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English Vocabulary - Vocabulario de inglés
IDIOMATIC PAIRS
¿Qué es un idiom?
Un "idiom" o "idiomatic expression" es una frase idiomática utilizada en lenguaje coloquial informal. En general, el significado de la frase en sí es diferente al significado normal de cada palabra por separado. Por ejemplo, "to let the cat out of the bag" significa "revelar un secreto". Si traducimos palabra por palabra, sería "dejar salir al gato de la bolsa", lo cual es incorrecto.

La dificultad para los estudiantes de inglés radica en que no pueden traducirse literalmente y deben aprenderse de memoria, aunque en algunos casos existen equivalentes muy similares en el idioma español.

Lee las explicaciones de cada idiom y luego realiza el ejercicio.

Hemos reunido aquí una lista de las expresiones idiomáticas más comunes en que se utilizan dos o más palabras unidas por "and".

 

  • by and by = soon, in a while from now.
    By and by they came to an enchanted place.
  • chapter and verse = with a lot of details.
    The teacher gave them chapter and verse about where to find the information.
  • cheap and cheerful = simple, not expensive and of reasonable quality.
    This is really a cheap and cheerful Greek restaurant.
  • cloak-and-dagger = secret and mysterious.
    It was a cloak-and-dagger operation in which several spies were involved.
  • down-and-out = having no money.
    He's a down-and-out actor now.
  • free and easy = relaxed, friendly.
    She knew that life wouldn't be so free and easy at work.
  • in dribs and drabs = in small amounts or numbers.
    The public arrived in dribs and drabs.
  • in leaps and bounds = very quickly.
    My English is improving in leaps and bounds.
  • prim and proper = correct and very formal.
    She's a very prim and proper lady.
  • ranting and raving = shouting in an angry way.
    Please stop ranting and raving and listen to me!
  • skin and bone = extremely thin.
    She's really skin and bone, she doesn't need to go on a diet anymore.
  • spick and span = completely clean and tidy.
    Her room is always spick and span.
  • the length and breadth of some place = all over the place.
    Police searched the length and breadth of the town.
  • thick and fast = happening very frequently, in large amounts.
    Letters for the contest arrived thick and fast.
  • to be at somebody's beck and call = be ready to do what somebody wants.
    She got tired of being at his beck and call.
  • to blow hot and cold = keep changing one's attitude towards something.
    Now he agrees but I'm sure that later he'll disagree; he always blows hot and cold.
  • to believe something hook, line and sinker = believe a lie completely.
    Paul explained her why he was late and she believed it hook, line and sinker.
  • to risk/sacrifice life and limb = to risk/sacrifice one's life and health.
    She risked life and limb travelling to distant communities to help the poor.
  • to search high and low = search all over the place.
    Police searched high and low for the burglars.

We thank Mónica Tur Ramón (from Balearic Islands, Spain), Esther Morales (from Madrid, Spain) and Pilar (from Madrid, Spain) for their contribution.

Exercise
Choose the right answer.

1. Can you decide yourself? You are all the time.

2. Very few people were interested in the offer, so orders arrived .

3. I have a headache, would you please stop ?

4. As John didn't know where to look up, his mother gave him .

5. She's really very innocent, she will believe anything .

Score:
   
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