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Speak English Like an American (Amy Gillett)

Speak English Like an American (Amy Gillett)

Product Summery

Introduction

If you already speak some English and now would like to speak more like a native, you've found the right book. One of the keys to speaking like a native is the ability to use and understand casual expressions, or idioms. American English is full of idioms. You won't learn these expressions in a standard textbook. But you will hear them all the time in everyday conversations. You'll also meet them in books, newspapers, magazines, and TV shows. This book will help you understand and use idioms better. It contains over 300 of today's most common idioms.
Idioms add color to the language. Master idioms and your speech will be less awkward, less foreign. You'll also understand more of what you read and hear. Often a student of English tries to translate idioms word-for-word, or literally. If you do this, you can end up asking, "What could this possibly mean?" This is why idioms are difficult: they work as groups of words, not as individual words. If you translate each word on its own, you'll miss the meaning and in many cases end up with nonsense.
As an example, let's take one of the idioms presented in this book: "out of this world." This expression is often used to describe deli- cious food. If you have a party and you serve a delicious chicken dish, your American friend might tell you, "This chicken is out of this world!" Start translating the expression word-for-word and you'll have to ask yourself: "What world is it in?" and "Why is she even commenting on the chicken being in a world, any world?"
Here's another example. Let's say you're on a tennis team. Your team has won every single game for the past six months. You could tell your friend this without using an idiom: "Our team is lucky because we keep winning game after game." You can also express this with an idiom: "Our team is on a winning streak." Sounds bet- ter, doesn't it?
When using idioms, remember that their word order and structure are often not flexible. In other words, you will need to get the word order exactly right. Here's an example of what I mean. Recently, I helped a student with his English homework. He then told me, "You've got a golden heart." He was trying to speak idiomatic Eng- lish, but the correct expression is: "You've got a heart of gold."
This book includes a CD of all of the dialogues. The CD will help you with pronunciation and will also help you remember the idioms. Play it at home, at work, in the car, while traveling...before you know it, you'll be speaking English like an American!
Try to "develop an ear" for idioms on your own. Don't worry, I'm not suggesting you try to grow a third ear! "Develop an ear" is an idiom it means to learn to listen for something. If you don't know what an expression means, ask a native speaker of English. Here's what you can say to your helper: Excuse me, I ran across this expression and I'm not sure what it means. Can you please help me out?
Add idioms to your speech and writing just as you add vocabulary. You may find it helpful to write all of the expressions in this book down on notecards and review them whenever you have a free moment.
Good luck adding idioms to your everyday speech. It's fun, and you'll enjoy speaking English much more. Like an American!

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