In Science By Victoria

Binomial in English (Binomials)

It’s no secret that in the English language a lot of interesting designs and phrases. Rich vocabulary — that’s fine. But knowledge is only a single language is sometimes not enough when you meet certain expressions. Those who study English for a long time, of course, faced with the phenomenon of phrasal verbs. What they feature? The fact that the meaning of the phrasal verb is often difficult to understand, relying solely on the meaning of individual words, its components. The same principle applies to the binomials in English. For example, at a certain stage of training you encounter this type of offer:

Did you make up with her? Really? I remember that she ranted and raved for some days.

Nobody liked him when he was down and out.

We’ll set off on a round-the-world cruise rain or shine.

If you try to translate these proposals, based on each word separately, the result might look like this:

You made it up to her? True? I remember that she was «pronounced rant rant» and «delirious, raging» a few days.

He does not like it when he was «falling and depressed» and «free, no.»

We went round the world cruise «rain or shine».

However, it sounds a bit «sloppy»? If we take these words as a semantic unit? If we translate the proposals in such a way, the result will be as follows:

You made it up to her? True? I remember she fumed and raged for several days.

He does not like when he was a beggar.

We went round the world cruise under any circumstances.

These phrases are the binomial in English, in other words, an expression consisting of two words joined Union. Most often this union is the word and, but not always. You can find binomial connected with words like to, or, but. It should be remembered that in the binomial in English word order is fixed.

Classification of binomials in English

The phrase, which is a binomial, consists of words having something in common with each other. Words that make binomial in English, can be synonyms or antonyms. They are linked by phonetic features — have similar sound or rhyme. Their connecting element can be grammatical aspect and reduplication (repetition of the same word).

Some binomial in English, accompanied by a translation, are presented below:

  1. Binomial, grouped on the basis of sound patterns:
    • Wine and dine — to entertain, feed, water.
    • Part and parcel — an integral part of something.
    • Prim and proper — prim, prim.
    • Rant and rave — rant and rave, to arrange high-profile stage.
    • Rough and ready — in haste, hasty, harsh.
    • Rack and ruin — complete ruin.
    • Born and bred — born and raised elsewhere.
    • Tried and true — tested, tested.
    • Feast or famine — the thick, it is empty.
    • Life and limb — life and health.
  2. Binomial, consisting of inaccurate synonyms:
    • Peace and quiet — peace and quiet.
    • First and foremost — first of all, first of all.
    • Pick and choose — to be picky, finicky.
    • Rest and recreation — recreation and entertainment.
    • Leaps and bounds — very quickly; at breakneck speed; rapidly; by leaps and bounds.
    • Null and void — lost legal force, invalid.
    • Heart and soul — with every fiber of the soul selflessly.
    • Cease and desist — stop action! (command).
    • Plain and simple — plain and simple.
    • Clean and tidy — clean and tidy.
  3. Binomial, consisting of antonyms:
    • East to west — in one direction.
    • Rank and file — the rank and file representatives (trade), ordinary members of the organization.
    • Cops and robbers — cops and robbers (the game), a movie with chases and murders.
    • Days and nights — around the clock continuously.
    • Win or lose — win or lose.
    • Hill and dale — the mountains and the valley.
    • Give and take — a compromise, exchange pleasantries, opinions, jokes.
    • High and low — everywhere, all sectors of society.
    • Mom and pop — family.
    • Life or death — a matter of life and death, the crucial question;
  4. Binomial, consisting of function words (grammar / grammatical words):
    • Up and down — the ups and downs everywhere.
    • Here and there — sometimes, in some places.
    • Down and out — robbed poor, helpless.
    • Back and forth — back and forth, back and forth.
    • Out and about — in a good shape, recover from illness.
    • To and fro — up and down, to and fro.
    • On and off — from time to time, sometimes sporadically.
    • In and out — up and down, back and forth, with varying success.
    • All in all — ultimately a whole eventually.
    • By and by — soon.
  5. Binomial, in which the words are not connected and (or do nothing connected):
    • Back to front — inside out, backwards.
    • Take it or leave it — yes or no; at your discretion; as you please.
    • Slowly but surely — slowly but surely; the quieter you go, the further you’ll get.
    • All or nothing — or nothing, all or nothing.
    • Sink or swim — it was not, come what may.
    • Sooner or later — in the end, sooner or later.
    • More or less — more or less, approximately, to one degree or another.
    • Floor to ceiling — floor to ceiling.
    • Tit for tat — tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye, a quid pro quo.
    • Never ever — never, in life.
    • Willy nilly — willy-nilly, willy-nilly.
    • Helter skelter — negligence, lightheadedness, turmoil.
  6. Binomial with repetitive words:
    • Again and again — repeatedly, over and over again.
    • Little by little — little by little, slowly, slowly.
    • Horror of horrors! — Quiet horror!
    • Wall to wall — covering the entire floor.
    • Measure for measure — an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
    • Bit by bit — step by step, slowly, slowly, slowly.
    • Day in, day out — every day, monotonously.
    • Time after time — again, more than once, all the time.
    • Live and let live — he live and not a hindrance.
    • Neck and neck — head to head, almost level.

As may be used binomial in English? Let’s look at example sentences:

She knows how to use this equipment, but she does not really understand the ins and outs of how it works. — She knows how to use this equipment, but she really does not understand how it works. (literally. — «the basics elements of work»)

Please, do not shout! I can hear you loud and clear! — Please do not yell! I hear you loud and clear!

After two days lost in the forest, all the tourists arrived home safe and sound. — After two days of wandering in the forest, all the tourists arrived home safe and sound.

When will you tidy away all your bits and pieces from our garage? — When you you gather your trash out of our garage?

My mother will be here at ten give or take five minutes. — My mom will be here in ten, plus or minus five minutes.

Of course, it’s not all binomial in English. More examples can be found on these resources:




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