Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

    • Join Date: Nov 2010
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    Post I don't know if it is an idiom

    What does this mean... "It appear as if you have a lot of falling outs with people."

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Apr 2007
    • Posts: 4,146
    #2

    Re: I don't know if it is an idiom

    'falling out" with someone means that your relationship with that person becomes unfriendly/disagreeable.
    Fall out - English Phrasal Verb - UsingEnglish.com

    It appears as if you have a lot of falling outs with people." = It appears that you often have difficulty maintaining a good relationship with people.
    Last edited by 2006; 11-Nov-2010 at 04:39. Reason: add the 's' in appears"

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 670
    #3

    Re: I don't know if it is an idiom

    I would not count that among English idioms, such as 'Look before you leap'. It has no ulterior or nonliteral meaning. Someone has just taken the phrase 'falling out' and made a (plural) noun of it. 'falling outs' = arguments, problems.

  1. Munch's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 479
    #4

    Re: I don't know if it is an idiom

    Pedroski, I am not sure what you mean by "It has no ulterior or nonliteral meaning". What phrase are you refering to?

    2006 seems to have explained the sentence and the general idiom quite clearly, but maybe this will help.

    "Falling out" literally - the boy might get hurt:

    • Oh, no! That boy is falling out of the tree!

    "Falling out" as an idiom - in this case my good relationship with my brother went bad:

    • I had a falling out with my brother.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Apr 2007
    • Posts: 4,146
    #5

    Re: I don't know if it is an idiom

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I ignored the question of whether "fall(ing) out" is an idiom or not. Interestingly, "fall out" is listed on this site as a phrasal verb but not as an idiom. It is both a phrasal verb with a literal meaning and an idiom, as Munch indicated..
    2006

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 670
    #6

    Re: I don't know if it is an idiom

    I was refering to the sentence as a whole. I thought that was what the poster meant. Even so, I would not classify 'a falling out' as an idiom. It is just the shortened form of 'a falling out of (or descent from) favour', a use of falling where nothing is subject to the force of gravity, nor falls in a literal sense, much as falling blood pressure or falling prices.

    If any figurative use of a term or phrase makes an idiom, then yes, it is an idiom. That is not my understanding of idioms. You have a lot more idioms than I.

  2. Munch's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 479
    #7

    Re: I don't know if it is an idiom

    Pedroski, I see what you mean now. I didn’t realise what is and what isn’t an idiom was an issue. I think I understand your point there and I agree it can be important to distinguish between the base form of an idiom and variations on it (if that is what you meant).

    But I am still confused about what you meant when you said, “It has no ulterior or nonliteral meaning.” Doesn't the phrase "It appears as if you have a lot of falling outs with people" have both literal and figurative interpretations?

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #8

    Re: I don't know if it is an idiom

    I fear that we may be heading towards a discussion on what precisely we mean by 'idiom', which may be fascinating for those taking part, but of little value to most students.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Apr 2007
    • Posts: 4,146
    #9

    Re: I don't know if it is an idiom

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I fear that we may be heading towards a discussion on what precisely we mean by 'idiom', which may be fascinating for those taking part, but of little value to most students.
    I think that if students are interested in idioms, and some clearly are, they would be interested in knowing what the definition of an idiom is.

    from dictionary.com

    id·i·om  /ˈɪdiəm/ Show Spelled
    [id-ee-uhm] Show IPA
    –noun
    1. an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket or hang one's head, or from the general grammatical rules of a language, as the table round for the round table, and that is not a constituent of a larger expression of like characteristics.

    I think "fall(ing) out" in the context of the OP is clearly an idiom. One can fall out of a tree(house) but one doesn't literally fall out with people. "falling out of favour" is also and idiom; one doesn't literally "fall out".

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 670
    #10

    Re: I don't know if it is an idiom

    There is no black or white here. Just a spektrum from idiomatic to literal. Most words can be used in an idiomatic way. Idioms, such as 'Look before you leap.' can be used quite literally. But they may also be interpreted in a way which has nothing to do with the literal meaning. This is nothing special. Words do this too. 'mean' can indicate the idea inherent in a word, but it may also indicate a miserly person. Quite what is meant will not be apparent from the word itself. It takes its meaning from its surroundings, from the speakers intention. Words take on other meanings, so do phrases.

    The best use of 'falling out' I know is from Bob Dylan: We had a falling out, as lovers often do, but to think of how she left that night, it still brings me a chill.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Idiom] The meaning of an idiom or is it not an idiom?
    By purpleblossom in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-Feb-2010, 17:50
  2. [Idiom] ask idiom
    By rizke20 in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 27-Feb-2009, 14:20
  3. [Idiom] idiom
    By alimysoul in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Feb-2009, 19:09
  4. Idiom
    By beautifulenglish in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Nov-2008, 08:56
  5. REPLY TO THIS IDIOM(i want to know the idiom)
    By MOgnaraj in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-Oct-2006, 15:37

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •