Difference Between Idioms and Proverbs

Idioms vs Proverbs
 

Idioms and Proverbs are two terms used in English language that show differences between them when it comes to their usage and purpose. An idiom is a figurative expression used while writing or speaking, and it is formed by the combination of a verb and a preposition. On the other hand, a proverb is a saying that has a bearing on the ways of the world. This is the basic difference between idioms and proverbs. If we look at the usage of proverbs and idioms, idioms are mostly used to express an idea or what has happened or is happening, while proverbs are used to give advice.

What is an Idiom?

The Oxford English dictionary gives a very descriptive definition of an idiom. An idiom is “a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g. over the moon, see the light).” Let us see some of the examples of idiomatic expressions or phrases such as ‘get into’, ‘come about’, ‘live up’, ‘go into’, ‘make up’, ‘make out’, ‘run through’, ‘sit through’, ‘win over’ and ‘look into’.

He gets into problems often.

I wonder how these things came about. (happen)

He lived up to the expectations of his mother.

He will go into wilderness.

He would make up for the loss.

I cannot make out what is written on the paper.

The bowler ran through the opposition.

He sat through the examination.

It is difficult to win over anger.

He looks into the subject matter.

You can find that all the idioms mentioned above are incorporated in the sentences mentioned above with different meanings. It is thus understood that idioms give figurative meanings and are very useful in writing poetry. They are added even while communicating with others and thus, can be helpful in honing your speaking abilities.

Difference Between Idioms and Proverbs

What is a Proverb?

The definition given by the Oxford English dictionary for proverb is as follows. A proverb is “a short, well-known pithy saying, stating a general truth or piece of advice.” For better understanding of proverbs, observe these proverbs given below.

A friend in need is a friend indeed. (A real friend will be there for you in your troubles.)

Empty vessels make much noise. (It is people who are with less value that make the most racket)

Barking dog seldom bites. (People who act as if tough are not often so)

The face is the index of the mind. (From someone’s face you can understand what is going on in their minds)

All the sentences given above are proverbs, since each of them reflects the ways of life in this world. Sometimes it is easy to understand proverbs, but sometimes it is difficult because the meaning is entirely different from what the words say.

What is the difference between Idioms and Proverbs?

• An idiom is a figurative expression used while writing or speaking, and it is formed by the combination of a verb and a preposition.

• On the other hand, a proverb is a saying that has a bearing on the ways of the world. This is the basic difference between idioms and proverbs.

• Since they give figurative meanings, idioms are much used in poetry. We use them in daily life as well.

• Idioms are mostly used to express an idea or what has happened or is happening, while proverbs are used to give advice.

These are the differences between idiom and proverb.