English Phraseology

Are you learning English as a non-native speaker? Are you having trouble understanding many American English phrases and idioms? You are not alone.

The English language likes to get a little crazy with it’s spelling, pronunciation, verb changes, and so on (as I’m sure you already know). Unfortunately, most English speakers don’t always make understanding it easier on our international or non-native speaking friends. Many of these idioms are cultural and regional, and we use them without thinking much about it.

To help with that, I’ve compiled a list of phrases and idioms that I hope will be useful to you! Each phrase includes information on Usage, Literal Reference (what the phrase literally means), Conversational Meaning (what your companion actually means) with an example sentence, and my own commentary on the topic.

I’m always looking for more to add, so if you have any suggestions on phrases that are/were confusing to you, please contact me.

Welcome to English Phraseology!

(Phrases are listed in alphabetical order according to entry. New ones are added often, so check back frequently!)

1) English Phraseology (with all its weirdness)”
to be in a “Catch-22”
you “crack me up”
don’t be a “Debbie Downer”
“put a sock in it”
to be “thrown for a loop”

2) Idiom Invaders! (or… English Phraseology, Part Deux)
when someone “beat [someone] to the punch”
to “give [someone] the benefit of the doubt”
to be in a “juggling act”
it was a “mixed bag”
“putting the worst construction on” it
don’t “sweat the small stuff”


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