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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Argentina
      • Current Location:
      • Argentina

    • Join Date: Jul 2011
    • Posts: 1

    Can Idioms be analyzed grammatically?

    I've started analyzing some texts and then I came to notice that idioms are extremelly difficult to analyze. My question is... Do I analyze the idiom by its constituents parts or as an entire grammatical unit?

    For example:

    Three 26-year-olds made up their minds that it was time they either left their well-paid jobs in management consultancy and advertising and went into business together or stopped talking about it.

    Here, I analyze the idiom made up their minds that it was... as

    made up
    Verb Phrase (phrasal verb: lexical verb + adverbial particle)

    Direct Object
    their minds
    Noun Phrase (possessive determiner + noun head)

    Subordinate clause...
    that is was time...

    I looked the idiom up in a Longman dictionary and it also said that the idiom may include 'that'. So I wonder if 'made up their minds that' is a verb prhase and 'it was time...' is the direct object. I'm very confused.

    Tell me which Grammar books should I take a look on, too. I'm very interested in sentence analysis (I don't know if this is the right term).
    Thanks in advance.

  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 60,704

    Re: Can Idioms be analyzed grammatically?

    Idioms are about meaning, so I can't see why breaking them down in grammatical parts helps much. They create a single meaning and they do it in all sorts of ways.

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