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La fraseología es una manifestación lingüística-cultural propia de los pueblos, de su identidad colectiva; formando parte de la tradición oral y, por tanto, con indudable valor patrimonial.

Los lingüistas coinciden en afirmar que la fraseología es la combinación estable de dos o más palabras cuyo significado global no es deducible de la suma de sus significados individuales, a esto se le define “idiomaticidad”.

Tal es el calado que las frases idiomáticas tienen en una comunidad lingüística que llegan a ser aceptadas como estructura prefabricada, consolidándose y convencionalizándose. Amando de Miguel —catedrático emérito de Sociología de la Universidad Complutense—, define esta manifestación lingüística-cultural como la “combinación de palabras troqueladas por el uso”. De tal manera, los hablantes de una comunidad lingüística terminan por institucionalizar tal troquel o bloque prefabricado sin conocer, en la mayoría de casos, su origen. Sirvan como ejemplo de esto locuciones como, “tirar la casa por la ventana”, “dar palos de ciego”, “estar sin blanca”…

Este fenómeno se produce en todas las lenguas. Es de esto que se hablará en el contenido gramatical que sigue a continuación: frases idiomáticas de uso común en inglés.

Fuentes: – FundéuBBVA – M.E.C.D. (Tesis doctoral B. Haddouch)

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There are many idioms in English that are in common use every day. So much so that a lot of people may not even realise what they are saying or the real meaning behind them. They have become so common place that they have lost some of their original meanings. Here are some of the most common.

A penny for your thoughts – This is basically a roundabout way of asking what someone is thinking. My mother would often ask me this when she noticed me staring off into space, seemingly lost in my thoughts. Often times though I would be thinking about nothing.

The best of both worlds – This means to have all of the advantages. A lot of times it is used when a solution makes sense for multiple reasons. For example, when you are on holiday if you are able to travel overnight, you get to your next destination and you save on accommodation for the night. So you get the best of both worlds.

Cost an arm and a leg – This means that something is very expensive. You often use it when someone shows you something and you want to say it looks expensive or you want to ask how much it was without being impolite. For example – “Wow, nice car. It must have cost you an arm and a leg.”

Jump on the bandwagon – To join a popular activity. If you are thinking of jumping on the bandwagon, obviously something is popular and you think you might enjoy it too. For example, a lot of people have jumped on the Pokemon Go bandwagon recently.

Let the cat out of the bag – This means to reveal information that was previously concealed. A lot of times it is used not for really big secrets, but more for less important things that you had hoped might not be revealed early. For example, someone might let the cat out of the bag about a surprise birthday party.

A piece of cake – Something really easy to do. I’m not exactly sure why these two things correlate, but I have used this so often that it just makes sense now. When someone asks if I can do something and I am not sure about it, I will do it and then proudly proclaim “See, piece of cake.” It wasn’t really though.

Speak of the Devil – This is used when you have just been talking about someone and then they suddenly show up. It is almost like they knew they were being talked about. It is not used in a negative context, even though it might seem like it.

Taste of your own medicine – This means that you have received something that you have done many times to other people. For example, if a football player like Pepe from Real Madrid who is known for his hard tackling style receives a hard tackle from another player, he has just received a taste of his own medicine.

To sit on the fence – When you are not comfortable making a decision one way or the other. You often use this when you want someone to stop taking both sides of an argument or discussion. You might say “Stop sitting on the fence. Tell us what you really think.”

Not playing with a full deck – This means someone is not as intelligent as they should be. In different countries there are many ways of saying this same thing. In Australia we say someone is a few sandwiches short of a picnic or that there are a few kangaroos loose in their top paddock. Either way, it means someone is a bit of an idiot.

So as you can see, there are many idioms that are in common use in English and half the time you don’t even know that you are using one as they have become such a normal part of conversation. Keep an ear out for more of the most common ones in use.

K. Charles

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Kym Charles
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