a kite - means you are drunk or on drugs Sick as a dog - means you are very ill Idioms that refer to your actions would be: Rub someone the wrong way - meaning to annoy or bother Jump the gun - would mean to be doing something early Pay the piper - means you need to face the consequences of your actions

Phrase Examples
A phrase is a group or words that express a concept and is used as a unit within a sentence. Eight common types of phrases are: noun, verb, gerund, infinitive, appositive, participial, prepositional, and absolute.

Noun Phrases
A noun phrase consists of a noun and all its modifiers. Here are examples:

The lost and bewildered tourist The senile old man A wet and stinky dog Many cases of infectious disease Some cookies shaped like stars A story as old as time Long and winding road A cool wet afternoon

Verb Phrases
A verb phrase consists of a verb and all its modifiers. Here are examples:

He was waiting for the rain to stop.

Watching the pot, he was upset when it didn't boil. You have been sleeping for a long time. You might enjoy a massage. He was eager to eat dinner.

Gerund Phrases
A gerund phrase is simply a noun phrase that starts with a gerund. Examples include:

Taking my dog for a walk Walking in the rain Strolling along a beach at sunset Getting a promotion Signing autographs Going for ice cream Singing for his supper Getting a sore back Pulling an all-nighter Sailing into the sunset

Infinitive Phrases
An infinitive phrase is a noun phrase that begins with an infinitive. Here are some examples:

Everybody loves to watch movies. To make lemonade, you have to start with lemons. I tried to see the stage, but I was too short. She organized a boycott to make a statement. To see Niagara Falls is mind-boggling. He really needs to get his priorities in order. The company decided to reduce hours for everyone. To donate time or money is an honorable thing. I went to Spain to study the language and culture.

Appositive Phrases
An appositive phrase restates a noun and consists of one or more words. Examples are:

My favorite pastime, needlepoint, surprises some people. Her horse, an Arabian, was her pride and joy. My wife, the love of my life, is also my best friend. A cheetah, the fastest land animal, can run 70 miles an hour. His goal, to retire at 40, is unrealistic. My idea, to recycle the paper, was accepted by the boss. The Florida panther, the state animal of Florida, is an endangered animal.

Participial Phrases
A participial phrase begins with a past or present participle. Examples are:

Washed with my clothes, my cell phone no longer worked. Knowing what I know now, I wish I had never come here. I am really excited, considering all the people that will be there. We are looking forward to the movie, having seen the trailer last week. Grinning from ear to ear, she accepted her award. The happy dog ran the entire length of the park, pausing only to sniff the dandelions. Painted a brilliant white, the small room appeared bigger. The lake, frozen over all winter, was finally thawing.

Prepositional Phrases
A prepositional phrase begins with a preposition and can act as a noun, an adjective or an adverb. Examples are:

On the table By the brook Over the rainbow In the dark of night Between a rock and a hard place For a while Of strawberries and cream Against all odds

Absolute Phrases
An absolute phrase has a subject, but not an acting verb, so it cannot stand alone as a complete sentence. It modifies the whole sentence, not just a noun. Examples are:

His tail between his legs, the dog walked out the door. Picnic basket in hand, she set off for her date. The guys attacked the pile of nachos, their fingers getting the last bit of cheese off the plate. Their heads hanging down, the whole group apologized. The entire team, their uniforms muddy and stained, shouted for joy.

English Proverbs
Some examples of English proverbs include:

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Its no use locking the stable door after the horse has bolted. Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone. See a pin and pick it up, all the day youll have good luck; see a pin and let it lie, bad luck youll have all day. Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. Mondays child is fair of face/Tuesdays child is full of grace,/Wednesdays child is full of woe,/Thursdays child has far to go,/Fridays child is loving and giving,/Saturdays child works hard for its living/And a child thats born on the Sabbath day/Is fair and wise and good and gay.

What Is a Proverb?

A proverb is most often a phrase or saying that gives advice in an obscure way. The phrase usually has an allegorical type of message behind that when first heard may seem a little odd. Usually a proverb is very well known because of its popular use in colloquial language.

Role of Proverbs in Society

Proverbs play many roles in society. The first, possibly, most common role that a proverb plays is to educate. Most often tossed around as expert advice in conversation, the innate role to educate people on what might happen if they do something. Think of a proverb as a little tidbit of wisdom that just about everyone no matter where they are from can offer. There is a proverb for just about every circumstance, and proverbs can be applied to any situation. English and American proverbs are almost second nature when delivered. The origins are quite often little known, yet the expressions are popular. Ethnic proverbs, on the other hand, may be a little deeper to digest, and require non-natives of the proverbs country of origin, to think about the meaning in order to better understand how it applies to their lives.

A good beginning makes a good end.

If a task is carefully planned, there's a better chance that it will be well done. A good conscience is a You sleep well when you soft pillow. have nothing to be guilty about. A guilty conscience If you know that you have needs no accuser. done something wrong, you don't need anyone to tell you that you're guilty. A hungry belly has no A hungry person is totally ears. concentrated on their need for food and nothing else interests them. A hungry wolf is fixed A desperate person will go to no place. from place to place in order to satisfy their needs. A) cat has nine lives. 1) Cats can survive many accidents because they land on their feet without injury. 2) Nine lives = 3 years to play, 3 years to stray, 3 years to stay. The strength of a group depends on each individual member. A change in routine is

(A) chain is no stronger than its weakest link. (A) change is as good

as a rest. Charity begins at home.

often as refreshing as a break or a holiday. A person's first duty is to help and care for his own family. Neither children nor fools know that it is sometimes advantageous to lie. A clean body is just as important as a pure soul. If the atmosphere is clear, frost may form.

Children and fools tell the truth. Cleanliness is next to godliness. Clear moon, frost soon.

Examples of Compounds
Compound sentences and compound words are an easy and fun way to add interest to a sentence. By combining two thoughts in one sentence or word, you can add to the information you provide in your communication.

Kinds of Compound Sentences

Good writers will use different kinds of sentences to make their writing interesting and fluid. The text will sound choppy if too many simple sentences are used, and it will be complicated and hard to read if too many long, complex sentences are used. Following are explanations and examples of all three types of sentences: simple, complex and compound.

A simple sentence expresses a complete thought and contains a subject and a verb. An example would be: Mary went to the library to study. A simple sentence may have a compound subject, meaning more than one, but it is still considered a simple sentence. An example is: Jose and Brittany are getting married. A simple sentence can also have a compound verb, like: Meaghan cleans her room and brushes her teeth every day. A complex sentence has one independent clause (sentence) and at least one dependent clause. A dependent clause has a subject and verb, but is not a complete thought, so it cannot stand alone. These two clauses are joined by a marker word, like: after, although, as, as if, because, before, even if, even though, if, in order to, since, though, unless, until, whatever, when, whenever, whether, and while. An example is: He went to the party after he did his chores. A compound sentence has two simple sentences, or independent clauses. The clauses are connected one of two ways: with a coordinator or coordinating conjunction, or with a semicolon. Two examples are Han waited for the bus, and it arrived on time and You have waited very patiently; finally the day has arrived.

Construction of Compound Sentences

Some compound sentences are joined by a coordinating conjunction, which usually has a comma before it unless the sentence is very short. The coordinators are: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. A helpful hint to help you remember them is the first letter of each coordinator spells fanboys. Examples of compounds in sentences include:

My husband was working, so I went shopping. I like chocolate ice cream, but my friend likes strawberry.

They wanted to go to Italy, because they wanted to see Venice. I am on a diet yet I really want a cookie. He did not take the money, for it was not the right thing to do.

Famous Compound Sentences

Here are a few examples of compound sentences spoken by presidents and some other well-known people:

"A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on." (John F. Kennedy) "Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one." (Lyndon B. Johnson) "Tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time." (Gerald R. Ford) "I have often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can't get my wife to go swimming." (Jimmy Carter) "Trust, but verify." (Ronald Reagan) "I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I don't always agree with them."(George H. W. Bush) "You can put wings on a pig, but you don't make it an eagle." (Bill Clinton) "I used to be snow white, but I drifted." (Mae West) "I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land." (Jon Stewart)

in a broad sense, any sequence of linguistic elements linked by the relationship of dependent member to governing member. This is F. de Saussures concept of syntagm. A syntagm may be a sequence of words (external syntagm) or a sequence of morphemes (internal syntagm). For example, dom-ik forms an internal syntagm in which the element dom- (house) is the dependent member and ik (diminutive suffix) the governing member. This syntagm corresponds to the external syntagm malenkii dom, in which dom is dependent and malenkii (small) is governing. In a narrower sense, a syntagm is a phrase within a sentence; it may be predicative, attributive, or objective. In this same sense, the sentence is a chain of consecutive syntagms. L. V. Shcherba defined a syntagm as an articulated phonetic unit organized by intonation, expressing a single meaningful whole, and consisting of one or several rhythmic groups. A sentence may be divided into syntagms in various ways, depending on shades of meaning, logical emphasis, or syntactic homonymy. An example is vchera/bylo zharko as contrasted to vchera bylo/zharko (yesterday/it was hotyesterday it was/hot).

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the term used in linguistics. For the term used in rhetoric, see Circumlocution. In linguistics, periphrasis is a device by which grammatical meaning is expressed by one or more free morphemes (typically one or more function words accompanying a content word), instead of by inflectional affixes or derivation.[1] Periphrastic forms are analytic, whereas the absence of periphrasis is a characteristic of synthesis. While periphrasis concerns all categories of syntax, it is most visible with verb catenae. The verb catenae of English are highly periphrastic.
Inflected form of the comparative (er)

Periphrastic equivalent


more lovely


more friendly


more happy

Inflected form of the superlative (-est) Periphrastic equivalent


most lovely


most friendly


most happy

The periphrastic forms are periphrastic by virtue of the appearance of more or most, and they therefore contain two words instead of just one. The words more and most contribute functional meaning only, just like the inflectional affixes -er and -est contribute just functional meaning. The distinction is also evident across full verbs and the corresponding light verb constructions:

Full verb

Periphrastic light verb alternative

(to) present

(to) give a presentation

(to) shower

(to) take a shower

(to) converse (to) have a conversation

(to) smoke

(to) have a smoke

"Strings of nouns depending on one another and the use of compound prepositions are the most conspicuous symptoms of the periphrastic malady, and writers should be on the watch for these in their own composition." (H.W. Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, rev. by Ernest Gowers. Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1965)

Defining a Clich
A clich can be two things:

1. 2.

An overusedexpression , something that is said a lot that has become some common, it no longer really has any relevance or is even noticed in conversation. Phrases such as to this day or next thing I knew are examples of such a clich, and you often say these phrases without noticing you are doing so. An idea with a differentmeaning from its literal meaning. For example, the phrases sweaty palms or twinkling eyes have come to mean more than the fact that your palms are just sweaty or that your eye's have a twinkle. When you say someone has sweaty palms, everyone knows you mean "he is nervous" because the expression has become a clich.

Examples of Clichs
Clichs come from all over the world. They can be interpreted differently, depending on your cultural knowledge and identity. Often, a clich starts with a smart remark that ends up becoming very well known. Even if the origin is unclear, its clear to see that clichs are a popular form of expression.

Clichs that Describe Time

Some clichs that refer to time include:

Time will tell: This means that something will revealed or become clear over time In the nick of time: This means something happened just in time Lost track of time: This means you stopped paying attention to the time or to how long something was taking Lasted an eternity: This refers to something that lasts for a very long time (or that feels like it does) A matter of time: This refers to something that will eventually happen or eventually become clear A waste of time: This refers to something that was silly or not valuable to do Rushed for time: This means you do not have sufficient time to do something In a jiffy: This means something will happen soon The time of my life: This refers to a really great time At the speed of light: This means something done very quickly.

Clichs that Describe People

Some clichs that describe people include:

As old as the hills: This describes someone very old Fit as a fiddle: This describes someone in great shape Without a care in the world: This describes someone who is not plagued by problems or worries A diamond in the rough: This describes someone who has a great future. Brave as a lion: This describes a very brave person. Weak as a kitten: This describes a very weak person.

Clichs About Life, Love and Emotions

Opposites attract: This means that people who like different things and have different views are likely to fall in love or to become friends Scared out of my wits: This describes being very frightened Frightened to death: This also describes being very frightened All is fair in love and war: This clich stands for the premise that you can do whatever you have to in order to capture the heart of your lover Alls well that ends well: This means that even if there were problems along the way, it doesn't matter as long as there is a happy ending Every cloud has a silver lining: This means that even when bad things happen, it may be possible to find some good in them Haste makes waste: This clich stands for the premise that you will make mistakes when you do things too quickly The writing on the wall: This refers to something that should be clear or apparent and that is essentially a foregone conclusion Time heals all wounds: This means that all pain and suffering will get better over time What goes around comes around: This clich teaches the lesson that the way you treat others will eventually be the way you are treated When you have lemons, make lemonade: This clich encourages you to have a positive attitude even when things are going bad.