Solving idioms on the ACT

Solving idioms on the ACT is different from solving the usual grammar questions on the ACT. To describe Idioms in its simplest form, it is a phrase or expression that do not conform to simple rules, therefore; you have to rely on your intuitive grasp of English while dealing with some of the phrases.

ACTUsually, an idiom has two words that seem to go together and often has figurative meanings which are quite different from their actual meaning. Learning idioms might be an easy task for the native speakers of the language but it is often challenging for the people learning it as a second language. Some examples of the idioms having figurative meaning are “actions speak louder than words,” barking up the wrong tree,” and “make a long story short.” Some common idioms are fun metaphorical expressions such as “hitting the hay” or having “a chip on your shoulder.” If you are a native speaker then understanding such idioms might be easy for you but if you are a non-native speaker then you might wonder upon that why would anyone have a potato chip sitting on his shoulder.

Here are a few idioms from recent ACTs:

•    hush-hush: secret
•    under wraps: secret
•    streak past: go past quickly
•    came about: happened
•    in the midst: during
•    sheds light on : reveals, explains
•    ill at ease: uncomfortable (mentally, not physically)
•    dwell on: focus on for longer than necessary
•    against the clock: under time pressure
•    stumbled upon: discovered by accidentIdioms1

It’s difficult to study idioms, and there are thousands of them in English. The ACT tests idioms that are very widely used, so an easy way to improve your idiom knowledge is to read, read, and read. And if you read a phrase that doesn’t make sense, ask an adult, idiom can be difficult to look up reliably on the internet.

Have a happy learning!

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