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a study of english idioms relating to “ love “ with reference to the vietnamese equivalent

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI OPEN UNVERSITY

M.A. THESIS

A STUDY OF ENGLISH IDIOMS RELATING
TO “ LOVE “ WITH REFERENCE TO THE
VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENT
(NGHIÊN CỨU THÀNH NGỮ VỀ “YÊU” TRONG TIẾNG ANH VÀ
ĐỐI CHIẾU TƯƠNG ĐƯƠNG TRONG TIẾNG VIỆT)

CHU THI MINH HUONG

Hanoi, 2016

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MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI OPEN UNVERSITY


M.A. THESIS

A STUDY OF ENGLISH IDIOMS RELATING
TO “ LOVE “ WITH REFERENCE TO THE
VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENT
(NGHIÊN CỨU THÀNH NGỮ VỀ “YÊU” TRONG TIẾNG ANH VÀ ĐỐI
CHIẾU TƯƠNG ĐƯƠNG TRONG TIẾNG VIỆT)

CHU THI MINH HUONG

Field: English Language
Code: 60220201

Supervisor: Dr. Nguyen Thi Thu Huong

Hanoi, 2016

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CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY
I, the undersigned, hereby certify my authority of the study project report
entitled “A STUDY OF ENGLISH IDIOMS RELATING TO “ LOVE “
WITH REFERENCE TO THE VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENT”
submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master
in English Language. Except where the reference is indicated, no other
person’s work has been used without due acknowledgement in the text of
the thesis.
Approved by

Hanoi, 2016

Chu Thi Minh Huong

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This document contains my master thesis, the final document for my master
English language at Hanoi Open University. It describes the results of my


research on the potential of crowd sourcing applications in organizational
the content. The last few months have proven to be challenging months,
both personally and organizationally. Finishing this research project means
a lot to me and could not have been possible without the help of many
people.
I would like to start by thanking my supervisors from the Trade Union
University, Dr. Nguyen Thi Thu Huong. Thank you for her whole-hearted
guidance and precious instruction for this graduation paper from the
beginning to the completion. Without her assistance, encouragement and
valuable adjustment, this study could not be fulfilled.
Secondly, my heartfelt acknowledgement also belongs to all of my lecturers
and teachers in Ministry of Education and Training, Hanoi Open University
for helping, assisting and advising during my research. Assoc. Prof. Hoang
Tuyet Minh, Dr. Le Van Thanh, Dr. Nguyen Thi Van Dong, Dr. Dang Ngoc
Huong, their feedback for my master thesis proposal outline were always
valuable.
Of course, this acknowledgement would not be complete without thanking
my parents and family, who supported me throughout my entire study and
encouraged my activities. Thanks to be loved, support and faith of my
parents, I was able to finish my study and make it a great time to look back
on.
Last but not least, I am proud of expressing thanks to friends and
acquaintances who have supported and given a hand during the completion
of my study.
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I hope you will enjoy reading my master thesis about the english idioms
relating to " LOVE " with reference to the Vietnamese equivalent. I know it
is not the best thesis about this topic, but if you have any questions, please
feel free to contact me.
Chu Thi Minh Huong
2016

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ABSTRACT
To become proficient at English, one of the important and essential steps for
learners is clearly to know how to use fluently English idioms as well as
understand it in native language. In a simple term, it is useful and favorable
for learners to make use of succinct style of language to express meaningful
thinking such as human feelings, traditional quotes and sayings, specific
contexts and so on. In both of Western and Eastern literature, Love is
probably the most ideal emotion for using idioms to define. The purposes of
this study are to examine in which methods and conditions are used to
express the feeling “love” as well as to make some evaluations and
comparisons between Vietnamese and English idioms. To achieve the
purposes above, sources and information are carefully gathered and selected
through searching a varied of studies and scholar journals about idioms,
both in English and Vietnamese. After analyzing and evaluating for more
apparent views of the thesis’s aspects, the result will indicate that there are
both similarities and disimilarities between English idioms and Vietnamese
ones in terms of syntactic and semantic features.

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LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
N : Noun
V : Verb
Adj : Adjective
Adv : Adverb
P : Preposition
Conj : Conjunction
Art : Article
Num : Numeral
S : Subject
O : Object
NP : Noun phrase
VP : Verb phrase
Adj.P : Adjective phrase
PP : Preposition phrase
Ex : Example
IRL : Idioms relating love

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CONTENTS
ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................6
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ......................................................................7
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ..............................................................10
1.1

. Rationale for the research .............................................................. 10

1.2. Aim of the research............................................................................. 11
1.3. Objective of the research .................................................................... 11
1.4. Scope of the research .......................................................................... 11
1.5. Significance of the research................................................................ 12
1.6. Structural organization of the thesis ................................................... 12
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW ..................................................13
2.1. Review of the previous studies .......................................................... 13
2.2

. Review of the theoretical background ........................................... 14

2.2.1. Theory of syntax ........................................................................... 14
2.2.2. Theories of semantics ................................................................... 15
2.3. An overview of idioms ....................................................................... 16
2.3.1. Definition of idioms ..................................................................... 16
2.3.2. Features of idioms ........................................................................ 17
2.3.3. Classification of idioms ................................................................ 21
2.3.4. An overview of phrases, clause and sentence structures.............. 29
2.4. Idiom relating to Love ........................................................................ 34
Idiom relating to love can be described clearly in concept of love with
following examples: ............................................................................... 34
2.5. Idioms denoting “love” ....................................................................... 37
2.6. Summary ............................................................................................. 37
Chapter 3: Methodology .............................................................................38
3.1. Research design .................................................................................. 38
3.2. Research questions ............................................................................. 38

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3.3. Research methods ............................................................................... 38
3.4. Research procedures ........................................................................... 38
3.5. Description of the sample ................................................................... 39
3.6. Data collection .................................................................................... 39
3.7. Reliability and Validity ...................................................................... 40
3.8. Summary ............................................................................................. 40
4.1. Similarities and disimilarities between English and Vietnamese
idioms denoting ‘love’ in term of syntactic features ................................. 42
4.1.1. Phrase Structures .......................................................................... 42
4.1.2. Clause Structures (10) .................................................................. 45
4.1.3. Parallel Structures (8) ................................................................... 45
4.1.4. Comparative structures (8) ........................................................... 46
4.1.5. Similarities .................................................................................... 48
4.1.6. Dissimilarities ............................................................................... 49
4.2. Similarities and disimilarities between English and Vietnamese
idioms denoting ‘love’ in term of semantic features ................................. 50
4.2.1. Similarities .................................................................................... 56
4.2.2. Dissimilarities ............................................................................... 57
4.3 Summary ............................................................................................ 57
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS .................................................................59
5.1. Summary of the study ......................................................................... 59
5.2. IMPLICATIONS ................................................................................ 60
5.3. LIMITATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY .. 63
REFERENCE ...............................................................................................64

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 . Rationale for the research
With the tendency of globalnization nowadays, English by far has become
as one of the most popular and useful language in all over the worlds. Many
countries have chosen it to be the second national language for themselves,
especially in developing countries such as Vietnam. Learning English is
applied in all schools and having a certificate of famous tests such as
TOEIC and IELTS is one of the requirement for student’s graduation.
Despite the fact that it is neccessary to learn english, a large number of
Vietnamese students often fail to master it, due to many issues and
problems. One of the difficulties is being familiar with idioms and being
able to use them correctly in certain situations.
Idiom is a special phrasing or a peculiar expression which performs
metaphor or sometimes, literal meanings . Every nation in the world has its
idioms. Some of them are particular and represent for the culture to which
they belong. On the contrary, a lot of idioms share the same meaning with
others in many languages, denoting the needs of interfering different
cultures and traditional customs in all over the world. Having the ability to
use idioms could help leaners to adapt the antiquities and customary habits
of certain culture or country, while mastering idioms will provide learners
the self confident and encouragement to well communicate with both nonnative and native speakers. Idioms appear everywhere, from daily
communication likes newspapers, magazines, television advertisements to
more formal contexts such as books, novels, literature and studies.
There have been many studies about idioms in varied aspects, with different
oppinions and arguments. I am pleased and honored to perform a study
about the topic “A study of english idioms relating to "LOVE" with

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reference to the Vietnamese equivalent” with the hope that the research will
be useful for every people who needs it, especialy English learners and
humbly contribute to the effort of generalizing English in Vietnam.
1.2. Aim of the research
The study is executed with the aim to look into the syntactic, semantic,
characteristics of English idioms relating love in comparison with
Vietnamese ones. It also points out the differences and similarities between
English idioms relating to love and Vietnamese ones in linguistic features.
As a result, the study could be used for learning, teaching and translating
English as well in other to motivate, encourage and submit certain solutions
which could assist English learners to apply and use both English and
Vietnamese idioms correctly.
1.3. Objective of the research
 To explore and identify the syntactic, semantic, systematic and
slylistic features of English idioms relating to love and Vietnamese
ones
 To comprehend and make critical comparisons to findout the
similarities and differences between English and Vietnamese idioms
relating ‘love’ in term of syntactic and semantic features
 To motivate, encourage and submit certain solutions which could
assist English learners to apply and use both English and Vietnamese
idioms correctly.
1.4. Scope of the research
This research is limited of English and Vietnamese idioms relating love in
term of syntactic and semantic aspects. In syntactic features, the study will
perform the key characteristics such as phrase structure. In the same way, an
examination into love in English and Vietnamese idioms will be performed
to analyze the semantic aspect.

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1.5. Significance of the research
Following the aim, objective and the scope of performing a study of English
idioms relating love

with Vietnamese ones in term of syntantic and

semantic features above, the study will support English users in Vietnam
with the knowledge and suggest ideas to correctly and flexibly apply this
sort of idioms without hesitation.
1.6. Structural organization of the thesis
The paper is clearly designed into five chapters:
 Chapter 1 is the Introduction for the study with presenting the
rationale,

aim,

objective,

scope,

significance

and

structural

organization of the thesis.
 Chapter 2 is entitled Literature Review which generally analyze the
theoretical background of the study as well as the definition of the
concept of idiom and love.
 Chapter 3 is the Methodology of the study which are discussed to
explain and promote the theoretical poit of the research.
 Chapter 4 is Findings and discussion where invididuals oppinions of
me are demonstrated to support the concept of love idioms.
 Chapter 5 is Conclusion with the overview about the result of the
report and suggestions of solution for further researchs
Finally, references are respectably noted in the end of the study.

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CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1. Review of the previous studies
There are a great number of studies and researches about all kinds of idiom
and related matters such and linguistic, syntax and translation in both of
English and Vietnamese. The knowledge support of these researches have
contributed to my paper and should be appreciated before going into the
main part of the study.
The approaches of linguists to idioms could be parted into five moments
which expose the different trends of consideration of idioms: (Curry, 1994)
(1)
 The structure of an idiom phrase and its distinction from 1960s to
early 1970s
 The developing of idioms from late 1970 to 1980s
 The metaphor of idioms from 1980s to 1985s
 The activities of teaching, adapting and ackknowledging idioms from
1985 to 1990
 The expansion of view and jugdement as well as its effection in
1990s.
In overseas, there are famous linguists have made a huge contribution to
idioms concept. The names could be listed as W.C. Fowler with “English
Grammar” (1857), C.Cacciari with “The conprehension of idioms” (1988)
and A.N. Chomsky, one of the most known linguists in the world at the
moment. (Zoltan, 2004) (2)
In Vietnam, idioms are quitely interested by many linguists. There are some
valuable works which are famous and familiar with Vietnamese reader such
as “Từ vựng - Ngữ nghĩa tiếng Việt” (NXB Giáo dục, 1981) of Professor

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Đỗ Hữu Châu who critically explained Vietnamese idioms and analyzed
them into syntactic and semantic features. In 2005, the linguist Nguyễn Lân
has summarized most of Vietnamese idioms in the book “Từ điển thành
ngữ, tục ngữ Việt Nam” (NXB Văn học, 2005). Last but not least, Professor
Hoàng Văn Hành is also a well known linguistic speciallist in Vietnam with
great contributions to the linguistic field. (Mai Chau, 2006) (3)
2.2. Review of the theoretical background
2.2.1. Theory of syntax
The word syntax comes from Ancient Greek word: σύνταξις "coordination",
which consists of σύν syn, "together," and τάξις táxis, "an ordering". In
linguistic, In linguistics, syntax is a collection of rules, standards as well as
methods which regulate the structure of sentences in a certain language,
specifically order of words. (Oxford University Press, 2016) (4)
The works on syntax had been written long before modern grammar official
fixed and appeared. In old times, syntax concept was ruled by a structure
named by grammaire générale which was discovered by Antoine Arnauld in
“Grammaire Générale” in 1660. This framework states that human brain
thinking processes will reflect straightly into language. As a result “there is
a single, most natural way to express a thought” (Antoine, 1660) (5)
The framwork lasts until the 19th centery which been replaced by the
development of linguistics and by the argument of progressive linguists.
They recognize that it is not true about the state “there is a single, most
natural way to express a thought” because of the impact of internal and
external environment on human thinking. And so the logic base for studying
language’s structure had been denied. (Bickerton, 1990) (6)
It only became clear when linguists discovered and adapted modern theories
of syntax in the late 20th century. The famous work “generative grammar”

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of professor Noam Chomsky is considered as the most popular framework
to study and analyze about syntax with the main hypothesis that “language
is a configuration of the human mind” and “syntax is based upon the
component structure of sentences”, following the concept that syntax fetures
certainly focus on the arrangement of a sentence more than its
communication purpose. (Chomsky, 2002) (7)
2.2.2. Theories of semantics
Semantics is the study of meaning in language. It primarily focus on the
correlation between the symbolic constistuent of a sentence sush as words
and phrases and what they demonstrate for, their references. First
discovered by French linguist Michel Breal, the word semantics relates
series of awarenesses from normal using to higher application. In simple
meaning, it describe a range of understanding which could carry out the
world choice. The difference between semantics and syntax is syntax is just
an formal arrangement of constistuents of a language without their own
meanings, while semantics requires the critical meaning for every use of
words. (M. Breal, 1890) (8)
There are many theories of semantics which has been studied and analyzed
for centuries and they could generally classified into three basic concepts:
 Model theoretic semantics: Discovered by Richard Montague in the
late 1960s, this formal theory of ordinary languague semantics is
about how and in which expressions reflect theirs relational meaning
among themselves. And more amazingly, the truth values of a
sentence and its reasonable denotations to other sentence are analyzed
to a model. (R. Montague, 1960) (9)
 Truth conditional semantics: First mentioned by the linguist Donald
Davidson, the theory tries to find the language connection with the
reality which differenates it from model theoretic semantics. Its result
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shows that every components of a sentence must rely and reflect the
truth conditions of themselves in order to carry out the true meaning
of the combination. There is a simple example for this theory: “
Winter is cold” is true only when winter is cold, if two conditions of
the meaning “winter” and “cold” are not logical with each other then
the semantics could not be performed. (D. Davidson, 1973) (10)
 Lexical semantics: is the theory of context. It states that the meaning
of a word is totally revealed by its situation. Each component of the
sentence must collaborate with others in term of meanings which
could depend on their own level and form in order to carry out the
meaning of the sentence. As a result, it would be easier for the
speakers to conveniently deliver their thoughts depending the current
context. (B. Levin, 1991) (11)
2.3. An overview of idioms
2.3.1. Definition of idioms
The Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics
stated that an idiom is “an expression which function as a single unit and
whosemeaning can not be worked out from its separate parts” (Longman
Dictionary, 1992) (12)
David Crystal announced that “idiom is a term in grammar and lexicography
to refer to a sequence of words which is semantically and often syntactically
restricted, so that they function as a single unit” (D. Crystal, 1995) (13)
According to Hornby (1995), idioms is “a phrase or sentense whose meanng
is not clear from the meaning of its individual words and which must be
leant as a whole unit”. (Hornby, 1995) (14)
As the definition in Vietnamese Dictionary of The Linguistic Institution,
Danang Publisher declared that idioms are fixed collection of words which

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its meanings can not be simply performed by its components’ meaning.
(Vietnamese Dictionary, 2003) (15)
Professor Hoang Van Hanh stated in “Ke Chuyen Thanh Ngu, Tuc Ngu”
(2002) that idioms are arranged expressions containing meaningful and
complete words with often uses in communication and other purposes. (16)
These definitions above show that despite of the different country, culture
and society, there is no argument about the definition of idioms. Although
the definitions could be interpreted in many ways, they always point out the
same idea: an idiom is a fixed expresson with the meaning could not be
carried out by gathering the bare meaning of its singular words.
2.3.2. Features of idioms
2.3.2.1. Semantic feature
It is undebitable to say that meaning is probably the most important element
when discussing about semantic feature of an idiom. The key for linguists to
separate a fixed impresson from an idiom is its figurative meaning. To
illustrate, there is an idiom “a hot potato”, which means speak of a problem
(generally at the moment) that most of everyone is talking about and it is
often uncertain. It is easy to recognize that the meaning of the idiom’s
components are quite far from the meaning of the whole idiom, which
means it is kind of impossible to understand an idiom if we seperate each
words causing it. For this reason, it is significant that we had better
understand an idiom in a figurative way than in a literal way. (Jackendoff,
1990) (17)
On the contrary, the meaning of an idiom can be understood either relatively
or totally apart from the meaning of its whole constituents. If the meaning of
an idiom is not completely different from the meaning of its all components,
it could be understood both of its figurative meaining and its literal one.

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There are many example like: easy come easy go, you get what you give,
speak your mind and so on which the meaning of these idioms could be
easily predicted by understanding the meaning of their constituents
In addition, there is another important semantic feature of an idiom is that it
could have an active, unbiased or negative meanings. For instance, idioms
which come with an active meaining are give it a shot (encourage someone
to try to do something), cross your fingers (wish to have a good luck), see
eye to eye (agree with someone about an issue. On the other hand, idioms
state for a negative meaning are give someone the cold shoulder (paying no
attention to someone), wolf in sheep’s clothing (speaking about a person
who makes up to be a good one but is not) and devil to pay (warning
someone when their action could cause trouble or casualty). Last but not
least is idioms with a neutral meaning. For example : be in the same boat (to
be in someone’s situation), a grey area (speaking about something that is
unclear or uncertain), have mixed feeling (when someone is unsure or
confused about some thing), etc. Because of its characteristic, idioms
coming with positive meanings seem to be at the most.
On the whole, the principal semantic features of idioms are their meanings
could either reflect the meaning of their components or are totally different.
Besides, idioms can express an active, unbiased or negative meanings
depending on the user.
2.3.2.2. Syntactic features
As a discussion before, an idiom is a fixed expression. For this reason, it is
restricted to neither put in nor replace any constituents in an idiom. To
secure its own figurative meaning, an idiom can not be modified like the
way normal sentence with literal meaning does, under any circumstances.
Futhermore, to change an idiom which had been used in a complete
sentence into a passive sentence is not allow. For example, “but a bug in his
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ear”, which means that someone are suggesting new ideas to another,
compares to a sentence “you but a bug in his ear then he will come up with
new ideas”. It is also abnormal to say that “his ear has been put a bug in”.
Therefore, there is no way to modify an idiom without misplace the original
meaning of it. Although normal sentences can be reworked by using
grammatical tools, most of idioms miss the mark to be rephrased, due to the
grammatical nature set of idioms. (Gibbs, 1987) (18)
To be more precise, the configuration and manner of idioms are diversified
and do not follow any rules at all. Many idioms could be in a short form
such as noun phrase, verb phrase or even adjective phrase. For example,
“kettle of fish” (something is totally different from others), “a piece of cake
“ (something is very easy to do or achieve) “ an arm and a leg” (to describe
something which is very expensive and costly), etc. About the structure of
idioms, it widely goes from regular form, irregular form or even failses in
grammatical structure. In the fisrt one, the structure is usually kind of
normal but the meaning of each constituent could not express the whole
meaning of an idiom. To give an illustration, “hot dog” (Describe a person
who perform an dangerous athletic action), “crocodile tears” (Describe a
person who fake to be sorrowful), “the heat of the moment” (an accidental
thought or action in a short time) are typical idioms for this form with the
meanings are unable to identify unless having been heard before. In the
irregular form, the idioms often state in abnormal form, nevertheless, the
meaning of its components can express the original meaning of the whole
idiom. In other words, the meaning of the idiom could be divined in the
condition of knowing its individual constituents. “First come – first serve”
(the one who comes first will be served first) is a typical idiom for this form.
With the meaning above, the right sentence must be “ first come – first
served “ with the “d” states for passive voice. “first come – first serve”,

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however, is still able to be perceived by the meaning of its components
dispite of grammar failure. In the last form, the idioms do not follow any
structure rule of the refered language, neither the grammar nor the meaning
of the idioms. It could make many confusion for English beginners to
acquire these idioms as the meanings of their components do not involve
anything to the whole expression, as well as the grammar is incorrect. To
illustrate, two idioms “pig out” (to mention a person who eats a lot), “go
bananas” (describe someone who comes to angry) show that there is no
combination meaning of the words and grammatical logic. However, by
means of idioms, they are recognized and accepted (C. Leaney, 2005) (19)
To conclude, at first, as the definition of itself, idioms are fixed expressions
which could not be modified without failing the original meaning. Next, the
forms of idiom are diversified and quite abnormal. Finally, about
grammatical structure, idioms may be expressed by three types. That are
regular form, irregular form and grammatically incorrect form.
2.3.2.3 .Culture features
Language is created and used for communication between humanity. It
plays an essential part of a nation’s culture and supports as well as
development it. Language is the delivery of a culture from generations to
generations due to its everlasting life time. As phenomena of language and
their convenient characteristic, idioms reflect the historical, traditional and
cultural features of a society or a country such as spiritual values, custom,
trending and manners. Therefore, with a deep understanding about the
idioms of a country, it will be easier for foreigner to study and communicate
with the native speaker, alongside adapting refering culture and knowledge.

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2.3.3. Classification of idioms
2.3.3.1. An overview of the classification of idioms in worldwide
It is important, espeacially for second language learners, to be able to
identify and deeply understand idioms of the native speakers. As a result,
leaners tend to seek out for reliable supports when they encounter such hard
and strange idioms. Besides teachers and textbooks which can only provide
finite knowlegde, one of the most dependable sources that leaners can take
advantages of is dictionaries. There are two popular dictionaries which give
a deep care about English idioms: Longman dictionary of English idioms
and Oxford dictionary of Current Idiomatic English. The discussion about
these two dictionaries will be performed by examples and analysis for
deeper understanding about the classification of idioms in worldwide.
Longman Dictionary of English idioms:
Longman Dictionary of English idioms gives a state of idiom: “An idiom is
a fixed expression with a figurative meaning which separates itself from the
meaning of its constituents”. Idiom’s features are also noted along: idioms
mostly have figurative meaning than literal one. Besides, some idioms are
more related to the definition of an idiom than others which are propably
more related to their literal meaning. In addition, Longman Dictionary also
states that an idiom must contain more than, or at least, two words. It could
be used in spoken language as well as written one. However, the informal
using is considered more popular than the formal using.
According to Longman Dictionary, there are eight types of idioms which are
listed below
 Traditional idioms: The idioms in this type are mostly full and
complete sentences. The way to use this idiom is just to add a
subject to identify the purpose of the sentence. They are usually

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considered working as specific parts of sentences. For example the
verb phrase can work like a complement, subject or object of the
given sentence. “ keep an eye on somebody “ and “ cut to the chase
“ are typical examples for this type of idioms.
 Idioms of actions which express feelings or emotions like “ hold
one’s hourses” and “ found one’s feet “ are usually difficult and
make trouble for users, espeacially non native speakers, to apply it.
The problem here is, the meaning of the related idiom is often
figurative and not really literal while the action in the idiom means
quite different from which it does in other languages. As a result,
the confusion between meaning and action makes it unpopular
comparing to other idiom.
 Sets of words such as “ days and nights ”. A number idioms of this
type belongs to the first grou, work as specific types of sentence
which the order is often fixed
 Idioms which contain “ it “ like “ Coining it “ and “ Dog it “. “ it “ in
this type of idioms does not relate to the constituents standing
before it like it often does.
 Insinuation like “brewski”. This type of idioms is familiar and quite
special in English society, which could be trouble with non native
speaker since they do not perform a clear meaning.
 Sayings: they could be proverbs such as “ A broken friendship may
be soldered but will never be sound “ or just informal sayings such
as “ You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink “.
 Common phrases in communication or conversation such as “ How
come “ and “ How do you do “. They often fail to express literal
meanings.

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 Similes such as “ About as useful as a chocolate teapot “ Come down
on somebody like a ton of bricks “
And so, there are expressions in this dictionary which are not considered as
idioms. For example, most of insinuations do not have figurative meanings
and, however, being treated as metonymy. In the same way, sayings and
common phrases do not have figurative meanings, despite the fact that they
usually appear in the group of idiomatic languague, still are not idioms. It is
hard to recognize the disimilarities between common phrases which appear
in the dictionary and the ones which are not metioned in. Another example,
the idioms contain “ it “ such as “ coining it “ and “ Dog it “ are not really
called idioms, they refer as phrasal verbs than complete idioms.
Longman Dictionary does not provide any foundations to secure the
expressions which contain “ it “ are whether idioms or not. Despite the fact
that Longman Dictionary based on signs and features of idiom (formal,
informal, jargon and waggish) to categorize idioms, which is the same way
of other usual dictionaries apply to group idioms, it is essential to mention
as well as explain logical limitations for idioms in the aspect of framework,
manners in order to achieve better understanding about idioms. It is
undeniable that the most important mission of a dictionary is to give
definitions for the meanings of expressions, neither to guide nor to argue
how to apply them in the way the users want to do. However, as it is
presented to serve and support for most of non native speakers who were not
familiar with this language until recent time, it would have been more
resonable to deliver a proper counseling for the concept of idioms than just
define and classify them. Of course, there are still advantages of idioms that
English leaners can look for in Longman dictionary such as giving neat
definitions and providing related instances as well.

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Oxford Dictionary of Current Idiomatic English :
Oxford Dictionary of Current Idiomatic English also agrees the same
definition and features of an idiom. It defines that an idiom is a group of
more than two words which works together to perform a figurative meaning.
Besides, it also makes clear that with the semantic accord, an idiom could
become a single syntactic component. Futhermore, the dictionary also
accesses that with their principle features as well as their unique types of
structures, idioms have made themselves as the most typically English
component in terms of vocabulary. In addition, with a variety of idiomatic
expressions collaborating with the capability to be used in many concepts of
communication or daily conversation, idioms are considered as one of the
most interesting and most useful grammatical elements in English. The
needs of idiom dictionaries are also concerned with due to their figurative
meaning features as well as extraordinarily grammatical structures,
espeacially for those who are not non native speakers and unfamiliar with
the related language. However, the concepts of idioms are only merely
explained without proper evaluations and discussions. Besides, Oxford
Dictionary aims to cover a wide range of idiomatic expressions, which is
extremely numerous, instead of focusing on idioms only.
Generally speaking, Oxford Dictionary delivers a deeper and more concrete
concept of idioms than Longman Dictionary. It provides a neat definition,
both figurative and literal meaning of idioms as well as attached examples.
The following categories are classified into five types:
 Clear idioms like “ nerves of steel “ and “ take cover “
 Figurative idioms like “ food for thought “ or “ take with a grain of
salt “

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 Controlled connections, also named as semi idioms, are idioms which
one part expresses a literal or familiar meaning while other parts
reveal figurative meanings in certain concepts. For example : “ an
apple of one’s eyes “ and “ darken someone’s door “
 Free connections are a group of words or phrases which combine
together with their literal meanings and are free to connect like “
Actions speak louders than words “ and “keep one's feet on the
ground “. The idioms in this type are mostly parted out of the
dictionary because its authours and editors recognize that this type of
idioms are usually not able to define as the exact characteristics of an
idiom.
 Unclear type : It is the facts that there are many cases which are
impossible to make clear wheter they are idioms or just an idiomatic
expressions.
Oxford Dictionary of Current idiomatic English is the first dictionary which
accept that it is sometimes difficult and mistaken to define whether a fixed
expression is an idiom or just an idiomatic expression , due to its
conventional definition and accustomed meaning from the old days. Oxford
really tries to define and classify idioms mostly basing on the syntactic
features of idioms, which contain a variety and confusions both in
grammatical structures and methods as well. Therefore, a number of
idiomatic expressions appearing in the dictionary is still classified as an
idiom like “ I can tell you “ and “ God bless you “. Of course there are also
mistaken like this in general dictionaries and even in major dictionaries and
Oxford Dictionary of Current idiomatic English is still one of the most
reliable dictionaries for studying and learning about idioms at the moment.
On the whole, there are milions of idioms in all over the world and each
idiom could be different in one language from another. As a result, it makes
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