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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: Idiom Insight

These exercises were written by IWW members and administrators to provide structured practice opportunities for its members. You are welcome to use them for practice as well. Please mention that you found them at the Internet Writers Workshop (http://www.internetwritingworkshop.org/).

Prepared by Charles Hightower
Posted on Sunday, March 8, 2009
Reposted on Sunday, June 20, 2010
Reposted on Sunday, October 9, 2011
Reposted on Sunday, November 18, 2012
Reposted on Sunday, December 29, 2014
Reposted on Sunday, December 28, 2015

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Exercise: In 400 words or less, create a story that might explain the origin of an idiom.

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An idiom is a phrase that does not make literal sense.  Idioms may be among the most difficult concepts in English for foreigners to understand..  For example, the phrase "kick the bucket" is interpreted as the act of dying.  Taken literally, though, neither the kick nor the bucket has any apparent  relationship to the meaning of the phrase.

Select an idiom.  Then make up a story that could explain the idiom's origin, or show how it came to be. Use your imagination--the tale need not be true.  Show, don't tell.  Be sure to identify the idiom at start or finish.

 If you need ideas, you might refer to http://www.eslcafe.com/idioms/id-list.html
 or
 http://www.learn-english-today.com/idioms/idioms_proverbs.html

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 Exercise: In 400 words or less, create a story that might explain the  origin of an idiom.

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Critique: Does the explanation seem plausible?  Does the story do a good job of showing how the idiom came to be coined? Was the writing  imaginative and interesting?


Web site created by Rhéal Nadeau and the administrators of the Internet Writing Workshop.
Modified by Gayle Surrette.