Curious facts on idiomatic expressions

Idiomatic expressions are present in our daily lives and, in most of times, we don’t even realize that we use them. As they are natural to people who speak a certain language, it is crucial to know more about this communication resource, especially those who are learning a new language.

For those who don’t know, idiomatic expressions have new connotations when used correctly, surpassing any literal meaning when applied to certain contexts.

To be really immersed in the universe of idiomatic expressions, we will list some of the most famous and used ones in other languages.

However, before the list, we will discuss their importance during the learning process of new languages.

Why learning idiomatic expressions is so important

Anyone who is learning a new language knows that, invariably, in other to speak well, it is very important to dive deeper in the customs of the language and the country where it is spoken. This is the only way to achieve the so desired fluency.

Idiomatic expressions are extremely common in the routine of anyone (including ours). When we learn a new language, knowing them is crucial to efficiently communicate with a native.

Curiosidade sobre expressões idiomáticas

Let’s use a practical example from our daily life: “That investigation will end up in pizza” (Aquela investigação vai acabar em pizza).

Obviously, when we use this idiomatic expression, we mean that certain unfinished situation is considered concluded (usually applied to corruption investigations and politicians who do not punish anyone).

For a Portuguese learner whose native language is English, for example, hearing this expression may be very complicated.

Probably, the first thing to do is to try to translate the sentence literally. But be aware that, without previous knowledge of the language, in most of the cases it won’t work.

Due to this, when we are learning other language, we should always learn more about idiomatic expressions and its curious facts.

Most common idiomatic expressions

We listed some of curious facts on idiomatic expressions, as well as some of the most used. Check it out!

1) Dog eat dog world

This idiomatic expression is very common in the United States of America. Its meaning is linked to a bad or cruel situation that happens in the world, in our daily life.

We may use it when, for example, someone says that a friend is robbed. In this moment, we may say: “It’s a dog eat dog world indeed.

2) My ears are burning

This is one of those expressions that when literally translated, don’t mean much, but still may be understood, especially as it also exists in Portuguese.

To say that the ears are burning, that are hot, means that someone is saying bad things about you. This idiomatic expression is very old, some say that its origin is related to guardian angels. When someone said good things, the angel touched your right ear, however, if someone said bad things, then the angel touched your left ear.

With time passing and adaptations being made, we ended up with this expression: ears burning.

3) Non avere peli sulla lingua (not to have hair in your tongue)

This Italian sentence does not make sense when translated. However, as idiomatic expression, its meaning is similar to “to have a sharp tongue” (não tem papas na língua).

Even in different languages, it is possible to see that there are similarities in the two expressions, especially due to the fact that Portuguese and Italian are similar, as both come from Latin. .

There are many other similarities between two different languages when we refer to idiomatic expressions, such as the sentence “it costs an arm and a leg” (custa um braço e uma perna), “kill two birds with one stone” (matar dois pássaros com uma pedra), among others.

Now that you know some curious facts on idiomatic expressions, it certainly will be easier to learn more content.

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