60 Incredibly Useful Phrases for Fluent English Conversation (Binomials)

Now first and foremost I want to tell
you about a way of expression that native English speakers use time and
time again but are much, much less used by learners of English I am of course
talking about binomials or binomial pairs now I will say this loud and clear
if you are learning English and you want to sound fluent, even if you’re not
fluent, you should start using them. It is after all part and parcel of the English
language from Shakespeare to Lady Gaga everyone uses binomials and
sooner or later, in order to reach an advanced level, little by little and step
by step, you have to start adding them to your conversation as soon as you do
native English speakers will think “wow this person speaks English good and
proper he or she is using binomials”, ok that’s a slight exaggeration because
even though they use them all the time I don’t think native speakers know the
linguistic term binomial pairs unless you’re a nerdy English teacher
like me but after this video you will because today we are going to get to the
nitty-gritty of binomials you’re going to learn 60 of them give or take
one or two but I’ll keep it short and sweet
so please, take a moment away from the hustle and bustle of your daily life to
study this important lesson because it’s now or never
so stay tuned Hello and welcome to letThemTalk and
today we’re going to talk all about binomials so think of them as kind of a
library of short fixed expressions usually in pairs but sometimes with
three or four words which are often joined with AND such as “loud and clear”, “I
hear you loud and clear” or OR such as “take it or leave it”, “this is my final
offer you can take it or leave it” though there are other forms too and we’ll look
at that. the human brain is far too lazy and limited to invent original
expressions for every conversation when we communicate we usually follow a
formula which borrows heavily from pre-existing terms so when native
speakers are communicating they will pepper their expression with binomial
pairs which are clear, short and understood by everyone. Did you know that
binomials are just as common in English as phrasal verbs? that’s right so do use
them. So let’s have a look at some different types of binomials first of
all binomial word order is generally fixed so, for example, you can say “rise
and shine”, “wake up now it’s already 9:00 a.m. rise
and shine” but you cannot say “shine and rise” that doesn’t mean anything.
Binomials can contain nouns for example “flesh and blood” which means a relation
or a member of the family for example “I know he’s rude and cruel but I can’t
abandon Tommy he’s my brother is my flesh blood”. They can use verbs for
example “sink-or-swim” which means either you fail or you succeed, for example, “new
businesses entering the market don’t get any help from anybody
so it’s sink or swim”, or adjectives for example “sick and tired” which means to be
fed up of something or someone “every time we meet you at least 20 minutes
late I’m sick and tired of it”. Now let’s have a look at the sound patterns
that most binomials fall into first of all you have rhyming binomials such as
“mumbo jumbo”, “astrology is just a load of mumbo jumbo”, “culture vulture”, “she goes to
the museum, the opera, the theater something like that every day
she’s such a culture vulture”. “Wine and dine”, “our hosts were very kind they wined
and dined us throughout our stay”. You have alliterations where the first
letter or sounds in the phrase is the same as the second one for example you
“live and learn” from “rags to riches”, “this is a story of rags to riches from a poor
child in the ghetto to a multi-million dollar business empire”. I guess you could
reverse this one a tale of riches to rags when you you start off rich and end
up poor but almost all the time you can’t reverse then “tried and tested”,
“wearing a helmet is a tried and tested way of making a bike journey safer so
you do it”. Next we have repeating the same
word. “time after time”, “you make the same mistake time after time”.
“Let bygones be bygones”, “the argument we had happened over 10 years ago let
bygones be bygones and let’s be friends again”. “All in all”, “all in all this is the
best smartphone on the market”. Now as well as binomials which have two main
words you do have trinomials for example “beg steal and borrow”, “I will
do anything to make you happy I will beg steal and borrow”. “Tom Dick or Harry”, “look
ask any Tom Dick or Harry and they will tell you broccoli is good for you why do
you think you know better”. “(Any) way shape or form”, “no absolutely not you cannot be
part of this organization in any way shape or form”. What’s interesting is that
some words that are obsolete in genuine English are still used and understood
when they are used as a binomial pair so for example “spick-and-span” which means
very clean or tidy “when I get back I want this house looking spick and span”
However the words spick and span separately are not used in modern
English they are archaic by “hook or by crook”,
“by hook or by crook I’ll find out the name of the person who betrayed me”.
so we are more or less halfway through so let’s go through a few more binomials
so we can reach the magic figure of 60 that I promised to teach you let’s
go. “By and large”, “by and large, pigs are more intelligent than dogs”
it’s true by the way so love dogs but love the pigs too. “Tall dark and handsome”,
“Detective Smart was tall dark and handsome and about 30 years old”.
“Safe and sound”, “Oh there you are, it’s late I was worried about you I’m glad
you are safe and sound.” “Ups and downs”, “life has its ups and downs
there are joyful times but difficult moments too”. “Pure and simple”, “you are the
best pure and simple” “Pride and joy”, “Our new grandson is our
pride and joy”. “Now and then”, “now and then I wonder what life would have been like
if I had stayed in Scotland”. “Back and forth”, “grandmother sat in her rocking
chair swaying back and forth all evening”. like that. “Wear and tear”, “The uniform
needs to be replaced every couple of years because of wear and tear”. “Down and
out”, “after his wife ran off with the butcher and he lost his job at the post
office he ended up down and OUT (*not about) asking
passers-by for spare change in the city centre”. “Tooth and nail”, “I will fight this
case tooth and nail in the court until I am proved innocent”. “High and dry”, “when the
principal actress got sick at the last minute without a replacement the theatre
was left high and dry”. “Law and order”, “after the Revolution
there was a complete breakdown in law and order”. “Odds and ends”, “I’ll be back
soon I’ve just got a few odds and ends to finish up at the office”.
“Odds and ends” can also refer to an assortment of small things for example
“in this box I keep the odds and ends I need for sewing”
“Song and dance”, “ok the spoon was dirty sorry but it’s
not that serious don’t make a song and dance about it”. “An arm and a leg”, “My new
car is my pride and joy but it cost me an arm and a leg”. “Tit for tat”, “Jane didn’t
come to Sara’s birthday party and now sara has not invited Jane to her wedding
it’s clearly a case of tit for tat”. “Black and white”, now this also has two meanings
so “free trade is not a black and white issue there are advantages and
disadvantages”, “you have no excuses the rules were written in black and white
before you started”. “Done and dusted”, “now the deal is done and dusted we can go
out and celebrate”. “Far and wide”, “we have looked far and wide for a replacement
but so far without success”. “Pros and cons”, “there are pros and cons of living in a
big city”. “(Any) ifs and buts”, “now I don’t want to hear any ifs and buts just do what I
told you to do”. “Born and bred”, “I’m a Londoner born and
bred”. “Rough and ready”, “the accommodation in the village was rough and ready but
it was good enough for our needs”. “Through thick and thin”,
“My wife has stood by me for over 30 years through thick and thin”. Now
it’s your turn write a sentence using a binomial in the comments and I want no
Ifs and bats from you just do it don’t make us some dance bout it I’ve been with you
through thick and thin dear viewer but now it’s time to rise and shine I don’t
want any mumbo-jumbo though …

100 thoughts on “60 Incredibly Useful Phrases for Fluent English Conversation (Binomials)

  1. Please make videos on the usage of might have been, may have been ,must have been with their ing form

  2. "You speak English good and proper" doesn't sound grammatical to me. Is it idiomatic? Shouldn't it be: "well and properly"? Or you could say "you speak good and proper English". Correct me if I'm wrong.

  3. You made your point "loud & clear" in a "good & proper" way that binomials are "part & parcel" of the language fluency. One have to use them "sooner or later" or he will find himself on the side of majority. The best way is to learn them "step by step" & practice "time after time".

  4. In love with this video , teachers are the best to explain and generate interest . Looking for more of this king 🙂

  5. You are very Calm and Collected and therefore a great teacher! Thank you.

  6. This English doesn't know the difference between good and well.

  7. obsolete group: LOCK STOCK AND BARREL
    can we use 'tall, dark and handsome'' to describe someone who is short, or someone very fair?

  8. Really simple, nice and effective with perfect pace and sentence formation. Well done ..!

  9. Ur video was far and wide the best in that short period of time

  10. This video was very exciting to watch. Properly used, the learning is for sure, to make one rise & shine👍

  11. Gosh, he is BORING. For something this simple, he really knows how to drag it on.

    He is a teacher? I feel sorry for his students. I will bet they have to fight off the urge to pass out with every mind-numbing word coming out of his mouth.

  12. Too much talking before i heard a binomial way past 3.00. Sick and tired.

  13. These crisp and short binomials will certainly make one sound natural when speaking English! Your explanation of them was clear and unambiguous! Thanks!

  14. Of course, I heard you loud & clear, but In Burbank, CA.there's an omelette restaurant named "Eat & Park." No one would remember it if they'd used a binomial pair. All the same, any Tom, Dick, & Harry who had eaten there would remember the great selection of omelettes (as well as their VERY short hours), Cheers!

  15. My wife stands beside me in thick and thin
    In my work I don't like ifs and buts

  16. Could an American speaker confirm that all these binomials are also used in American English? If not, which ones are not used?

  17. big like for this lesson 👍 。 Soon I will have a wedding, I am not going to invite Tom, Dick or Harry 😀

  18. When all is said and done this is one of the most important lessons I have ever taken

  19. 7:11 Isn't "Beg, borrow or steal " the correct one… meaning any hook or by crook getting it done.

  20. The English language is Unique Ambiguously rich in idioms and Sacasm I absolutely love the English language

  21. Dear Teacher, there is a mistake in your spelling at 1:27, it should be approximately. From your student

  22. Please watch it at 1.25x speed if you're not a beginner or even if you're. With all due respect to Sir.

  23. I’m a native English speaker. I never knew those phrases had an actual name! Shame your subtitles covered over the meanings.

  24. May I ask you a question sir? Are these phrases as common in the US as they are in England? Thank you for your effort. Much appreciated!

  25. As an American, I've never hear "tried and tested" before…

    The American pair would be "tried and true".

  26. I've forgotten most of these and to be honest, as a native speaker, I'm not sure that the bi and tri nomials are used as often as you suggest.

  27. @1:15 Unless you’re a nerdy English teacher like I AM not like ME
    #IamAnerdyEnglishTeacher #sorrynotsorry 🤷🏻‍♀️

  28. Thanks so much for these exceptionally informative and useful lessons, they do help me a lot!

  29. I'm sick and tired of all the mumbo jumbo on the internet, with all the hustle and bustle and people fighting tooth and nail in the commands.
    But this video was live and learn to me. First and foremost I liked your presentation which was loud and clear. The nitty gritty part was that you kept it pure and simple.
    I was born and bred in the Netherlands and with this teaching little by little and step by step my English will become good and proper until sooner or later I will so much sound like a native speaker that even my own flesh and blood won't recognize me.
    But all in all and by and large, to make this command short and sweet, I've tried and tested the binomial pairs in this command far and wide but maybe I've overdone it a little 😋

  30. Why is "Every" often used at the beginning of "now and then" ? That would produce the meaning "every sometimes" (which doesn't sound too good)


  32. Wow very instructive thank you very much we would like to see more of these videos.

  33. I never heard "Song and dance" otherwise, I am pretty familiar with the rest of them. However, I learnt the word "binomial" first time in Maths class.

  34. Best video ever! There are of course pros n cons of such videos but I will surely watch them time after time. Thanks for the binomials n trinomials too.

  35. i actually know all these expressions but I never use them. I m always thinking: i dont want to sound more English than I am, since I am not. lol….maybe I should start?

  36. There's quite a lot material, I probably should revisit it from time to time

  37. Ask any Tom, Dick or Harry what's the best English learning channel on whole YouTube? It's obviously LetThemTalk, pure and simple

  38. sing and song/a way of speaking in which the sound of your voice rises and falls in a pattern

  39. Best friends are those people who stand by you through thick and thin. Lectures should be loud and clear.They speak Spanish good and proper. Sometimes I get tired of hustle and bustle of city life. Tall talks are just mumbo jumbo that waste time. Singapore is the most spick and span country in the world. City life is not totally safe and sound. i give my clothes to needy people before they wear and tear. I will fight tooth and nail until I get what I deserve out of this life. Law and order has no value in my country. Now and then people make song and dance about small matter. Best way for tit for tat is to move on and let karma do the job. Project is done and dusted,so now I can get my pay check. Market economy has its pros and cons.

  40. K. L.
    U R so culture multure!!!!!!)))
    In Russian we say culture multure ( and just discovered londoners use culture vultures)


  41. I 've been here. I am talking to the walls of my home. So makes no difference in truth.

  42. hi sr.. very usefull class 🙂 . It is possible to use gerunds on the binomials?

  43. English Subtiles appears over the yellow banner with explanations

  44. "Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered" is the title of a song, but is it also a trinomial?

  45. Thanks a lot for sharing the wisdom. Truly refreshing and rewarding,Sir. Great (Ravi)

  46. binomials: an algebraic expression of the sum or the difference of two terms.

  47. binomials: a two-part name, especially the Latin name of a species of living organism (consisting of the genus followed by the specific epithet).

  48. British tried to invade India by hook and crook. I am trying to learn English by tooth and nail. Good friends stand by you through thick and thin. Market economy has pros and cons.

  49. Your lessons are really helping me to keep me tuned with English after years of not practicing! Picking up expressions is as useful as sliced bread! Thanks a lot!

  50. It would be great, if you wrote list of binomials from the video in the description or in the comments.
    P.S. thanks for such a lovely content

  51. A lots of them have the exact translation in French for french learners ☺️
    Step by step pas à pas
    More or less plus ou moins
    Take it or leave it à prendre ou laisser
    Flesh and blood ma chair et mon sang
    Little by little petit à petit
    Now and never maintenant ou jamais
    Sooner or later tôt ou tard

    And the equivalent of them in French like
    Mumbo jumbo charabia
    Sink or swim marche ou crève
    Loud and clear Haut et fort
    Short and sweet bref et concis
    Hustle and bustle tohu-bohu
    Tom Dick or Harry Pierre Paul Jacques
    By hook or by crook par tous les moyens
    Song and dance pas de quoi fouetter un chat
    An Arm and leg couter un bras
    Pure and simple purement et simplement
    Down and about sans le sou
    Tooth and nail becs et ongles
    Black and white écrit noir sur blanc
    No ifs and buts pas de mais ceci mais cela
    Born and bred vécu et grandit
    Through thick and thin contre vents et marées

  52. Interesting the comparaison between an Island culture "sink or swim" and a continental culture "marche ou crève"…thank you so much for this caviar galore. cheers AH

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