¿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 y luego realiza el ejercicio.
a couch potato = somebody who spends a lot of time sitting and watching TV. I guess Ken is becoming a real couch potato.
food for thought = something that makes you think carefully. The teacher's advice game me food for thought.
a red herring = a misleading statement or action that attracts people's attention. The criminal dropped a red herring into his statement to the police. He wanted to confuse them.
brown as a berry = suntanned, having the skin turned brown by the sun. After her holiday in Florida, Samantha is as brown as a berry.
red as a beetroot = embarrassed. John was red as a beetroot when he noticed that he hadn't enough money to pay the bill.
warm as toast = very warm and comfortable. The kids sat near the fire, warm as toast.
flat as a pancake = very flat. The countryside in this area is flat as a pancake.
one's bread and butter = the work that provides most of the money
needed in order to live. You must earn your bread and butter.
keen as mustard = very enthusiastic. Sheila was new in the job and
keen as mustard.
to cut the mustard = be good enough to do something. Fred is not very good at his new job. I guess he can't cut the mustard!
to feel like jelly, to turn to jelly = lose physical strength because one gets frightened or nervous. When the thief saw the police, his knees turned to jelly.
to sell like hot cakes = become popular, sell a lot. These cheap shoes are selling like hot cakes.
small beer / small potatoes = not important. This profit is small beer/potatoes for the holding company.
chalk and cheese = completely different. The two brothers are like chalk and cheese, they are very different indeed!
We thank Francis Dixon-Clarke (from Sao Paulo, Brazil) for his contribution.
Choose the right answer.
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The word sandwich comes from the English diplomat John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. He was such a compulsive gambler that to avoid stopping the game to eat, he would order that this kind of food was brought to his table so as not to waste too much time.