It doesn’t matter if you have just started studying English or if you have been studying it for a while now…you have probably heard about idioms. They are everywhere in English because they help people relate to specific feelings or experiences. So if you are feeling a little head over heels, keep reading to learn idioms about love and relationships.
What are idioms?
Most English students have questions about idioms. It is common to hear people say that studying them is important (and it is!). Let’s dive into the world of idioms to understand what they are.
All languages have idioms. Native speakers use them all the time without ever thinking about their meanings. Idioms are groups of words. Those groups together mean something different from what those words mean separately. They have a lot to do with the culture of the people who use it and that’s why we can’t always translate them. Even if we can’t translate it, it is possible to have an equivalent in another language.
For instance, while English speakers say “It is raining cats and dogs!” to say that it is raining a lot, Brazilian Portuguese speakers will say “Está chovendo canivete!”, which literally means “It is raining pocket knives!”. You probably have some equivalent expression to that in your native language, don’t you?
Some examples of idioms that you have probably heard before are:
The test was a piece of cake!
A piece of cake = something that it is very easy
No, I can’t afford that. It costs an arm and a leg!
To cost an arm and a leg = something that it is a very expensive
I’m so tired. Let’s call it a day, shall we?
Call it a day = stop working on something
Are phrasal verbs and idioms the same thing?
Phrasal verbs are widely used in English. One could think phrasal verbs and idioms are the same thing, but they aren’t. Let’s explore the difference between a phrasal verb and an idiom.
A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb (a word used to describe an action or state) with a preposition or an adverb. The meaning of the combination of both words is different from what the words mean separately.
In summary, the difference between phrasal verbs and idioms is that an idiom is a group of words that together mean something different while a phrasal verb is the combination of a verb and a particle (preposition or adverb) that also mean something different than what the words used in the phrasal verb often mean. Be careful though, because sometimes an idiom can be a phrasal verb and a phrasal verb can be an idiom.
Phrasal Verb = Verb + Particle (preposition or adverb)
Idiom = a group of words that has a different meaning than the individual words
Examples of phrasal verbs:
- Catch up = to reach the same quality or standard as someone or something else;
- Hold on = used to tell someone to wait for a short time;
- Calm down = to stop feeling upset, angry, or excited, or to stop someone feeling this way.
15 English idioms about relationships and love
There are several idioms used by English speakers to talk about relationships. We will teach you some of them so that you can have conversations about your love life and relationships in general like a native speaker.
|to get off on the right/wrong foot||to make a successful/unsuccessful start in something|
|to give someone the cold shoulder||to intentionally ignore someone or treat someone in an unfriendly way|
|to go back a long way||refers to people who have known each other for a long time|
|to have a soft spot for someone||to have a particular fondness or affection for someone or something, often for reasons that are hard to understand or articulate|
|to cross someone’s path||to come into contact with someone or something, often surprisingly or unexpectedly|
|to have friends in high places||to know important people who can help you get what you want|
|to be an item||if two people are an item, they are having a romantic relationship|
|the honeymoon is over||the end of the short amount of time at the beginning of a new relationship, activity, or pursuit when everything goes well and seems to be free of problems|
|someone/something is out of someone’s league||someone or something is too good or expensive for someone to have|
|to fall head over heels||to be completely in love with someone|
|a match made in heaven||a very successful combination of two people or things|
|to love something/someone to death||to feel extremely strong affection for someone|
|lovey-dovey||when people show their love for each other in public by touching each other and saying loving things|
|to pop the question||to propose marriage to someone|
|to tie the knot||to get married|
To practice using these idioms, try watching some romantic movies or television series, and listen for these expressions about love or relationships. Sometimes they are even used as the movie titles! What idioms do you have about love or relationships in your first language? Comment below with your ideas or suggestions.