Salt and pepper Rain or shine
Salt and pepper Rain or shine

Salt and pepper Rain or shine

Állandó kifejezések az angolban. Tanuld meg őket, és tedd színesebbé vele a mondandódat!

As you’ll probably have guessed from the title, we’re going to look at pairs of words that are used together in a fixed order, separated either by ‘and’ or ‘or’. Some of these word pairs are simply two things that we use or experience together, such as ‘knife and fork’ and ‘thunder and lightning’. Others are more idiomatic, their meanings not always obvious, for example bits and pieces (=small things or tasks of different types) and short and sweet (=surprisingly quick). The English language is full of these short phrases and this post aims to give you a useful selection of them. As ever, we focus only on items in current use.

Let’s start with the first type – things that logically come together. The ‘which comes first?’ rule for these pairs is generally that the bigger or more important of the two items comes first, (though it’s not always possible to say which this is): bread and butter; tables and chairs; shirt and tie; cup and saucer; name and address; hot and cold; rich and famous; win or lose.

Now let’s focus on a set of frequently used adjective pairs, most of which are at least partly idiomatic. In spoken English, if you are sick and tired of something or someone, you are annoyed because you have experienced too much of them:

I do all the work in this house and I’m sick and tired of it.

Something that is rough and ready has been produced quickly and is therefore quite basic:

The program is still in development so it’s a bit rough and ready.

Similarly, a calculation or other method which is quick and dirty has been done quickly and slightly carelessly and is often just a temporary solution.

I’ve done a few sums – they’re quick and dirty but quite revealing.

Cut and dried, meanwhile, means ‘already decided and unlikely to change’:

I wouldn’t like to predict who will win the competition – it’s by no means cut and dried.

There are also some very frequent idiomatic verb pairs that are worth learning.

If you chop and change, you keep changing from one thing to a different thing:

We need to decide on a course of action – we can’t keep chopping and changing.

In a new situation, if you are left to sink or swim, you are given no help so that you succeed or fail by your own efforts:

There was no one there to ask for help – it was basically sink or swim.

Something that (informal) crashes and burns, suddenly and completely fails:

In this business, products can crash and burn.

source: dictionaryblog.cambridge.org

Can you finish the expressions with the appropriate word?

knife and .....

thunder and .....

bits and .....

short and .....

bread and .....

tables and .....

shirt and .....

cup and .....

name and .....

hot and .....

rich and .....

win or .....

sick and .....

rough and .....

quick and .....

cut and .....

chop and .....

sink or .....

crash and .....

 

Key

knife and fork

thunder and lightning

bits and pieces

short and sweet

bread and butter

tables and chairs

shirt and tie

cup and saucer

name and address

hot and cold

rich and famous

win or lose

sick and tired

rough and ready

quick and dirty

cut and dried

chop and change

sink or swim

crash and burn

Vocabulary

knife and fork

kés és villa

thunder and lightning

dörgés és villámlás

bits and pieces

apró-cseprő dolgok

short and sweet

meglepően gyors, lényegretörő

bread and butter

vajaskenyér

tables and chairs

asztalok és székek

shirt and tie

ing és nyakkendő

cup and saucer

csésze és csészealj

name and address

név és cím

hot and cold

meleg és hideg

rich and famous

gazdag és híres

win or lose

győzni vagy veszíteni

sick and tired of

tisztára elege van belőle

rough and ready

elnagyolt, gyorsan összecsapott, hamar (munka)

quick and dirty

gyors és mocskos

cut and dried

eldöntött, teljesen kész

chop and change

csapongani, állandóan véleményt változtatni

sink or swim

vagy megszokik, vagy megszökik

crash and burn

hirtelen dugába dől, kudarcot vall

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