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HomeCrazy EnglishThat Crazy EnglishIdioms Oxymorons and Onomatopoeia

That Crazy EnglishIdioms Oxymorons and Onomatopoeia

One of the most fun parts of teaching English to students is by letting them discover figurative language. Figurative language is any speech that is not meant to be taken literally. Students in traditional classrooms and ESL classrooms will enjoy learning about three of the most interesting types of figurative language in English: idioms, oxymorons, and onomatopoeia.

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Even MORE crazy, perhaps, arecontronymswords which are their OWN opposites! Think its impossible? Then think again

Frog in Your Throat being hoarse and unable to speak clearly

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are words that are used together to create a single meaning, but usually mean the opposite of one another when used separately. Students can hardly fail to find the humor in the fact that English speakers park in a driveway and drive in a parkway. Other fun examples of oxymorons might include:

Onomatopoeia, besides being almost impossible to spell, is another fun way to explore English vocabulary. Onomatopoeia are words that sound like the object they name or the sounds those objects make. Who doesnt love just tosaywords like zip, slurp, boom, woof, clang, and neigh??

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left can mean remaining; can mean departed from

custom can mean usual; can mean special

Let the Cat out of the Bag reveal a secret

Idiomsare expressions that cannot be figured out by understanding the meanings of the words that make up the expression. Only native speakers of a language English in this instance will understand what the expression is referring to. ESL students often have to be taught these phrases, or idioms, individually. Some examples of English idioms are:

Green Thumb having a special ability to make plants grow

clip can mean to fasten; can mean to detach

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