An idiom or a phrase is basically a collection of words strung together to behave passively like a metaphor and change the literal meaning of the sentence. Idioms and Phrases are a must-know part of the IELTS exam. Although native English speakers find it very easy to incorporate idioms and phrases into their daily speech, foreign nationals have a little bit of trouble adjusting to that.
The IELTS test tests a person’s proficiency in the English language. Using idioms and phrases boosts those skills to the rooftop. IELTS recommends using multiple idiomatic expressions and phrases in contexts like businesses and social media contents to make them sound better. A good band score is also determined by how well someone can play with these figures of speeches.
In a literal way, idioms are a group of words that metaphorically exist in a way that basically does sound nowhere near its meaning, yet is accepted wholly for various common usages.
One more aspect of this would be how well can one use idioms in the writing section. That too increases the chances of a better band score. The section basically is a comparison of idioms vs phrases.
How Using Idioms and Phrases in the Speaking Test Affects the Band?
The IELTS speaking test is a true test of how well a person can string in words to make it more flexible in a situation. There can be certain descriptors that need to be mentioned for the usage of idioms in IELTS speaking tests. The main evaluated value of idioms is to be at least 25,000 in the English language. The primary goal of this article is to understand what idioms and phrases are and what is the difference between them.
- Using the knowledge of idioms and phrases accurately and incorporating them naturally into sentences.
- Using the word bank (vocabulary) with flexibility and ease in any given topics.
- Using idiomatic expressions, phrases and other less common figures of speeches with little to no errors.
- Try using a widely and readily available vocabulary to convey the exact meaning of the sentence.
- Using proper paraphrases as and when required.
- Effective use of paraphrases is required.
So What makes Idioms Difficult?
While you sit and translate absolutely any idiomatic expression in a literal way, you probably will end up with fusions of disparate words that all make sense on their own, but which together make none. Firstly, one has to understand how to actually identify the difference between idioms and phrases and proverbs.
After reading word after word, the sentence begins sounding abnormally absurd for the target language. Yet it all makes sense when the sentence decodes and basically turns into something way different from what it looks like.
Idioms are quite easy and fun to know about. But what makes them pretty difficult to understand at times is their meaning. Idioms are sometimes not very easy to understand, especially when it comes down to non-native speakers.
This is solely because the purpose of idioms is to be symbolic and not mean what they basically sound like. This main feature is what makes them into something very troublesome to understand especially if the learner is a novice.
Can Idioms be Used in IELTS Writing Task?
Idioms are the standing point of the English language which makes it all the more amazing and interesting to learn. They basically are the building blocks of a language.
Unlike the speaking test, the writing test is vulnerable to grammatical errors and can drastically decrease the band score of anyone using too many idiomatic expressions and phrases in the IELTS writing test.
Also, idioms have quite an informal tinge to it. Thus, using it in the writing test makes the whole passage informal, which in turn reduces the presentability of it. The examiner’s basic idea is to mark the candidate based on the usage of his or her words and vocabulary.
Understanding the Usage
An idiomatic expression or phrase looks more like a lent or rephrased word or sentence than invented by oneself. Actually, spoken English is much more informal than written English, thus one must be very careful while writing English.
If you learn how to put idioms in your sentences, then just another way to do this could be hiring the basic meaning from the idiom, and attempting to put it straightly into your own words. This most likely will increase the demand for your essay in a way not many would notice.
Examples of Idioms
Idioms do make the language quite amazing and enjoyable. It is known to increase the insight you will ever have in the speeches you deliver various times! Besides, idioms hold the ability to bring a spectacular illustration of the play of words you might want to use sometime later on.
It is of no doubt that they do play with the sentence in a way that it becomes pretty hard to understand, but they leave no corner of the house to also add imagery, metaphors and an expression of art to words while speaking. Idioms come packed with fun, and mystery somehow hard to unveil. Yet it is that fact that keeps idioms high on lists of art.
What are some of the idioms you must know about? Read along to know.
A Hot Potato
Meaning: a controversial issue or situation that is awkward or unpleasant to deal with.
Example: The subject of bullying and fighting in my school is a hot potato.
Piece of Cake
Meaning: something that is easy to do
Example: Learning English is a piece of cake as long as you do it with our website.
Once in a Blue Moon
Meaning: very rarely
Example: I go to visit my grandfather only once in a blue moon; he lives in a remote farmhouse.
A Bed of Roses
Meaning: easy option
Example: Taking care of my younger sister is no bed of roses; she is very silly.
Raining Cats and Dogs
Meaning: raining very heavily
Example: I wanted to go to play outside, but it was raining cats and dogs yesterday.
When Pigs Fly
Meaning: something that will never happen or is impossible.
Example: William will keep quiet only when pigs fly.
Meaning: one who presents a counter-argument
Example: Hey Jack! You’re always playing devil’s advocate! Give it a rest and mind your own business.
Miss the Boat
Meaning: miss the chance.
Example: Peter wanted to enter the drawing competition, but he was too late to enter, and he missed the boat.
Apple of Eye
Meaning: someone very precious or dear
Example: Every kid in the world is the apple of their parents’ eye(s).
Zip Your Lip
Meaning: to stop talking
Example: I don’t want to hear another sound out of you. Now do as you’re told and zip your lip.
Meaning: someone who speaks the truth.
Example: I really like Ken. He’s a straight shooter, that’s for sure.
Crack the Whip
Meaning: make someone work harder by asserting power or authority.
Example: We’d better get some work done, or he’ll crack the whip when he gets back from his tea break.
Heads will Roll
Meaning: People will be fired or forced to resign.
Example: Heads are going to roll when the boss finds out about the missing stock.
Meaning: Something very difficult to understand
Example: I’ve no idea why Kelly can’t make a spreadsheet, and it’s not exactly rocket science is it?
Meaning: To be angry, irritable or in a temper
Example: Geoff was in one of his black moods today, and no amount of cajoling could snap him out of it.
Once somebody has accustomed himself or herself to these tricky things, the IELTS band can be a very easy reach for them. Though idioms and phrases constitute in pushing the band up. IELTS Ninja provides people with lessons on how to get a quicker and better grasp over the language. It can help you with tips and tricks to crack the IELTS test easily. So what are you waiting for? Enrol now!