Синтаксические особенности и роль английских идиом в различных сферах - Студенческий научный форум

XI Международная студенческая научная конференция Студенческий научный форум - 2019

Синтаксические особенности и роль английских идиом в различных сферах

Жамишева Ж.Б. 1, Нармухаметова Н.М. 1
1Евразийский Национальный Университет имени Л. Н. Гумилева
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Traditions and customs are considered to be the unofficial founders of idioms in speech. But you can not continue to use in a live colloquial speech all idioms without exception. English has a thousand-year history. During this time, it has accumulated a large number of expressions that people found successful, accurate and beautiful. So there was a special layer of language - idioms, a set of stable expressions that have an independent meaning.

An idiom is a stable word combination that performs the function of a single word, is used as a whole, is not subject to further decomposition and usually does not allow the permutation of its parts within itself. [1, p.85]

Often an idiom is the property of only one language. Idioms are similar to Proverbs, but, unlike them, are not complete sentences. With the help of idioms that are not translated verbatim, but are perceived in a reinterpreted way, the aesthetic aspect of the language is enhanced. However, with the same success, the use of idioms makes it difficult to understand and translate from a foreign language.

The term "idioms" was first introduced by The English linguist L. P. Smith. He wrote that the word idiom is used in the English language to refer to the French term "idiotisme", namely: to refer to the grammatical structure of combinations characteristic of the English language, although very often the meaning of these combinations can not be explained from a grammatical and logical point of view. There are many ways to classify idioms, depending on which characteristic of the idiom is taken as a basis. Idioms in English have a connection with various human activities, for example:

- Idioms related to the sea. Many of them have become more widespread, being metaphorically reinterpreted: to launch into (vigorously take up the case), to be all at sea (perplexed, confused), to touch bottom (to reach the limit).

- Many phraseological expressions related to hunting, also included in the English spoken language: to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds (conduct a double game).

- From animals most often in idioms influence dogs, pigs, cats, horse: to let sleeping dogs lie (be from sin away).

- Birds are also often mentioned in idioms: to kill two birds with one stone (get double benefit), in fine feather (dressy). [2, p. 102]

L. P. Smith wrote that there is a lot of humor in the Angolan idioms, but little beauty and romance. Expression like coucher a la belle etoile (from French) (sleep under a beautiful star ~ to sleep in the open air) in the English spoken language would sound a bit odd. The content of English idiomatic expressions is our earthly world, and their atmosphere is insightful common sense, devoid of romance. Success and money are at their center: to have one's bread buttered on both sides (to be well secured). [3]

But the main content of idioms is still human relations. Many idioms denote a meeting (to call in, to look in), some of them are devoted to friendship (to take to, to cotton to-get attached), but the number of English idioms expressing good intentions and feelings - not so great, and they are not as expressive as idioms that Express hostility, competition, enmity, condemnation, for example: to get round (outwit).

L. P. Smith wrote: "... although our idioms do ... metaphors and combinations of popular European life, however, their images are essentially national in character ... National speech and national art are born from the soil, which is the birthplace of villages, fields and pastures, and it is to it that we must return from time to time to replenish their strength." [3]

English idioms are rich in functional-style and emotional-expressive synonyms. Stylistic coloring of idioms, as well as words, causes their fixing in a certain style of speech. Thus as a part of idioms two groups are allocated:

1.Common idioms that do not have a permanent connection with a particular functional style: far and away; from time to time etc.

2.Functionally fixed phraseological units. [4]

Unlike common vocabulary, which represents a very significant part of the English language and dictionary, common idioms by the number of units occupy a modest place in the whole mass of English idioms. Functionally fixed idioms are stylistically heterogeneous: their paradigms differ in the degree of expressiveness, emotional properties, etc.The largest stylistic layer of idioms are colloquial idioms, which are used primarily in oral communication, and in writing - in fiction: up one's sleeves; to live in clover etc.Idioms belonging to them are often given in explanatory dictionaries without stylistic dung, but still stand out against the background of common idioms bright colloquial color, slightly reduced, familiar tone in sound. Colloquial idioms are usually figurative, their use in speech serves as a kind of counteraction to speech clichés, clerical.

Another stylistic layer to form a book or literary idioms. They are used in literary functional styles, mainly in writing. In the composition of the literary idioms is allocated:

1.Scientific, representing a composite terms: center of gravity; thyroid gland; school-leaving certificate.

2.Journalistic: people of good will.

3.Official business: take place; presumption of innocence; put into operation. [5]

Idioms that came into the language from socio-political, journalistic and fiction literature, as “spirit of the law”, also have a literary coloring.

A large stylistic layer consists of idioms with a bright emotional and expressive color. Idioms of colloquial style are painted in familiar, humorous, ironic, contemptuous tones: like a bolt from the blue; chicken-heart.

Idioms in the English language are mostly native English phrases, the authors of which are unknown. They are entrenched in spoken language, and acquired a characteristic, English flavor, which reflects the features of English culture. They are all associated with the traditions, customs and beliefs of the English people, as well as with legends and historical facts. Examples of widespread revolutions are: have a bee in one's bonnet-to rush with some idea, to be obsessed with something; bite off more than one can chew - "take in your mouth more than you can swallow", that is, to take up an impossible task, not to calculate their forces, or: Nut too tough, it's not on the shoulder. [6]

The Bible is the main literary source of idioms. This great work has enriched phraseological units not only in English, but also in many other languages. "The tremendous influence that the translations of the Bible had on the English language has been much spoken and written." For centuries, the Bible was the most widely read and cited book in England; " ... not only individual words, but also entire idiomatic expressions entered the English language from the pages of the Bible."

Idioms related to historical facts. Speaking about the history of great Britain, it is interesting that in English there are idioms that represent the Dutch in a rather unpleasant light. This can be explained by the fact that for centuries England competed with Holland for the title of the first sea power in the world. It is a kind of confrontation between the 2 countries has found a response in English phraseology. It came to the point that in the 17th century the word "Dutch" in England acquired the meaning of "foreign" (in the sense of "incomprehensible", "unusual"). Below are examples of English phraseological units with the keyword " Dutch»: Dutch bargain-a deal made in a drunken state; Dutch courage - bravery drunk; Dutch treat – treat together; in Dutch-be in trouble; talk like a Dutch uncle – to read morality. [7]

The English language has more than 25,000 idioms, in every area people face with the use of the idioms: during negotiations, in stores, in songs, etc. But the highest possibility to encounter using idioms connected with everyday speech. Idioms are a part of our speech that we use absently, automatically. Representatives of one language are fluent with idioms in their native language, but idioms can cause many misunderstandings when learning a foreign language. [8]

The topic of English idioms can be discussed endlessly, because English, like any other language, is constantly evolving, acquires new verbal forms.

As an example, I would like to cite idioms in English, which are used in the workplace and are directly related to the work.

- To axe someone. The meaning of this English idiom is just "to fire, to cut from the workplace". ( Ex.: Kate got axed because she was always late.)

- Back to the drawing board. This English idiom means " to start all over again." When your project is not accepted, or course work rejected and you have to start all over again, feel free to use this idiom in the conversation about it. (ex.: I don’t have to go back to the drawing board, professor approved my final paper.)

- Blue collar worker – laborer. There is also the concept of white collar worker – office worker, pink-collar worker – the worker of trade, sales.

- Dog eat dog world. This English idiom can describe our cruel world where the strongest survives. That is, sometimes you need to be extremely aggressive and smart to get ahead. [9]

Idioms are used in a wide variety of contexts and situations, from friendly conversation to business meetings. Of course, the context when using idioms is very important. We all know that some expressions are inherent in colloquial style, while others, on the contrary, sound very strict and formal. Therefore, when faced with such turns, remember the situation and the style of communication in which you heard them. Specify the meaning in the dictionary, if possible, ask native speakers about the meaning and context of the use of this idiom. Then you will feel confident, using a new expression. So, English in terms of the presence of idioms in its extensive system is perhaps one of the richest. Idioms occupy a huge layer in its structure. All events taking place in the UK are reflected in the idioms: political life, sports, cultural events, everyday life – this is just an incomplete list of topics reflected in the English idioms. Many become obsolete, but they are always replaced by new, lively, bright and witty.


1. Dubrovin M. I. Russian and English idioms. - M.: ILBY, 2001.

2. The Phraseology of the modern English language M., 1972.

3. Logan P. Smith Phraseology of the English language. M.,1959.

4. https://preply.com/blog/2014/10/14/11-slengovyh-vyrazhenij-i-idiom-anglijskogo-yazyka-ispolzuemyh-v-rabochej-obstanovke/

5. N. Hodina New in English phraseology part 1 – 2011.

6. N. Hodina New in English phraseology part 2- 2011.

7. Volkov Phraseological Units in oral American speech – 2016.

8. J. Kenninsberg Unusual language – 2013.

9. J. Kenninsberg Ways of constructing speech – 2013.

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