Understanding the Major Difference between Proverb, Idioms and Phrases – One of The Most Important Topics for IELTS students

Any Phrase, Idioms or Proverb is mainly a collection of simple words combined to sound more like a metaphor. According to many popular idiom books, they are called figures of speech that are quite useful in changing the meaning of sentences. Therefore, they are a significant part of the IELTS exam and help students ace their tests without facing any difficulty.

Many American Phrases Idioms books helped beginners to study and understand the native English language. One such book that has been playing a significant role in thoroughly comprehending idioms is America’s Top 30 Idioms and Their Origins by author Fred Engh, a must-read book for all foreign or native English speakers.

  Although it is pretty easy for a native language user/speaker to make good use of the phrases, idioms and proverbs, it can also be challenging, especially for those who just got acquainted with the language. For that, books of phrases and idioms can make the learning process easy on how to use this figure of speech in daily routine smartly. So, let’s dive deep into understanding the depths of idioms, proverbs, and phrases.

Major Differences Between Idioms, Proverbs & Phrases

Idioms in English books are fixed terms that contain a symbolic meaning. They do not possess any principles, and usually, they don’t make any logic if you aren’t aware of them. They require an intelligent mind and cannot be understood by merely reading every word of the sentence; one needs to study all different idioms to be familiar with them. For example – ‘A dime a dozen – which means some particular which is very common. This exact idiom can be used in a sentence like “These yellow roses are a dime a dozen, ” which signifies that yellow roses are very common.

Another example of Idioms can be ‘The best of both worlds, which means you, can enjoy two different opportunities simultaneously. Example – He got the best of both worlds by working as a freelance and looking after her kids.

Proverbs, on the other hand, are short and precise sayings that usually comprise a piece of advice. They hold an ethical or a form of advice commonly based on universal truth. They are simple sentences that can be comprehended by just listening to them for the first time. The examples of Proverbs can be:

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, which means that the things we possess ought to be more cherished rather than the things one hopes to possess – if we put it in a sentence: you should have seized that wonderful job opportunity when you had the chance because a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Absence can make the heart grow fonder, which means that when the people we love the most are not around us, we end up loving them even more than ever – When she was with me, I fought with her, but now this distance has made my heart grow fonder.

When we talk about phrases when learning the English language, it is simply a small collection of words that stand together as a theoretical unit, usually creating an element of a clause. In contrast, idioms are a collection of words that don’t make sense when read promptly. In addition, they can rely on the words used in it. So, in short, the major distinguishing features between these two are that they have an actual meaning that is merely dependent on the words being utilized in it. Any idiom is a phrase, but not every phrase is an idiom.