We use idiomatic language in everyday speech to make it more interesting and provide a mental picture for our listeners.
English has a huge collection of idioms and these often pose a problem for non-native speakers.
The best way to learn idioms is in small memorable batches which, if possible, have a relationship with each other (for example, phrasal verbs are usually divided into groups by verb or preposition). Use your new idioms as soon as you can. That way you will have a better chance of remembering them.
Metaphors and similes (ways of making comparisons) are also used frequently in everyday English. Here are a few for you to learn. Don’t forget to use them as soon as you can!
These similes (comparisons using as ….as) are very common in everyday speech – here are some useful ones
1. As daft as a brush silly or stupid
2. As thick as two short planks stupid
3. As cold as ice very cold
4. As black as coal very black or dirty
5. As right as rain OK
6. As quiet as a mouse very quiet or still
7. As mad as hell very angry
8. As nice as pie nice (usually ironic)
9. As good as gold well behaved (babies/children)
10. As old as the hills old/ancient
11. As white as a sheet afraid/ill
12. As mad as a hatter crazy
Examples of usage:
1. Take no notice of my brother he’s as daft as a brush, always joking!
2. I don’t understand how this works I must be as thick as two short planks.
3. It must be freezing out there your hands are as cold as ice!
4. Look at your face it’s as black as coal what have you been doing?
5. She’s very upset but she’ll be as right as rain after she’s had a good cry.
6. Now, if you can all be as quite as a mouse we’ll watch a film later on.
7. I don’t know what was said in the meeting but he came out as mad as hell.
8. To your face she’s as nice as pie but she will say different things behind your back.
9. The children have been as good as gold all evening.
10. That joke is as old as the hills!
11. What happened? You look as white as a sheet.
12. Don’t take any notice of him he’s as mad as a hatter!