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THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE - AMERICAN ENGLISH IDIOMS 

 

 

 

Crazy
American
English

 

 

 

 


“While hundreds of millions of people around the world may be learning textbook English, we Americans have evolved a unique, ever-changing dialect, a lingo that is confounding to non-native readers and listeners.
-Do’s & Taboos of Using English Around the World, Roger E. Axtell

 

The English language has become the de facto language of global communication. Yet, there are only about eighteen countries where English is the native language. However, the native English spoken in these various countries is not the same.  

There are numerous English dialects spoken around the world. Differences can be seen in pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, use of dates/numbers, use of idioms and colloquial expressions, etc. If native English speakers have difficulty understanding these numerous dialects, consider the challenges for non-native English speakers! While many people study English in school, it is often more "standard" than what is actually spoken. Native English speakers need to be sensitized to these challenges and make efforts to practice "language modification" in their spoken and written communications.

 
Sample of American Idiomatic Expressions
 

TIME

Time is money
Around the clock
Kill time
Ahead of time
Better late than never
Call it a day
Early bird gets the worm
In the long run
On time
Call it a day
Eleventh hour
Time flies
Like clockwork
Mile a minute

GAMES & SPORTS

Across the board
Ballpark figure; be in the ballpark
Bounce something off someone
Break even
Get the ball rolling
Get to first base
Lay one’s cards on the table
Long shot
Skate on thin ice
Have two strikes against you
Take a rain check
Time out
Drop the ball
Press one’s luck

MISCELLANEOUS

At fault
Boils down to
By chance
Free hand/free rein
Keep one's fingers crossed
Knock on wood
Make the best of
Nothing succeeds like success
Put all your eggs in one basket
Stand a chance
Take charge
Under the circumstances
Long shot
Tighten one's belt

 
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