What Is The Difference Between Idioms And Phrases?

The difference between Idioms and Phrases is that Idiom is a group of words that do not relate to the meaning of the individual words, but a phrase is a group of words, which is represented by the context and contrast of a clause or a sentence. Idioms and Phrases are groups of words used in speech sarcastically. These patterns of languages are being used since ancient times.

Here, we will talk about What is an Idiom? What is Phrase in English? And, What are the differences between Idioms and Phrases? The topic is a bit challenging for second-language learners. You will learn the Idioms and Phrases with Sentences. We hope that this will help all candidates of various competitive exams like SSC CGL, SSC CHSL, State PSC, Banking exams like IBPS.

Let’s learn the difference between idioms and phrases with examples 

What is Idiom?

An idiom is a commonly used group of words that do not relate to the meaning of the individual words, used in it.

An idiom is mostly classified as figurative language. In figurative language, words are used unusually or imaginatively, which includes metaphors, similes, personification, hyperbole, euphemisms, and pun. Idioms are used to quote a hard figurative expression easily. Idiomatic expression is used in a sentence to add dynamism & metaphorical features in writing. Here are some idiomatic expressions meaning.

Examples of Idioms: Let’s paint the town red.

If we try to understand the underlined words individually, then the meaning stands as Paint= to colour; the town= the urban area; red is a colour.

So, “Let’s paint the town red.” literally means ‘To colour the urban area with red colour’, which is wrong in meaning as an idiom.

But, it means “Let’s have a good time.

Paint the town red” is an idiom, which means ‘To have a good time’.

Idioms can have different genres based on different sources:

Sports idioms – hit the ground running

Rain idioms – cats and dogs

Military idioms – bite the bullet

Animal idioms – be the ugly duckling, a snake in the grass

Idioms are of 7 types in the English language:

Pure Idiom: The original meaning of a pure idiom is lost to the extent.

It’s raining cats and dogs.

Binomial Idiom: This idiom has two parts, working together or in contrast in an expression.

The Judge comments in black and white.

Partial Idiom: This type of idiom contains two parts: a literal part and a non-literal part.

Change is as good as rest.

Prepositional Idiom: Prepositional idioms contain verbs with an adverb or an appropriate preposition.

Jack and Rose agreed to see the movie on Sunday.

Proverb: Proverbs provide universal truths or sage advice passed on from generation to generation.

For example, No pain, no gain.

Euphemism: Euphemisms expresses a harsh message in a soft tone.

For example, Mr Ojha is passed away.

Cliché: A cliché is a word or a group of words that get repeated often.

For example, Don’t get your knickers in a twist.

Also Read

Difference Between Idioms and Phrases

difference between idioms and phrases
difference between idioms and phrases

This diagram would be helpful to depict the idioms and phrases difference through the types of both.

What is a Phrase?

A phrase is a commonly used group of words without any subject and verb, being represented as a single grammatical unit as a part of speech in a clause or a sentence. It is represented by the context and contrast of a clause or a sentence. 

Phrase Examples: Monday became a cool, wet afternoon.

Here,cool, wet afternoon marks the afternoon having cold rainy weather. The phrase indicates the literal meaning in the sentence.

So we can simplify the phrase meaning like phrase is a group of words commonly used to convey something through speaking or writing.

There are different types of phrases based on the positions in a sentence or the structure of a sentence. These phrases act depending on the position in a sentence. They can be considered as below:

Noun Phrase – A noun phrase includes a person or a place or a thing in a small group of words.

For example, Narendra lives in the blue house.

Verb Phrase – This type of phrase includes a verb as a direct or an indirect object. Verb phrases can be the predicate of a sentence.

For example, The ship sailed across the ocean.

Adjective Phrase – An adjective phrase is a phrase that describes the noun.

For example, Ravi took his clever, bouncy dog Denver for a walk.

Prepositional Phrase – These types of phrases are included in a sentence, followed by a preposition.

For example – The book on the table belongs to Barbara. 

Participial Phrase – A participle phrase starts with a past participle or present participle followed by its corresponding subject or object. Sometimes, this phrase can also be used as an adjective.

For example, Realising the situation, the police decided to fire teargas.

Conjunctional Phrase – This phrase is used as a conjunction.

For example, Every student has to work hard so that they can perform well.

Gerund Phrase – A gerund phrase may look like a participle phrase but it serves as a noun in a sentence and not as an adjective.

For example, Eating cold drinks in the winter can be a messy experience.

Infinitive Phrase – An infinitive phrase has an infinitive nature associated with the phrase.

For example: Let me show you the best way to break the door quickly.

Through the above examples, you will be able to know what is idioms and phrases & phrases and idioms meaning. After developing knowledge on this topic, it is recommended to practice writing sentences using idioms and phrases. 

 

Difference Between Idioms and Phrases

 

Idiom

Phrase

An idiom has a fixed meaning

Phrases do have a fixed meaning in the context of a sentence

The meaning of the individual words cannot make sense with the true meaning of an idiom

A phrase can be understood easily by looking at separate words

AII idioms can be phrases

AII phrases are not idioms

It is very difficult to understand its meaning

It is understood easily

Idiom can be a single word or a group of words

It is represented as a group of words.

How do you identify idioms and phrases?

Idioms can easily be identified as they are entirely different from their literal meaning. For example: “You have a chip on your shoulder”. The actual meaning of this Idiom is to hold a grudge. You can identify an idiom when the actual phrase does not make any sense in a sentence. Whereas phrases actually convey some literal meaning. 

Difference Between Idioms and Phrases with Examples

Understand the difference with the Examples of Phrases and Idioms

  • Phrase: Monday became a cool, wet afternoon.
  • Idiom: It’s raining cats and dogs. 

Hope you have found the article on the difference between phrases and idioms helpful, you can also go through the articles below.

Difference Between Idioms and Phrasal verbs

As we have already discussed an idiom is a commonly used group of words that do not relate to the meaning of the individual words, used in it. But Phrasal verbs are different. When Verbs are followed by prepositions or adverbs to acquire an idiomatic sense, the combination is known as Phrasal Verbs.

Also Read

You can join our telegram channel or Follow our Instagram page to get daily current affairs updates.

Telegram Channel: Join Now

InstagramFollow Textbooq

You can buy Textbooq’s premium ebooks

Click Here To Buy

Difference Between Idiom and Metaphor

Metaphor is different from the Idioms. A metaphor is a word or phrase, used to refer to similarities with other things.

Example of Metaphor: Time is money

Here the phrase ‘Time is money’ is used to refer that time is very valuable. Proper utilisation of time can give one wisdom and wealth. Hence ‘Time is money’ is an example of a metaphor.

 

Difference Between Idioms and Phrases and Proverbs

Students often become confused in understanding the difference between Idiom vs phrase vs proverb.

  • An Idiom is a commonly used group of words that do not relate to the meaning of the individual words, used in it.
  • A phrase is a commonly used group of words without any subject and verb, being represented as a single grammatical unit as a part of speech in a clause or a sentence. 
  • A proverb is a short sentence that is usually used as a quote, in the form of advice or universal truth about life. An example of an old Arab proverb: ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.’

I hope that the students will be able to understand the concept of Idioms and Phrases. It is very important to know the conceptual basics while preparing for competitive examinations and board exams. 

If you have any further questions regarding the difference between Idioms and Phrases, let me know in the comment section.

Share The Article

Leave a comment

Open chat
1
Need Help? Chat with us
Hello?
How can we help you?
Christmas 2021: Do You Know How Did Christmas Originate? Technology: A Boon or Bane? Durga Puja: UNESCO Cultural Heritage