столько раз учителя, ученики и родители
посетили сайт «Инфоурок»
за прошедшие 24 часа
Добавить материал и получить бесплатное
свидетельство о публикации
в СМИ №ФС77-60625 от 20.01.2015
ИнфоурокИностранные языкиДругие методич. материалыИсследовательская работа "Английские идиомы"

Исследовательская работа "Английские идиомы"


Муниципальное бюджетное общеобразовательное учреждение

Лицей №4 г. Данков Липецкой области

Лицейское научное общество

«синяя птица»

Конкурс исследовательских работ

«первые шаги в науку»

Секция: Языкознание

Тема проекта:

«Английские идиомы: они подобны как «мел и сыр»

или «как две капли воды»».

Автор проекта:

Скороходина Виктория

11 б класс

Руководитель: Черных Н.И.

учитель английского языка

г. Данков


1. Введение.

1.1. Цели проекта

1.2. Актуально.

1.3. Почему я выбрала данную тему.

1.4. Разъяснение основных моментов.

1.5. Процесс работы.

2. Исследование.

2.1. Идиомы, абсолютно подобные русским.

Идиомы, включающие название частей тела;

Идиомы, включающие названия животных;

Идиомы, включающие названия еды;

Идиомы, включающие общие слова.

2.2. Идиомы, немного отличающиеся от русских выражений.

Идиомы, используемые для описания людей;

Идиомы, включающие названия частей тела;

Идиомы, связанные с эмоциями и чувствами;

Другие идиомы.

2.3. Идиомы, имеющие более существенные различия.

2.4. Исключительные идиомы.

2.5. Чисто английские, широко распространенные идиомы.

3. Заключение.

4. Используемая литература.

1. Введение.

1.1. Цели проекта.

The key purpose of this research is working out the main similarities between English and Russian idiomatic expressions by comparing these figures of speech and studying their structures. Although it is the main aim of the project, there are some minor points which should not be regarded as insignificant. My research in idiomatic expressions is aimed at finding some points in relationship between British and Russian cultures. As it is generally known, the success of the international interaction is based on understanding similarities between nations and on the tolerant attitude towards differences. Thus, the results of the project will give the opportunity to penetrate into the heart of hearts of the British. Furthermore, there is also the last purpose of the research. However, the last is not least as I can say relating to the subject of my project. This aim is connected with the adoption. There are plenty of loan-words and fixed expressions are not an exception. Almost the whole world knows the phrase ‘Time is money’, so it is really useful to learn worldwide expressions and find justifications for borrowings.

In brief, the aims of the project are the following:

  • Finding and explaining important similarities between idioms of the English and Russian languages.

  • Suggesting ideas about the closeness between British and Russian cultures.

  • Studying the adoption of some English idiomatic phrases.

1.2. Актуально.

In the modern world much attention is devoted to the interaction of languages, to their integration and to the mutual penetration of words and whole phrases. The comparison of figures of speech, in this case idioms, lets us give a definite answer to the one of sharp questions - do different languages, belonging even to various families of languages, have similarities and include the same constructions? During the period of doing research, comparing idioms, I will work out basic criteria of comparison; I will try to explain the main reasons of their differences; besides, after completing the work it would be possible to draw conclusions about some adoption of English idiomatic expressions by other languages, particularly by Russian. The matter of the adoption is the one of actual questions in modern linguistics thanks to studying mutual penetration of lexical items, it is possible to judge about the spread and the development of the language. Moreover, after studying the similarities and the differences of image-bearing expressions, I will be able to draw conclusions about the similarities and differences between British and Russian mentalities and their perception of the world. Working it out is the main task of culture experts because it is the basis for the developing cross-cultural and international cooperation in general. Besides, it should not be forgotten that English is the lingua franca, so knowing the idioms and their analogies, it would be easier to understand people from other countries.

Thus, the results of the research in idiomatic expressions are not only the value for modern linguistics, but it is also important for other fields of science such as culturology, the Social Science, psychology and even the international political science.

1.3. Почему я выбрала данную тему.

Why have I chosen to do a project in English idioms? Perhaps, it would be sensible if I set this question at the beginning of my project, but I prefer to give objective reasons at first, I mean the actuality and the importance of this issue. It cannot be denied that it is unreasonable to do a project which does not contain useful research, even though the subject is extremely interesting to study. Therefore, I explain my motivation afterwards.

I have been learning English for seven years and unusual figures of speech have always drawn my attention. Before studying English seriously, I used to be very interested in learning Russian idioms because I enjoyed speaking figuratively. Thus, once studying British culture, I understood that it was impossible to carry on getting new facts of the life in English speaking countries without knowledge of idiomatic phrases, so I decided to do some research. To my surprise, most idioms were similar to Russian ones, moreover, some of them were exactly the same. This fact inspired me to continue finding similarities and to divide all the idioms learnt into different groups according to their structures and definitions. This means that a simple interest led to a serious research which formed the basis for my project. In any case, doing at least some research in idiomatic expressions might be a great help for people who are determined to know a lot about the British and the English language.

1.4. Разъяснение основных моментов.

Before starting a project it is necessary to decide which points will be considered. In this part of the introduction the content of the research is presented. In other words, it is something like an extending plan. Hence, what comparison has been done?

First of all, in this project I included the reasons why I divided idiomatic expressions into such groups. In the first part of the project itself there is a full explanation of the criteria for this division. Secondly, the project consists of five groups of idiomatic phrases; all the groups differ in ways they are similar to Russian expressions. They are the following:

  1. Idioms, completely similar to Russian ones;

  2. Idioms, slightly different from Russian expressions (the difference is only in one word);

  3. Idioms, having Russian equivalents and more significant differences (more than two words are different);

  4. Idioms, having no analogies in the Russian language and very specific ones (‘Exceptional idioms’);

  5. Purely English idioms widely spread in the whole world (expressions from British literature, legends, history, etc);

Besides, to make the understanding easier and the form of studying more acceptable, all the idiomatic phrases are divided into groups according to the relation to various topics. Thus, the biggest group, I mean the first one, consists of different smaller parts: idioms connected with animals; idioms connected with parts of body; expressions connected with common nouns such as ‘life’, ‘death’ or ‘love’; phrases connected with food. Also some parts of the research include the division based on different sides of life - relationships, emotions, work or studying.

It goes without saying that simply comparing and contrasting idioms it is impossible to do an informative and useful project. Because of this, there are many comments and explanations for some similarities and differences between English and Russian idiomatic expressions which are caused by special British mentality and Russian understanding of life processes.

The part consisting of purely British idioms contains interesting stories about their origin, examples when these phrases are used and some specialities of literature sources where the expressions appeared at first.

1.5. Процесс работы.

How did I do this project? Some people find different facts at first and then consolidate them systemizing all the information, but I prefer to work out a strategy so as not to be snowed under a lot of facts. First of all, I imagined which idioms might be completely the same. This fact depends on the key words in each phrase. For instance, expressions containing names of the body may be similar because there are no differences in people’s perception of themselves. The second phase was to do some research in Russian idioms and decide into which groups it would be suitable to divide them: expressions related to people’s relationships, ways of describing personality, etc. Having studied some analogies I continued finding other phrases, connected with these topics. Thus, the main and the biggest part of the research started. Then, having plenty of information, I had only to check all the groups and drew conclusions. So, the phases of doing this project are the following (let alone the process of choosing the subject of this project):

  1. Working out the strategy how to find material for comparison;

  2. Studying Russian idioms in order to divide them into different groups;

  3. Collecting information;

  4. Distribution of the idioms into groups formed;

  5. Drawing conclusions;

2. Исследование.

2.1. Идиомы, абсолютно подобные русским.

First of all, it is necessary to indicate why English idioms might be similar to Russian ones. There are a lot of people having various views on the same things, so differences in expressing feelings between different nationalities might be big. However, expressions may be absolutely the same due to the similarities in attitude towards some common things. In this part there are 4 groups: Parts of the body, Common words, Animals and Food. In most languages, in all countries the word ‘head’ means something or somebody important, so it is hard to imagine this word meaning something opposite. ‘Heart’ in most cases is also associated with the definite thing - people’s soul. The word ‘horse’ is used not only as a name of an animal, but also for describing a person with great stamina. The expression ‘crocodile tears’ originates from the people’s observation, so it is difficult to misinterpret this idiom, which has become worldwide. Hence, it is possible to explain these surprising similarities.

(The structure of the comparison is the following: English idiom – ‘Russian equivalent’- meaning of the expression or examples of the use; Example)

Идиомы, включающие названия частей тела.


To have a heart of gold – ‘иметь золотое сердце’ – is used for describing a kind, warm-hearted person; Example:You always put me up if I stay in your city. You have a heart of gold!’

To have a heart of stone – ‘иметь каменное сердце’ – is used for describing a person, who is violent or extremely indifferent; Example: ‘Why don’t you help your Granny to carry these heavy bags? You don’t seem to have a heart of stone.’

To be in a heart of something – ‘быть в сердце чего-либо’ – be in the centre of something, for example, of a town; Example: ‘The Kremlin is placed in a heart of Moscow.’

With all somebody’s heart – ‘всем сердцем’ – to do something with all energy or emotion; Example: ‘If the subject of the project suits my interests, I will do it with all my heart.’

Somebody’s heart bleeds (for) – ‘сердце кровью обливается’ – is used to express sympathy towards someone; Example: My heart bleeds for homeless children hanging out in the streets.’

To know the way to somebody’s heart – ‘знать путь к чьему-либо сердцу’ – to know the way how to mollify or please someone; ‘Example: Don’t worry! Dad’s very angry, but I know the way to his heart.’

To win somebody’s heart – ‘завоевывать чье-либо сердце’ – to make somebody love you or to win somebody’s favor; Example: ‘Mary doesn’t pay attention on me, but I’ll do my best to win her heart!’

To do something with heavy heart – ‘с тяжелым сердцем’ – to do something worrying or with foreboding of evil; Example: ‘I was waiting for the news from Dan with heavy heart.’

To open somebody’s heart – ‘открыть свое сердце’ – to share your deepest feelings with somebody; Example: ‘As you know, I prefer not to tell anyone about my love, but I want to open my heart to you.’

To take something to heart – ‘брать что-либо близко к сердцу’ – to take something seriously, especially criticism; Example: ‘Don’t be sensitive! Don’t take this rubbish to heart!’

To put somebody’s heart and soul into something – ‘вложить во что-либо свое сердце и душу’ – to put a great deal of effort into something; Example: ‘I’m so proud of this painting! I’ve put my heart and soul into it.’


To keep a cool head – ‘держать голову в холоде’ – to do something impartially, not affected by emotions; Example: ‘Keep your head cool when you enter the room so as not to say too much.’

To lose somebody’s head – ‘терять голову’ – to lose control because of emotions or love; Example: ‘He is so gorgeous! I’m on the verge of losing my head.’

To bury somebody’s head into the sand – ‘зарывать голову в песок’ – to avoid solving problems; Example: ‘I hope you are not a coward and you won’t bury your head into the sand instead of finding the way to cope with this problem.’

Two heads are better than one – ‘одна голова хорошо, а две лучше’ – is used to say that two people can find a solution more quickly than one; Example: ‘Don’t panic! I’ll help you and we will finish this essay. Two heads are better than one.’


To have/keep somebody’s eyes glued to something – ‘прилипнуть, приклеиться к чему-либо’ – to look at something without a break (usually used for watching TV); Example: ‘Let’s go for a walk! Why do you have your eyes glued to TV?’

Before somebody’s very eyes – ‘прямо на глазах’ – to do something what a person sees clearly; Example: ‘You must have seen her cheating! It was before your very eyes.’

To close/ shut somebody’s eyes to something – ‘закрывать глаза на что-либо’ – not to notice something on purpose; Example: ‘I hope you are fair and you won’t close your eyes to her being late.’

Can do something with somebody’s eyes closed – ‘уметь делать что-либо с закрытыми глазами’ – can do something perfectly, without any efforts; Example: ‘I’ve been practicing playing this tune all day, so I can do it with my eyes closed.’

An eye for an eye – ‘глаз за глаз/ око за око’ – is used to describe an action taken to punish someone in the same way they have treated you; Example: ‘I’m not going to let him off, but I don’t want to follow the rule ‘an eye for an eye.’

To have eyes in the back of somebody’s head – ‘иметь глаза на затылке’ – to be able to see something happening behind you; Example: ‘Why are you asking me what Mary is doing? I don’t have eyes in the back of my head!’

To have eyes like a hawk – ‘иметь глаза как у сокола’ – to have very sharp eyesight’; Example: ‘How can you see that tower? You have eyes like a hawk!’

To cry somebody’s eyes – ‘выплакать (все) глаза’ – to cry a lot; Example: ‘Where on earth have you been so long? I’ve cried my eyes.’

Not to believe somebody’s eyes – ‘не верить своим глазам’ – not to believe what you see; Example: ‘Mark? I haven’t expected to see you here! I don’t believe my eyes.’

To open somebody’s eyes to– ‘открыть глаза на что-либо’ – to show someone what something is indeed; Example: ‘You’ve opened my eyes to Jane’s behaviour.’


To have a smile from ear to ear – ‘иметь улыбку до ушей’ – to smile broadly; Example: ‘Jim is having a smile from ear to ear. He might have got good news.’

To be up to somebody’s ears in problems / work – ‘быть по уши в проблемах / работе’ – to have a lot of problems/work; Example: ‘She looks so tired. She might be up to her ears in work.’

It goes in one ear and out the other – ‘в одно ухо влетает, в другое вылетает’ – is used to describe someone not listening carefully; Example: ‘It’s impossible to explain her anything! Everything goes in one ear and out the other.’


To poke somebody’s nose into something –‘совать нос во что-либо’–to be very interested in things you are not related to; Example: ‘Don’t poke your nose into other people’s business!’

To turn somebody’s nose up – ‘нос воротить’ – not to find something pleasant or tasty; Example: ‘Ann, don’t turn your nose up at this soup! It’s delicious. ’

To lead somebody by the nose – ‘водить кого-либо за нос’ – to deceive or mislead somebody; Example: ‘I don’t believe you! You’re leading me by the nose.’


To click somebody’s tongue – ‘цокать языком’ – to make a noise with the tongue to show you are annoyed or disappointed; Example: ‘Mike clicked his tongue and started finding his mistake.’

To have a sharp tongue – ‘иметь острый язык’ – to tend to say something angrily; Example: ‘Be careful talking with her. She’s got such a sharp tongue.’

To bite somebody’s tongue–‘прикусить язык’–to stop talking so as not to say anything unnecessary; Example: ‘I wanted to tell her my secret, but finally I bit my tongue.’

To loosen somebody’s tongue – ‘развязывать язык’ – to talk a lot, often after drinking alcohol; Example: ‘Try not to loosen your tongue after this party.’

Hand/ hands

To be in somebody’s hands – ‘быть в чьих-либо руках’ – to depend on someone; Example: ‘You might do what you want; your future is only in your hands.’

To be in good hands– ‘находиться в хороших руках’–to be held or brought up in good conditions or atmosphere; Example:‘Don’t cry! Your kitten is in good hands.’

To get your hands dirty – ‘запачкать руки’ – to do hard physical work; Example: ‘I’ll help you with gardening. I’m not afraid of getting my hands dirty.’

To wash somebody’s hand of something – ‘умывать руки’ – to stop trying doing something; Example: ‘I’m not going to persuade you to give up smoking any more! I’m washing my hands!’


Knees knocking (together) –‘коленки дрожат’– is used to describe someone who is frightened or cold; Example: ‘I’m so scared! My knees are knocking together.’

To bring somebody to their knees – ‘поставить кого-либо на колени’ – to subdue someone; Example: ‘The invaders tried to bring inhabitants to their knees, but they met with resistance.’


To do something on an empty stomach – ‘делать что-либо на голодный желудок’ – to do something being hungry; Example: ‘Let’s have a coffee. I can’t work on an empty stomach.’

Идиомы, включающие названия животных.

Never look a gift horse in the mouth – ‘дареному коню в зубы не смотрят’- it means we should not look censoriously at presents given; Example: ‘Don’t show you’re disappointed with this book. It’s said: ‘Never look a gift horse in the mouth.’

To work like a horse – ‘работать как лошадь’ – to work hard; Example: ‘-He looks exhausted. –It’s not surprising- he works like a horse.’

To be a dark horse – ‘быть темной лошадкой’ – is used to describe somebody who is not well-known; Example: ‘Ann is a dark horse. It’s hard to say what she might do if she takes part in this meeting.’

To have a dog’s life – ‘жить как собака’ – to have a difficult life; Example: ‘Don’t think I am happy. I have such a dog’s life.’

To play cat and mouse – ‘играть в кошки-мышки’ – to pretend to allow someone to do or have what they want, and then to stop them from doing or having it; Example: ‘You should decide definitely what to say. It’s unfair to play cat and mouse with Ann not allowing her to act as she wants.’

To be like the cat that got cream – ‘быть как кот, наевшийся сметаны’ – to look very satisfied or delighted; Example: ‘The boss must have approved of Tim’s project. He is like the cat that got cream’

To be quite as a mouse – ‘тихий, как мышка’ – to be very quite; Example: ‘Is there anybody? Mary, you’re here! You’re quite as a mouse!’

To be like rats leaving the sinking ship–‘быть крысами,бегущими с тонущего корабля’–is used to describe people declining the responsibility if the situation gets worse; Example: ‘Stay here so as not to be like a rat leaving the sinking ship’.

Crocodile tears – ‘крокодиловы слезы’ – is used to describe someone’s attempt to move somebody to pity even if he does not desire it; Example: ‘Don’t believe Mike! He is really guilty. These are crocodile tears.’

To be a lone wolf – ‘быть одиноким волком’ – to prefer being alone; Example: ‘Don’t worry if Jack won’t communicate with you. He’s a lone wolf, actually.’

To be a busy bee – ‘быть трудолюбивым, как пчела’ – is used to describe an industrious person; Example: ‘You’re always at work. You are such a busy bee!’

To be an early bird–‘быть ранней пташкой’–is used to describe a person who gets up early; Example: ‘-How can you get up at 6 o’clock? - I’m simply an early bird.’

Not hurt a fly –‘мухи не обидит’–is used to describe a person who is very kind; Example: ‘Don’t think Jim is cruel. Appearances are deceptive.He won’t hurt a fly;

Идиомы, включающие названия еды.

To know which side someone’s bread is buttered on – ‘знать, с какой стороны масло на хлеб мажут’ – to know which people to be nice to in order to get advantages for yourself; Example: ‘-You’re so successful! -Oh, I simply know which side my bread is buttered on.’

To feel like a fish out of water – ‘чувствовать себя, как рыба без воды’ – to feel uncomfortable; Example: ‘I felt like a fish out of water in that office.’

To be sold like hot cakes – ‘продаваться / расходиться как горячие пирожки’ – to be bought by many people; Example: ‘If you reduce the price of these magazines, they will be sold like hot cakes.’

To take the bread out of somebody’s mouth – ‘забирать /отнимать чей-либо хлеб’ – to take away someone’s means of earning money; Example: ‘Have a heart! It’s my responsibility! Don’t take the bread out of my mouth.’

To be a hard nut (to crack) – ‘быть крепким орешком’ – to be difficult to be done or understood; Example: ‘This problem is a hard nut to crack. I can’t solve it!’

To butter someone up –‘подмасливать’– to be very nice to someone, usually to obtain something; Example: ‘He is strict, but unprincipled. You can butter him up to get the permission to do your unusual project.’

Идиомы, включающие общие слова.

Life, Death, God

A matter of the life and death– ‘вопрос жизни и смерти’–a vital matter or thing; Example: ‘Don’t forget to inform me about this news. It’s a matter of life and death for me.’

That’s life – ‘такова жизнь’ – is used when we want to say that our life is difficult and we should accept it; Example: ‘It’s not easy to get a good job, but that’s life!’

To see life – ‘увидеть жизнь’–is used to say when someone wants (or needs) to get life experience; Example: ‘Working as a travel agent gives me a chance to see life.’

To be bored to death – ‘наскучить до смерти’ – to be very bored; Example: ‘This lecture is so dull! I’m bored to death.’

God’s gift to somebody – ‘божий дар’ – is used for expressing that someone is very talented; Example: ‘Mary is such a talented artist! It’s a God’s gift to her.’

I swear to God – ‘богом клянусь’ – is used to express that you tell the truth; Example: ‘I do love you! I swear to God!’

A man of God – ‘божий человек’ – a male priest or a very religious man; Example: ‘Oh! Who is going from the church? It’s the Father Ben, a man of God.’

Man proposes, God disposes – ‘человек предполагает, а Бог располагает’ – is used to express that not everything depends only on a human; Example: ‘-Where are you going this summer? -I want to visit London, but Man proposes, God disposes.’


Time flies – ‘время летит’ – time passes very quickly; Example: ‘Ann, You’ve changed extremely! I can’t recognize you. – Time flies, so don’t be surprised.’

To do something from time to time – ‘делать что-либо время от времени’ – to do something not very often; Example: ‘I prefer working out at home, but I go to the gym from time to time.’

It’s a matter of time – ‘Это вопрос времени’ – it used for expressing that the time is needed to give a definite answer to some questions; Example: ‘-Is your book successful? –It’s difficult to say now. It’s a matter of time.’

To kill time – ‘убивать время’ – to do something so as not to be bored in your free time; Example: ‘If you don’t come home now, I’ll watch TV to kill time.’

From time immemorial – ‘с незапамятных времен’ – for a long time; Example: ‘You can rely on Mary. I know her from time immemorial.’

2.2. Идиомы, немного отличающиеся от русских выражений.

This group includes English idiomatic expressions which are almost the same with Russian ones. The main difference is only in one word. What are the reasons for such a specific difference? Firstly, it depends on the views of every nationality. In some countries a donkey might be considered as a silly and stubborn animal, while in the others it is not like that. In Russia when someone saves money so as to use them in case he is in trouble, it is said ‘он копит деньги на черный день’. In England the same expression is ‘to save money for a rainy day’. This difference shows that due to the weather conditions, the British use ‘rainy’ as the synonym to ‘bad’ whereas the Russians use the adjective ‘черный’ since it also means ‘bad’. Secondly, synonyms might cause this slight difference too. ‘Heart’ (сердце) is usually replaced with ‘chest’ (грудь), ‘руки’ (hands) with ‘fingers’ (пальцы). The structure of this part is the same as in the previous one, but words which differ are in bold.

Идиомы, используемые для описания людей.

As blind as a bat – ‘быть слепым как курица’ – is used to describe a person whose eyesight is bad; Example: ‘Don’t listen to Jane. She is as blind as a bat!’

A big cheese/gun/noise/wheel – ‘важная птица’ – is used to describe a very important person; Example: ‘Our boss is a big cheese as I can see.’

A wolf in sheep’s clothing – ‘волк в овечьей шкуре’ – is used to describe a person pretending to be kind and obedient; Example: ‘Be careful when you talk with Mark. He is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.’

Neither fish nor fowl – ‘ни рыба ни мясо– is used to describe an uninteresting person not having his own opinion; Example: ‘I don’t like Andy. He’s neither fish nor fowl. It’s boring to talk to him, as it were.’

To be a bull in a china shop–‘быть слоном в посудной лавке’– to be clumsy; Example: ‘Don’t be a bull in a china shop! There are plenty of unique vases.’

Идиомы, включающие названия частей тела.

To have somebody’s hands full – ‘иметь забот полон рот’ – to have a lot to do; Example: ‘Oh, I can’t go out this evening. I have my hands full.’

To be under somebody’s thumb – ‘быть в кулаке у кого-либо’– to be completely under control of somebody; Example: ‘Poor Dan! He has to be under his father’s thumb.’

One’s fingers itch – ‘руки чешутся’ – is used for showing that you are really determined to do something; Example: ‘Let’s start to work! My fingers itch.’

To risk one’s neck–‘рисковать головой’-to accept the risk of physical harm so as to accomplish something; Example: ‘I would do that even if I had to risk my neck.’

Идиомы, связанные с эмоциями и чувствами.

To get something off somebody’s chest – ‘из сердца вон’ – to try to forget completely about something; Example: ‘I’m not worrying about his behaviour. I’ve got it off my chest.’

To lose a tongue – ‘проглотить язык’ – to become unable to speak because of surprise or fear; Example: ‘Why are you keeping silence? Have you lost a tongue?’

To have a strong stomach–‘иметь крепкие нервы’–to be mentally strong; Example: ‘To watch such psychological thrillers you should have a strong stomach.

To get in somebody’s hair – ‘действовать на нервы – to annoy somebody; Example: ‘Turn off the television, please. This talk show is getting in my hair.’

Другие идиомы.

To buy a pig in a poke – ‘покупать кота в мешке’ – is used for expressing that someone does not know what he is buying; Example: ‘You have to examine this device carefully so as not to buy a pig in a poke.’

From ‘A’ to ‘Z’ – ‘от «А» до «Я»’ – to know something well; Example: ‘To be a good journalist you should know these rules from ‘A’ to ‘Z’.’

For a rainy day – ‘на черный день’ – to put something aside in case you do not have enough money; Example: ‘In this small chest I keep money for a rainy day.’

Baker’s dozen – ‘чертова дюжина’ – thirteen; Example: ‘Go to the market and buy a baker’s dozen of eggs.’

To have a whale of time – ‘иметь массу времени’ – to have a lot time; Example: ‘Of course. I’ll go for a walk with you. I’ve got a whale of time!’

A storm in a teacup – ‘буря в стакане’ – is used to express that people are angry about unimportant things; Example: ‘Calm down! It’s not serious. It’s such a storm in a teacup!’

To kill the goose that lays the golden eggs – ‘убить курицу, несущую золотые яйца’ – to get rid of something profitable; Example: ‘He won’t refuse to do this project since it will be like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.’

2.3. Идиомы, имеющие более существенные различия.

This part of the research includes idiomatic expressions which are very different from the Russian ones in various aspects. However, it is easy to find analogies to them. The development of the culture of the country is impossible without the changes of the language. Thus, during many centuries the range of idioms is gradually increasing since life is making progress all the time. People invent various expressions so as to emphasize what they want to say, and then these figures of speech become widespread and become the spice of the language. Conditions of life, morals and manners might be the same in different countries, so the meaning of expressions might be the same as well, although the form and structure might be completely different.

This part includes English idioms and their Russian equivalents. Besides, there are meanings of each expression.


To be a stone’s throw from something – ‘рукой подать’ – is used to express that something is very close; Example: ‘This shop is a stone’s throw from our house. It will take us about 5 minutes to get there.’

Let sleeping dogs lie – ‘Не буди лихо, пока оно спит’ – is used when we want to say not to annoy somebody; Example: ‘Don’t be rude to Jane. Let sleeping dog lie.’

Pull the wool over somebody’s eyes – ‘пускать пыль в глаза’ – to tell lies so as to impress somebody; Example: ‘Remember: he will pull the wool over your eyes to convince you that he works attentively.’

To cry over spilt milk–‘плакать у разбитого корыта’–to cry when something has happened; Example: ‘The mistake is done. It’s unreasonable to cry over spilt milk.’

The land of milk and honey – ‘молочная река, кисельные берега’ – is used to describe the ideal place where are no problems at all; Example: ‘I’m so exhausted! Getting to the land of milk and honey is all what I want.’

Bread and butter questions–‘насущные вопросы’ – very important questions; Example:‘Stop talking!We’re discussing bread and butter questions.It’s not a joke.

One’s man meat is another man’s poison – ‘что русскому хорошо, то немцу смерть’ – is used to express that there is nothing universal; Example: ‘This cure really helped me, however, be careful: one’s man meat is another man’s poison.’

Sink or swim –‘пан или пропал’ – is used to express that there is an only choice: to fail or succeed; Example: ‘I’ll do it in any case. Sink or swim – it doesn’t matter.’

To have a finger in every pie – ‘быть в каждой бочке затычкой’ – to be involved in many activities, but in a very annoying way; Example: ‘Ann’s friendship is her own business. Don’t poke your nose in it. Don’t have a finger in every pie!’

When pigs fly – ‘когда рак на горе свистнет’ – is used to express that something is impossible; Example: ‘Our boss will approve of your project when pigs fly.’

To carry coals to Newcastle – ‘ехать в Тулу со своим самоваром’ – to do something unnecessary; Example: ‘You’re so funny! Doing this work is like carrying coals to Newcastle.’

2.4. Исключительные идиомы.

This part includes different idioms which do not have equivalents in the Russian language. It is difficult to explain what reasons were to choose these expressions. They simply appeared to be very unusual and interesting. (For people having good imagination it might be extremely exciting and astonishing.)

This part consists only of English idioms and their definitions.

To be as cool as a cucumber – to be very calm or indifferent;

To go bananas – to become mad;

To have green fingers – to be good at gardening or planting;

To be a wet blanket – to be a boring person spoiling others people’s enjoyment;

To talk turkey – to talk frankly;

To be like chalk and cheese – to be completely different;

I’ll eat my hat! – I bet!

2.5. Чисто английские широко распространенные идиомы.

There is also a specific group of English idioms – expressions which are widely spread in the whole world. Why have they become so popular? Where do they originate? To begin with, the main source of these figures of speech is British literature. For instance, due to Lewis’s Carroll tale ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland’, nowadays we have a very interesting expression ‘to grin like a Cheshire cat’, which means ‘to have a smile from ear to ear’. Besides, Shakespeare’s tragedies are great sources of idiomatic expressions. It is almost impossible to meet a person who does not know the Hamlet’s phrase ‘to be or not to be’. To describe people being at loggerheads with each other we use the expression ‘to be like Montague and Capulet’, so these families are still ‘famous’ and ‘popular’, although the number of people enjoying reading is gradually decreasing. To show that a man is very jealous people from the whole world say: ‘He is like an Othello’ and it makes us remember the well-known Moor from the Shakespeare’s tragedy. Furthermore, some widespread expressions do not have an exact explanation of their origin. For instance, the idiom ‘time is money’, which is usually used to express that somebody’s time is valuable.

Thus, telling about British idiomatic expressions it is impossible not to mention some of them which are well-known and widespread. The fact of their popularity is such a kind of the adoption of useful English phrases.

3. Заключение.

1. The first main conclusion I can draw is that these both languages (English and Russian) have a lot of points of contact. Some idiomatic expressions are completely the same. The group of such idioms mainly consists of figures of speech which include the names of parts of body. Such words as ‘head’, ‘heart’ and ‘hands’ form expressions which have absolute equivalents in Russian.

2. Although there are a lot of worldwide stereotypes of animals’ characters, the expressions including the names of them are slightly different. Some Russian idioms seem to be more emphatic while the English ones are more neutral.

3. Studying idioms and comparing them, it is wiser to find their equivalents in the other language since it gives a better idea of their definitions. Simply translating them (I mean translating word by word) we are in danger of getting very confusing definitions which are not connected with the correct meanings.

4. Studying figures of speech gives the opportunity to become closer to the culture of the country, the mentality of inhabitants, to its history and literature. Besides, it is a chance to learn some facts about the geography of the country. (For instance, the expression ‘to bring coals to Newcastle’ gives us information about the one of the main coal mines of England.)


Курс профессиональной переподготовки
Учитель немецкого языка
Найдите материал к любому уроку,
указав свой предмет (категорию), класс, учебник и тему:
также Вы можете выбрать тип материала:
Общая информация
ВНИМАНИЮ ВСЕХ УЧИТЕЛЕЙ: согласно Федеральному закону N273-ФЗ «Об образовании в Российской Федерации» педагогическая деятельность требует от педагога наличия системы специальных знаний в области обучения и воспитания детей с ОВЗ. Поэтому для всех педагогов является актуальным повышение квалификации по этому направлению!

Дистанционный курс «Обучающиеся с ОВЗ: Особенности организации учебной деятельности в соответствии с ФГОС» от проекта "Инфоурок" даёт Вам возможность привести свои знания в соответствие с требованиями закона и получить удостоверение о повышении квалификации установленного образца (72 часа).

Подать заявку на курс
Похожие материалы

Вам будут интересны эти курсы:

Курс профессиональной переподготовки «Испанский язык: теория и методика обучения иностранному языку в образовательной организации»
Курс профессиональной переподготовки «Немецкий язык: теория и методика обучения в образовательной организации»
Курс повышения квалификации «Специфика преподавания немецкого языка с учетом требований ФГОС»
Курс повышения квалификации «Специфика преподавания французского языка с учетом требований ФГОС»
Курс повышения квалификации «Специфика преподавания испанского языка с учетом требований ФГОС»
Курс повышения квалификации «Специфика преподавания итальянского языка с учетом требований ФГОС»
Курс профессиональной переподготовки «Теория и методика преподавания иностранных языков: английский, немецкий, французский»
Курс профессиональной переподготовки «Теория и методика преподавания иностранных языков в профессиональном образовании: английский, немецкий, французский»
Курс профессиональной переподготовки «Теория и методика билингвального обучения иностранным языкам»
Курс повышения квалификации «Теория и методика преподавания основ латинского языка с медицинской терминологией в организациях СПО»
Курс повышения квалификации «Специфика преподавания русского языка как иностранного»
Курс профессиональной переподготовки «Организация деятельности помощника-референта руководителя со знанием иностранных языков»
Оставьте свой комментарий
Авторизуйтесь, чтобы задавать вопросы.
Включите уведомления прямо сейчас и мы сразу сообщим Вам о важных новостях. Не волнуйтесь, мы будем отправлять только самое главное.