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Using Idioms and Phrases correctly

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Idioms and proverbs form an integral part of any language. They add power, meaning and crispness to our everyday expressions, conversations and writings. There is a huge bank of idioms, phrases and proverbs and we do not hesitate to borrow one and insert one in our articles or resources.

Most of the people use them to enhance the beauty of the language and as a mere ornament for their essays. There is much more to them than that! They do have an ornamental value but more than that, they are tools which can be used to get the desired impact.

Idioms are usually comprised of very few words but encompassed in them is a deep meaning. So, when one is at a dearth for words, idioms can easily come to the rescue. You can put forth your thoughts more effectively and in an impressive manner using them.

There is a flipside to it as well. In our eagerness and enthusiasm to impress others, we normally do not spend any time in understanding the meaning of the phrase. It is very crucial to do this because using an idiom inappropriately can entirely change the meaning or twist the truth.

Idioms will add value and power to your expressions only if you use them correctly and efficiently. Remember one thing that idioms will look attractive only if used attractively.

Sample Usage

Here are a few examples to highlight these points:

To blow off means to get extremely angry or loose one's temper.
To blow hot and cold means to keep on changing one's opinion about a thing or person
To blow the whistle means to uncover a wrong doing or an act and make it known to everyone.

As it is apparent, the above mentioned idioms cannot be substituted with one another as it would completely change the meaning.

Another thing which should be kept in mind is that idioms and phrases often do not literally mean what they say. One has to delve inside to get the right message. Here is an example:

To hear something on the grapevine does not mean that one has to actually climb a grapevine to hear something! The implied meaning is to get to know about something through rumours and gossips.

There is yet another point which warrants some attention and that is to avoid overcrowding. If in a space of four lines, you use five idioms, then the essence of what you actually want to convey would get lost and you would only end up creating a dramatic effect! Try to use them imaginatively so that the message remains cohesive and clear.

Idioms will add value and power to your expressions only if you use them correctly and efficiently.

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