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Thread: Set phrases


    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    Set phrases

    What's the difference between a set phrase and an idiomatic expression? Could you set an example of each?

  1. #2

    Re: Set phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by Marserena View Post
    What's the difference between a set phrase and an idiomatic expression? Could you set an example of each?
    Hi there
    I assume by "set phrases" you mean what I usually call "collocations", that is, words that are commonly used together (and which can vary wildy depending on region and/or dialect). They can be verb-noun combinations, adjective-noun combinations, preposition-noun combinations or virtually anything really. Google some English collocation sites for practice! Some examples:
    take a bath
    make a promise
    decisive action
    innocent bystander

    Idioms are different in the sense that they usually have both a "literal" meaning and an "idiomatic" one. Idioms do vary regionally as well but rather than one word being different in the phrase, usually a completely different idiom is used or is not used at all. Many phrasal verbs are idiomatic as well. Example:
    He picked me up
    literal meaning: He lifted me off the ground
    other (idiomatic)meaning: He asked me out on a date
    other (idiomatic) meaning: He gave me a ride in his car

    Hope that helps!
    Fiona


    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 3
    #3

    Re: Set phrases

    Thank you Fiona. Nice name!
    Now I understand the difference but I find it difficult to think that 'collocations' are a sort of synonym of 'set phrases'. I wasn't sure about that.

    Could you give me your e mail address so that I can communicate with you by that way? That would be easier for me, thanks. Mine: [email protected]

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