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  1. #1
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    Default meaning of idiomatic expressions

    Hello,
    I would like to know the meaning of the following idiomatic expressions:
    1. A shower of rain 9. A heap of stone
    2. A sheaf of rain 10. A galaxy of stars
    3. A herd of deer 11. range of mountains
    4. A flock of sheep 12. bundle of sticks
    5. A swarm of bees 13. A groove of trees
    6. A multitude of people 14. regiment of soldiers
    7. A bunch of keys 15. collection of relics
    8. Series of events

    Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.
    Edita Sanchez

  2. #2
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    Default Re: meaning of idiomatic expressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Edita Sanchez
    Hello,
    I would like to know the meaning of the following idiomatic expressions:
    1. A shower of rain 9. A heap of stone
    2. A sheaf of rain 10. A galaxy of stars
    3. A herd of deer 11. range of mountains
    4. A flock of sheep 12. bundle of sticks
    5. A swarm of bees 13. A groove of trees
    6. A multitude of people 14. regiment of soldiers
    7. A bunch of keys 15. collection of relics
    8. Series of events
    Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.
    Edita Sanchez
    Most of them are collective nouns and 'herd',flock',swarm' etc are all substitutes for the word 'group'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: meaning of idiomatic expressions

    These aren't so much idioms as collocations -- words that usually belong together. Most of them are collective nouns.

    A collective noun is a word or phrase that refers to groups of things. English has very many different collective nouns for different things: for example, we talk about a herd of cattle, a pride of lions and a string of horses. A lot of collective nouns have become old-fashioned and aren't used so much now, but it can still very confusing to a non-native speaker.

    A few notes about your selection:

    1. A "shower" of rain is usually fairly gentle and lasts only a for a short time -- a few minutes perhaps.

    2. Are you sure about this one? Usually, a sheaf is a bundle of cut stalks of grain or a bundle of paper. I have found the phrase "sheaf of rain" in one poem ("...Moments ago / A sheaf of rain, weighted with promise, breached / the foothills..."), otherwise I've found it in contexts like "sheaf of rain checks" (a "rain check" is a ticket to a sports event if the event you paid for is cancelled due to rain) and "sheaf of rain-wrinkled paper".

    7. A "bunch of keys" is lots of keys all attached to the same key-ring.

    9. A "heap of stones" is not really a true collective noun; a "heap" is just an untidy pile.

    10. A "galaxy" is a large group of stars (a few billion usually). The galaxy we live in is called the Milky Way Galaxy; our nearest neighbour is the Andromeda Galaxy.

    13. I think that should be "grove". It refers to a small group of trees, or an orchard. You don't need to say "of trees", because a grove can only be trees.

    14. A regiment is a military unit of two or more battalions; a battalion is usually made up of three or more companies; a company is the lowest administrative unit of an army and consists of two or more platoons and a headquarters. Note that the US military no longer uses regiments, but the British army does.

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