Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Mar 2015
    • Posts: 82
    #1

    idiom vs colloquial English

    Hello everybody,
    I'm confused. Can you please tell me what is the difference between idioms and colloquial English?
    Aren't idioms a part of colloquial English?
    For example

    • look blue -look sad
    • buzz off – go away = are classified as colloquial phrases



    but '' over the moon'' = as idioms
    '' see the light''

    Could you please tell me why?
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 24-Jul-2016 at 09:58. Reason: Removed unnecessary formatting to standardise font

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 9,333
    #2

    Re: idiom vs colloquial English

    The editors of the dictionary you're citing feel that the phrases they describe as idioms have become permanent parts of the language and are used by highly educated people in all kinds of situations. They believe that such people would not use the other phrases or would use them only in casual circumstances.

    There is no firm dividing line. The current editors' predecessors would have described many of today's idioms as colloquial, fifty or a hundred years ago.
    I am not a teacher.

  1. teechar's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq

    • Join Date: Feb 2015
    • Posts: 6,180
    #3

    Re: idiom vs colloquial English

    Quote Originally Posted by elenah View Post
    I'm confused. Can you please tell me what is the difference between idioms and colloquial English?
    Have you looked up "colloquial" and "idiom" in the dictionary first?

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com

    Quote Originally Posted by elenah View Post
    Aren't idioms a part of colloquial English?
    Yes, they can be.

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

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 1,741
    #4

    Re: idiom vs colloquial English

    An idiom is a phrase that has a non-literal meaning, a bit like a metaphor. Over the moon is a clear example of this, as are on top of the world and down in the dumps. Idioms can cause problems for learners when encountered for the first time because their meanings are often not immediately obvious from the individual words themselves.

    Colloquial language is that which is limited to informal, conversational use. It's not appropriate for formal writing.

    Idioms can be either colloquial or formal, and colloquial language may or may not be idiomatic but there is a clear distinction.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 23-Jul-2016 at 22:15.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Mar 2015
    • Posts: 82
    #5

    Re: idiom vs colloquial English

    Thank you for the replay and the link. Yes, I have I always do but still it's not very clear for a foreigner. Didn't really show the difference. But thank you for your help
    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Have you looked up "colloquial" and "idiom" in the dictionary first?

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com


    Yes, they can be.

Similar Threads

  1. Colloquial English
    By philadelphia in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 03-Aug-2010, 16:07
  2. [General] Differences between Informal and Colloquial English
    By Yulissa in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Sep-2009, 01:00
  3. [General] A question about colloquial English
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 25-Jun-2009, 12:20
  4. colloquial english
    By carlebo in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 24-Jul-2008, 10:09
  5. COLLOQUIAL ENGLISH
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 15-Mar-2004, 16:11

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
  •