Grammar Native Speakers Use (2nd) – Cliché

Recently, opportunities to use English in business have increased in Japan. English classes are also required at elementary schools, and opportunities to learn full-scale English have increased. However, there are many expressions that cannot be understood at all when you go abroad. This is because English in textbooks learned in Japan has a grammatical focus, so there are aspects that are not in line with the times. I studied in Canada when I was in high school, and I met many expressions at local high schools that I didn’t learn such expressions! Here are some common phrases used by native speakers.

Piece of cake

 ”It’s that easy!”

One of the clichés that are often used locally is “Piece of cake”. When translated literally, it means “cut cake”, but when translated, it means “breakfast”.

 Sweet and delicious cake

It is an idiom used to mean that it is easy enough to eat a sweet and delicious cake. It is used in writing. Although it rarely appears in Japanese textbooks in Japan, it is one of the expressions commonly used overseas.

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Talk of the town


This translates literally to “speaking in town” and translated to “rumored”. It is an expression used in the nuances of rumors that have recently made a lot of noise in the city, and is often used when talking about trends, news, and events that you often hear recently.

 Girlfriend who recently started dating

For example, you can use “She ’s talk of the town” when talking to a friend about her who recently started dating.

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Speak of the devil


Translated literally, it means “the story of the devil”, but it is not a story of the devil. This means “if you rumor”. It is an idiom used in the nuance that the person appears when he / she talks about someone in the shade. Of course, the person is likened to the devil.

 Just because it ’s a devil does n’t mean bad

Even in Japan, the expression “if you have rumors” is sometimes used. In English, the expression devil is used, but that doesn’t mean anything bad, and it doesn’t point to people you don’t like. One of the expressions often used overseas.

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Can’t judge a book by its cover

 It cannot be determined by appearance alone

This translates literally to “cannot be determined by the book cover alone”. It is an expression used to say that the contents of a story cannot be understood with just a cover. Surely, when you look at a book, you may find that it is a fun adventure story even with a cover that seems mediocre, or a cover that seems to be fun, but the contents are not.

 Something is far from expected!

For example, when something or someone is far from your expectations, it means “I guess I ca n’t judge a book by its cover”.

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Rip the bandage off

 Get ready!

When you peel off the bandage, it is painful. Translated literally means “Remove the bandage!” Don’t be afraid of pain when you peel off the bandage, be prepared and peel it off at once! There is a nuance.

 When giving advice

For example, let’s give advice when someone is worried about something. In such a case, you can say “You have to rip the bandage off!”

What do you think. Just knowing a few expressions that you can use in everyday conversations can boost your conversation. These expressions are used even when the times change, so please use them when you go abroad. There are many expressions that express the culture of the country in the cliché, which is interesting. These are expressions that can further enhance the conversation with native speakers.

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