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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Nov 2006
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    The more I read the modern writing, the more I found in a loss in understanding idioms as they are totally beyond my knowledge. It seems to me that idioms is getting more populor & common than the conservative writing when I was learning English in school 20 years ago.

    1. Shall I follow the trend to write in idioms?

    2. Shall I include idioms in formal writing, like commercial correspondence, corrrespondence to senior relatives (eg, uncles, parents, parents-in-law), teachers.......etc)

    3. Is talking and writing with idioms a kind of too casual?

    4. Do you encourage me really spend time to learn idioms?

    5. How do I know which idioms are in common use & which are never being used even among native speakers?

    6. I feel difficult in picking up idioms even I know all single words in an idiom, any good ways to learn?

    7. I need to learn commom idioms as I find the native English speakers in my workplace has been using a lot of idioms during daily talking.


  1. freezeframe's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
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      • Canada
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      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2011
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    Re: idioms

    I don't think there is any kind of trend towards "more idioms".

    I don't know what you have in mind either when you say "idioms". Many expressions are technically speaking idioms but we don't think of them that way. If you mean the more "colourful" expressions, if you're not comfortable with them, don't use them.

    As for everything else when it comes to using a foreign language, use what you find comfortable and what you understand. Using simple straight forward language will make you understood and no one will complain about that. Using idioms you don't fully understand will simply confuse the listener/reader.

    I would suggest learn the ones you hear/read often. Don't worry about other ones.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,903

    Re: idioms

    When you were learning twenty years ago, how much natural English were you reading? I don't think there's been a great change in idiom use in terms of quantity; new ones emerge and some fall out of fashion or use. Maybe it's because you see a lot more natural language nowadays. textbooks used to do the odd lesson on them and print a small list, but with the internet and other media, people can access a far wider variety of texts.

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