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Grammar lesson – What are binomials?

03.02.2016

G’day Guys,Matt2

It’s Matt here, Director of Studies of Langports Brisbane. In previous blogs, we’ve looked at different aspects of English, such as phrasal verbs, conditionals and slang.
Today, we’re going to look at an area of English called binomials.

Binomials are a small but fascinating part of the English language. They are a *fixed expression* where two words are joined by a conjunction or preposition. The majority of binomials are connected using ‘and’. For example:

  • rock and roll
  • fish and chips
  • now and then

However, some binomials use ‘by’ as a connector:

  • side by side

Where other binomials use ‘or’

  • sooner or later

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*The main rule when using binomials is that you cannot change the order of the words. So, I can say rock and roll and sound like a native speaker, but if I said roll and rock, people would look at me and think I was from Mars!

Example:
Before coming to Australia, it’s important to think about the pros and cons (the advantages and disadvantages) of living in another country. Once you are safe and sound (no problems/dramas) in Australia, you are going to have some ups and downs (good times and not so good times!), but more or less (almost all) every Langports student has a great experience. It’s important to have some peace and quiet (relaxation time) during your study, or you might get sick and tired (bored!) of learning English! As you continue to study, little by little (gradually) you will improve your English Remember, learning a language is not always going to be all or nothing (100% or 0%) but rather a step by step (progressing steadily) journey.

 

Okay, so some of you out there are thinking “Binomials, got it. This is easy!’’. Well, if you really want to impress a native speaker, you can try and throw a trinomial into your conversation and watch your English go up, up and away. However that’s a conversation for another day……

Until the next time,

Matt

 

If you would like some more study tips, please have a look at our other blogs with English Tipshttps://www.langports.com/category/english-tips/

Or if you are interested in finding more about living in Australia, please have a look at our other blogs: https://www.langports.com/category/living-traveling-in-australia/