Most people use more idioms in everyday speech then they realize. A well-placed idioms can make your speech much more colorful and memorable, and can help convey your point in an articulate way. However, often people mishear idioms and say them wrong without realizing. These errors then get incorporated their vocabulary. Misusing an idioms can be amusing, but it can also cause confusion and make you sound unintelligent or inarticulate. Take a look at the idioms below that people often get wrong, and see if you’re using them the right way!
Wrong: For all intensive purposes OR For all intense and purposes
Right: For all intents and purposes
How to use it: This phrase is often used to show that two things are not exactly the same, but are similar enough that they are the same in their effect. For example, the sentence, “For all intents and purposes, the proposal is ready,” would mean that the proposal is not technically completely ready, but is close enough that it could be considered ready.
Wrong: Nip it in the butt
Right: Nip it in the bud
How to use it: This means to stop something very early before it goes too far. For example: “Roger has been late twice this week. I’m going to have a conversation with him today and nip this in the bud before it becomes a habit.”
Wrong: One in the same
Right: One and the same
How to use it: Use this phrase when you want to show that two people or things which may seem different are actually the same thing. For example, “Susan’s mother and her doctor were one and the same,” would mean that Susan’s mother is also her doctor.
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