Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: sayings/idioms

  1. Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2014
    • Posts: 292
    #1

    sayings/idioms

    “It’s raining cats and dogs!”Grandpa shouted.
    Little Richie came running to the window. He wanted to see the cats and dogs falling from the sky. He looked out of the window, but it was strange that there were no cats or dogs. He only saw small pools of water on the ground.
    “Man, it’s really coming down out there!” Uncle Bob agreed after he looked out of the window, too. Richie scratched his head. What was coming down? First they talked about cats and dogs that couldn’t be seen. Now someone said “it”. What was going on with these people?
    “Wow!” Aunt Susie shouted as she looked out of the window. “It’s raining really hard.”
    Richie looked at his aunt. “It is raining hard,” he agreed, “but where are the cats and dogs?”
    Grandpa laughed. “Richie, that just means it’s raining really hard.”
    “So why didn’t you just say that?” Richie asked. It was irritating when people spoke like they were not speaking English at all.
    “We did. You just didn’t understand these sayings.” Richie’s cousin said with a big smile.
    “Well, now I do.” Richie said.


    (English Test, Senior High School Entrance Examination 2014, Henan Province, China)

    I wonder if the use of ‘sayings’ is correct. Should it be ‘idioms’?

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 28,208
    #2

    Re: sayings/idioms

    It's correct.

    It could be - not should be - 'idioms'.

  3. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 14,254
    #3

    Re: sayings/idioms

    And "sayings" is less specialized language. It's more suitable for use with a young boy.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2014
    • Posts: 292
    #4

    Re: sayings/idioms

    I was misled by my dictionaries.

    Oxford:
    Saying, a well-know phrase or statement that expresses something about life that most people believe is wise and true
    e.g. Accidents will happen.
    Longman:
    Saying, a well-know short statement that expresses an idea most people believe is true and wise

    Since ‘It’s raining cats and dogs.’ has nothing to do with truth and wisdom, according to the definitions above, I thought it wasn’t a saying.

    Now I know dictionaries don’t include all the usage of a word.

  5. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 14,254
    #5

    Re: sayings/idioms

    Both dictionaries' definitions are good. "Saying" wouldn't be the right word for use with an educated adult when talking about idioms. It's close enough to get the idea across to a young boy, though, without confusing the issue by introducing an unfamiliar word.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 8,048
    #6

    Re: sayings/idioms

    I don't consider those as sayings. I use the word saying in the same way that the Oxford dictionary describes, as in post #4.

    English teachers call these phrases 'idioms'.

    I agree with GoesStation's point above that idioms is not the best word to use with a young child but I don't think sayings is right, either. I'd suggest expressions.

  7. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 66,246
    #7

    Re: sayings/idioms

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondcutter View Post
    It was irritating when people spoke like they were not speaking English at all.
    I would change this. How about something like It was irritating when people spoke English that made no sense at all?

Posting Permissions

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