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Thread: Idioms

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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Apr 2010
    • Posts: 425

    Smile Idioms

    Do you suggest using idioms in academic writing?

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 167

    Re: Idioms

    If you have to ask, then probably not.

    Idioms are not the same as slang; they can be used in formal, academic writing--sometimes. It is very difficult for non-native speakers to accurately gauge tone, and therefore you risk sounding too informal. I would recommend you avoid idioms in formal writing for now.

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 3

    Re: Idioms

    I have to respectfully disagree. Standardized tests (including the TOEFL, etc) give higher scores to students who can use idioms correctly because it demonstrates a greater command of the language. Of course, heterological makes a great point: they can be difficult for nonnative speakers. The key is to learn them well and use them appropriately, but you must begin somewhere. Shying away from using them will not benefit you in the long run. Good luck.

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 167

    Re: Idioms

    I didn't mean the person should avoid using idioms entirely; just in formal, academic writing. By all means, use them in conversations with and notes to your friends, but wait until you've really mastered them before using them in a context where tone really matters.

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