Idiomatic expressions are one of the hardest aspects of learning a second language because what they say is not necessarily what they mean!


Lets see some examples...

"I could care less." ~> means that you don't care BUT if you "care less" then at least you care some!



"Like chalk and cheese"~>  means not alike but you can't substitute a chalk for a cheese right?



"To overlook" ~> means to miss something you should have noticed but if you are over-doing something, isn't that doing it too much?



"Don’t Cross A Bridge Until You Come To It" ~> means not to mess with anything unless something bad strikes


"Prevention Is Better Than Cure"~> means do something to prevent that bad event from happening

" That's a horse of another color" ~> means another matter or  subject altogether not necessarily related to animals


Do you know of  any other expressions?  I know that after so many years, I still struggle with "the alarm going off" in the morning so  Ring along! 

Josiebel Sambolin

Synonym Sense: also

Posted by Josiebel Sambolin Nov 20, 2013







Can you believe that "also" has 26 synonyms?




                         along with,

                              as well as,   

                                   besides. . .  Find them all and improve your writing right now!


Please, visit Dictionary


WORD OF THE DAY.pngrabid


Chances are that if the tail-wagging dog that just appeared on your doorstep is also foaming at the mouth and chewing on your welcome mat, it's rabid and you should back away slowly; no petting for this infectious pup.


While you've likely heard it used to describe an animal infected by rabies, rabid (derived from the Latin verb rabere "be mad, rave") can also dramatically describe a person exhibiting fanatical, extremely enthusiastic, or raging behavior. That guy who nearly knocked you off the stands at the football game with his energetic fist-pumping and then was later kicked out for getting into a fight with another fan? Rabid on both counts.ESL-Students


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Want to see more?  Please, visit Vocabulary Common Roots List

Did you know that To Have and To Receive are two different usages of HAVE?

Here are some examples:

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I had my computer updated by Peter Pfister  in the Help Desk office.

I had my computer stolen from my backpack.


The first sentence is easy enough: the speaker used someone's expertise to fix their computer. But what about the second sentence? Did the speaker have someone steal their computer? If


not, why say I" had my computer stolen instead of My computer  was stolen?


"Though the two sentences have the same construction — Subject + Verb + Object +Past Participle — they aren't creating the same meaning because have does not have the same meaning." says Erin Brenner in an interesting article about the uses of "have".


  In the first sentence, had tells us the relationship between the subject (I) and the object (my computer updated): I caused my computer to be updated. The speaker didn't update the computer themselves but had someone else do it. (Thank you HELP DESK!)


  In the second sentence,  had is again connecting the subject (I) with the object (my computer stolen), but it's showing a different relationship. Here, the subject experienced the action buried in the object. The object tells us that a computer was stolen. I had shows that the speaker experienced the theft.

So, how do I know which one to use?  That will depend on your emphasis. 

"The modern writing style trends toward shorter, more direct sentences and, as a result, more immediate action. Both of these sentence structures put the action at a distance... Consider what the main point of your sentence is and use sentence structure to make that point clear."


WORD OF THE DAY.pngiconoclastic


The word iconoclastic is an adjective referring to a breaking of established rules or destruction of accepted beliefs. It might refer to an artist with an unorthodox style, or an iconoclastic attack, either physical or verbal, on a religious doctrine or image.


Consider the Greek word eikōn, or "image," coupled with -klastēs, "one who breaks," and you get a good image of someone who is iconoclastic. An iconoclastic approach to religion involves tearing down the icons representing the church. While this was once done physically, through riots and mayhem, today’s iconoclasts usually prefer using words. Not all iconoclasts are destructive, however. An iconoclastic approach to art and music has given rise to the development of new genres and styles through breaking the rules. ESL-Students

WORD OF THE DAY.pngdisinterested


If you can't decide whether to purchase the shirt with orange polka dots or the purple paisley-patterned one, you might seek input from a disinterested, or unbiased, party (who will probably tell you not to buy either one).


Depending on whom you ask, disinterested is either one of the most commonly misused words in the English language, or a perfect example of usage experts and English teachers being way too uptight. While everyone agrees that disinterested can mean “unbiased,” the debate rages on as to whether it can also mean “uninterested” or “indifferent.” Sticklers are vehemently opposed to this secondary meaning. (Of course, you’ll also find the disinterested — or uninterested? — folks who couldn’t care less.)




is used to refer to a serviceman who has seen considerable active service or a person who has served in the armed forces. The word is also used to describe an experienced person who has been through many battles in the professional, personal, intellectual or spiritual arenas or who has given a long service.  When someone is rendered competent through trial and experience is considered a veteran in his or her field.




World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”


In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.  On October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation" ...





WORD OF THE DAY.pngdelectable


The suffix -able is a favorite for tacking onto verbs to form adjectives, but you would search in vain for the verb that underlies today's adjective delectable. That verb, thanks to a long and winding road through European languages, has ended up in English as delight, not delect. Delectable things are extremely pleasing; the adjective is applied especially to foods.




A conspiracy is a secret agreement between two or more people to commit an unlawful or harmful act. Conspiracy theorists are people who believe that the government is secretly controlled by power brokers in flagrant violation of the constitution.


Conspiracy can also refer to the act of planning an unlawful or harmful act: Terrorists might be accused of organizing a conspiracy to overthrow the government. Conspiracy is ultimately from Latin cōnspīrāre "to agree or plot together, literally to breathe together." The corresponding English verb is conspire.


WORD OF THE DAY.pngaltruistic


The underlying ism of today's adjective is altruism, a word that doesn't advertise its relatives very clearly. But they are there, in alter, and more clearly in French "autre". The core concept is other people, as opposed to yourself. One who is altruistic puts the needs of others or another first, without regard to oneself. In animals, altruistic behavior helps the group but may harm the individual.


WORD OF THE DAY.pnginarticulate


Use the adjective inarticulate to describe poor communication skills, like at your most inarticulate moments when you nervously fumble to find the right word and completely forget to make your most important point.


Inarticulate sounds — a grunt, cry, scream, snort, wail, howl, moan, sob, snicker — are heard but not easily understood. If something is inarticulate, it is hard to get the meaning, like an inarticulate speech whose main idea can't be found. Creative works can also be inarticulate, when it isn't clear what — if anything — they are trying to express, like a painter whose gallery show that is called "inarticulate" by a critic: You can't grasp what the artist is trying to say.




If you want to move to the countryside — especially if you desire a simple, unsophisticated life there — you may explain to people that you wish to rusticate your busy life.


The verb rusticate means "to send to the countryside." If you live in the city, you may want to rusticate your kids in the summers so they can experience a different lifestyle. In Britain, another meaning of the verb is to suspend from university, as in to be punished. If you get caught breaking too many rules with your practical jokes, the dean may rusticate you for a term or two.



A fête is a party, often one thrown in someone's honor. You'll find fête used as both a verb and a noun. If you want to fête someone, throw them a fête.


Fête is a word taken directly from French. In fact, sometimes in English you'll see a circumflex accent over the first "e" in fête. This makes it especially easy to remember, because this accent looks almost like a party hat.



A palette is a range of colors. It is also the board that artists use to hold and mix paint. Picture Picasso in his blue period: He is holding a palette on which you see a limited palette of blue tones.


The meaning of the word palette has extended beyond actual colors to include figurative colors. A musician can use a palette of tones and modes. Either way it is a limited selection from all things available. Don't confuse this word with the homophone palate which refers to your sense of taste. Both words come to English through Old French but have different Latin roots.