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Common American Phrases

Common American Phrases.

Common American Phrases

This dictionary is a collection of more than 2,100 everyday sentences and utterances that Americans use over and over in their greetings, good-byes, and everyday small talk. The third edition has been enlarged and updated to include the latest contemporary, high-frequency conversational idioms. Whereas it is true that there is an infinite number of possible sentences in any language, it is also true that some of those sentences are used repeatedly from day to day. The effective use of language is not in being able to create and understand an infinite number of sentences but in knowing and using the right sentence in the right way in a given context. Nonnative speakers of English have found the first two editions extremely useful for unraveling the shortened sentences and sentence fragments that they hear in personal encounters, both formal and informal. The kinds of expressions recorded in this collection include complete sentences as well as sentence fragments and phrases. In many instances, fragments are punctuated as complete sentences (initial capital letter and terminal punctuation) because such utterances can stand alone just like complete sentences. Phrases and fragments that are always included or imbedded in other sentences do not have initial and terminal punctuation. The utterances here are presented without profanity, swearing, or slang unless the latter is a necessary part of the utterance. Depending, on age, class, context, and personal choice, actual use of these entries may be replete with profanity, swearing, and slang. The style of the typical entry and the examples is highly colloquial. Many of the examples express joking, anger, and sarcasm. In general, this is not the type of language that one would choose to write, unless one were writing dialogue for a script. It is the type of language that one hears every day and needs to understand, however. This collection is not only a dictionary but also a resource for the learning of these expressions. The user is encouraged not only to use the dictionary as a reference book but also to read it from cover to cover. An index of key words is included that allows the user to find the full form of a phrase by looking up any major word in the phrase.

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