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Here are 5 very common English idioms! These are expressions that are frequently used by native speakers in the present day. Even if you don't use them in your speech, it is important to understand a lot of idioms if you want you comprehension to reach an advanced level.
These include: You can't have your cake and eat it too, it's a piece of cake, etc.
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Max? It's that your name?.. With all respect,my contribution...,, just because I am learning with your accent.. Your example in spanish could be " no se puede estar en misa y en procesion(this is more in argentina)." another one..."no se puede chiflar y comer al mismo tiempo(you can not wistle and eat at the same time", also in portuguese...Querer que faça sol e chovendo também"(wanting a sunny day and rain also")...Thank you.
I can't have a cake and eat it too? Are you joking? Yes, I can have a cake and eat it too.
I can have a cake with some milk and eat it too with some soda.
Having a cake and eating it too is a piece of cake.
(It's a silly joke, isn't it?)
to add insult to injury = Salz in eine Wunde streuen (to sprinkle salt in a wound) [German]
It's a piece of cake = es ist ein Zuckerschlecken ("it's like licking sugar" or "it's a bed of roses") [German]
Thanks, Gustav :).
No, they're a bit different. A cliché is something that is considered overused and unoriginal. Here is a definition:
Hi! This is also in response to your other comment.
It's a good question, but unfortunately there's no easy answer. It's basically a question of practice, but there are exercises you can do, for example, shadowing and reading aloud by yourself. I plan to do some videos on English skills and fluency in the next couple of months. And don't worry, speaking on the phone is the hardest!
In German there exist the expression: "Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof" = literally: "I only understand station".
That means "I don´t understand anything".
By the way: Entiendo perfectamente tus explicaciones Max! Gracias por todo!
Hi Max, could you please please do a video of how to pronounce "əʊ+ n" sound as in loan, own & stone and "au+n" sound as in town,down & sound ? I watched so many other youtubers videos and still have problem pronouncing them. When native speakers say those words, I can't hear the movement from "ʊ" to "n", and it seems like it has become a new sound, and I can't pronounce that sound, is it true that ʊ" &"n" together become a new sound or it is just my hearing problem. Many thanks in advance
I wouldn't say they become a new sound - they are two separate sounds said one after the other quite quickly. Don't worry, I know English vowels are hard!
I don't know when I'll be able to do a video on it, but the websites I normally use for pronunciation (because there are audio files on these) are the following:
I hope that helps!
Great video! I think that this type of idioms make us 'feel' a foreign language from the inside and that is fantastic!
In Mexican Spanish, we use the idiom 'Es pan comido / It's an eaten/chewed? slice of bread' to talk about something which has been or will be really easy to do.
Now, I really admire the way you speak in four languages! Besides, the way you make sure we all understand and practice the content of your lessons, tells you apart from the teachers who only think of these free lesson as a hook for selling their packages. Understandable of course, but we really appreciate your great job!
Hallow Max, I'm from Mexico. Your speaking is quite clear but every time I'm watching the news I can't undertand very?, What can I do about that?. People sey that I need to hear carefully however it becomes difficult when you not know most of the words.
Hi Carlos, I know, it's hard. To understand the news it's best to read newspapers as well. It's an easier way to learn new vocabulary. It takes time, but if you do it consistently (and look up the words you don't know), you'll notice some improvement after a few months!
Thanks for the video. It was great to listen to your german :)
Learning idioms is really useful because if you dont know the sense of it you are completely confused. Because just translating the words doesnt help much.
For number 4 we say "Die Augen waren größer als der Magen / The eyes were bigger then the stomach".
Other idioms are: "Ins Gras beißen / To bite the gras (means to die)"
"Blaumachen / To make blue (means to not go to school or not go to work without a special reason"
"Auf dem Holzweg sein / To be on a wooden path (means to think in a wrong way / to make a mistake"
"Perlen vor die Säue werfen / to throw pearls in front of pigs (means to waste time with somebody who doesnt understand or appreciate you"
Hi Max :). Good to see you again :P.
I've been seriously thinking about this things recently, and I thinkg it'd be awesome if you do a tour around your city.... I'd like to know how's Australia like, what you usually do and some other cultural stuff.
On the other hand, I'm a native spanish speaker and I can tell that you roll your R's quite good :). It seems like native english speakers struggle when rolling r's, but you don't. So, congrats.
Don't worry! When you're there you'll hear how people ask for things. Plus, it's harder to offend people because we only have one form of "you" ;). So just make sure you say please and thank you, and you'll be fine!
And thanks for the compliment :)
(Just a small correction: impressive not impressing ;). But your English is excellent!)
That's actually a great idea as well :). I'll be travelling soon to Canada and I'm a little nervous because, even though I understand almost everything (except slang) and I can have conversations, I wouldn't know how to ask for something in a restaurant or at the hotel or a supermarket for example... So it would be good to teach how to face native speakers hahahaha.... Books don't really help much in those moments because not everyone talks as proper as the characters who are having conversations there xD.
Anyways, :D I've just read that you know many languages!! That's so impressing :), congratulations (again)
I was thinking of doing one at the supermarket, but going around the town is a good idea. I'll try do that this year!
Haha, thanks :). I had to practise it A LOT, and I know it's still not perfect, but you have to try...
I've lived in Canada through my formative years and young adulthood. (Still a young adult). English has almost become my first language but I still enjoy watching videos for ESL from time to time to time to push my English into perfection. Thanks for the informative and eloquently-delivered lessons. This channel is everything I want. I cracked up when you say mas——ate. I don't think many people here will get the humor tho. But I can see you are a kind and witty person. Keep it up. :)
We say that here too :). Sometimes you can use them interchangeably, but "to rub salt in somebody's wound" is normally when a person deliberately makes an emotional or physical injury worse. "To add insult to injury" can mean that, but can also refer to things that people don't have any control over (the weather, traffic, etc). Does that make sense? The difference is quite small.
Yes, I'd like to learn Mandarin, but I know it would take many years of hard work and dedication :S.
That's very interesting. I believe the English expression has been around for a few hundred years, but I don't think it has as much cultural significance as the Chinese one. Thanks for sharing!
"You can't have you cake and eat it" means 鱼和熊掌不可兼得(Yu He XiongZhang Bu Ke Jiande).
鱼(Yu): Fish, 和(he): and, 熊掌(XiongZhang): bear paws, 不可(Bu Ke): can't 兼得(Jiande): to have something at the same time.
This means you can't have fish and bear paws at the same time. In Ancient China, people used to train bears to fish for them, as bears are portrayed as talented fish hunters in mythology, but bears would eat all the fish they had caught in the river and left nothing to their trainers. So people say you can't have bear paws and fish at the same time, meaning you either kill the bears to get the bear paws or catch fish in the river by yourself; you just can't train a bear to fish for you and afterwards kill that bear for bear paws. Sometimes it means you can't be greedy. I don't know if the idiom has this rich cultural significance in it. Anyways, my mother tongue is such a hard language to learn. We Chinese like to make everything complicated lmao.
Hello Max. It is very useful to learn idioms. In Portuguese, we say "Não se pode ter tudo." ("We can't have everything we want.") = You can't have your cake and eat it too. Thank you! (please correct).
Hi Manuel! Thanks a lot :). Haha, we have many words for "peluche" in English, but I think the most common are "stuffed toy" or "soft toy".
¿De dónde eres?
I learnt Spanish in Spain, and I learnt that expression there. But I know there are several equivalents in Spanish:
Yes, I'm from Brazil, we eat cake more often than papaya, but papaya with sugar is very easy do make. I guess we use it more for food as well, for situations like that we have muito areia para o caminhão which means much sand for the truck but it is often used when someone doesn't have a chance with a girl, She is much sand for your little truck man, and seeing how it sounds in English I think they wannna mean other thing
Thanks! Are you from Brazil? If so, it's interesting (and logical!) that we say cake in English and you use papaya. The British love their cake!
We have a similar expression in English, but we basically always use it for food:
Thank you for this great lesson. Here are some translations in Spanish:
- piece of cake -> pan comido
- nothing to write home about -> nada del otro mundo
- to add insult to injury -> hechar sal a la herida
There is a similar expression: to rub salt in the wound.
But it's normally when a person or group of people make something feel worse. "Adding insult to injury" doesn't necessarily have to be done by a person.
In my language (Arabic) we say: you can't hold two watermelons in one hand! It's literally means that you can't do two things at the same time. I think it has the same meaning to your first idiom, hasn't it? we also say instead of "it's a piece of cake", "it's like drinking water" mentioning how easy water can be drunk! Doesn't the last idiom have the same meaning to "to add fuel to fire" ?
Thanks very much for those! Yes, it sounds like those have the same meaning :).
The meaning is similar, but not exactly the same. "To add insult to injury" can be used for situations that are out of people's control (e.g. weather, or unpleasant events on transport). And often it's not something that will be long-lasting or continuous. "To add fuel to the fire" is always when a person or group of people make a situation worse - typically it's a conflict or a tense situation. The situation may then continue to get worse and worse - just like a fire spreads.
Does that help?
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