Сопоставительная оценка в английских фразеологических единицах

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В статье рассматривается сравнительная оценка идиом, отличающаяся по ряду признаков в ту или иную сторону, что привлекло внимание многих лингвистов.

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Modern English uses many short comparisons in order to make language vivid and clear.

Comparative evaluation differs in a number of features in one way or another, and that drew attention of many linguists. Two values are inherent in semantics of comparative degree: it is «more» and «more or less» with depend on its from value is peculiar to simple comparative degree only «more» and different from values has «more or less» thanks to semantics of auxiliary words and it is important at what language level questions on semantics of members of paradigm of comparative degree are solved.

In sciences there are some definitions of comparative degree:

  1. Comparison is the form of an adjective designating that the qualitative sign named it is presented in a great degree, than the same sign named the form of positive degree;
  2. Degree of comparison a grammatical category of qualitative adjectives and the adverbs, expressing a relative difference or the superiority in the quality inherent in subjects or action;
  3. Comparison — a grammatical category of an adjective and an adverb designating the big degree of display of a sign in comparison with the same sign named in positive degree.

The analysis of results of researches of some works in the field of word formation and also the analysis of dictionary Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (DCE) by means of a method of dictionary definitions allow to draw a conclusion that in modern English language there is a system of various word formation means for value expression, including comparative idioms.

Considerable part of comparative additions denote colour evaluation:

  • as black as soot;
  • as black as coal.

These three are used of something dirty, for example, a child’s face, heads, clothes, etc., usually after playing, fighting, etc.:

  • as black as pitch;
  • as black as midnight;
  • as black as ink.

These three are used of something dark, for example a room, a cellar, a road or street without light.

  • as black as jet.

This is used descriptively of hair or an object.

  • as brown as a berry.

Used of people who have a tanned skin after sunbathing.

  • as green as grass.

Used of an ill-tempered person.

  • as red as a beetroot;
  • as red as fire.

These two are used of a person who blushes or becomes flushed with anger embarrassment etc.

  • as red as blood;
  • as red as a cherry;
  • as red as a rose.

This three are used to describe the special color of things.

  • as white as a snow.

Used to describe the cleanliness or hue of the color.

  • as white as sheet;

Used of the colour of the face of a person who has turned pale after a shock or bright.

As yellow as a guinea;

This is used of colour of the face of a person when he is being ill.

Colour is probably the brightest visual quality perceived by the person and having its paramount value for evaluation.

There is a number of nouns having in structure of the value of the «distinction» (difference) or oppositions (contrast comparison). Value of similarity or full conformity, identity.

In process of derivation of word meanings from in detail focused sings, it joins associative communications character associations arise in consciousness thanks to action of the analogy switching associative communications. Names in which basic associations have abstract semantics, for example dog-poor- the beggar; Poor as a dog — very poor, stone –deaf — absolutely deaf, as deaf as stone.

Let’s notice that difficult adjectives with such semantics practically do not meet. The given semantic theme is realized at level of other lexical or syntactic units, for example:

  • as poor as a church mouse;
  • as poor as a stub;
  • as deaf as a black grouse.

The circle of objects for interpretation of things of the deaf person, blind old ancient cheap considerably differs in language system. Studying comparison turns is competent as from the point of view of variety of formal means or expressions of comparison and from the point of view synonymic variation of semantic of comparison. Such character research in language was spent and time and again. However in a shade share where phraseological units with comparative value.

Comparative degree or, as we’d rather call it, evaluation, has not only syntactic and morphological, but also phraseological display.

Following the given logic comparative idioms can be considered as the special type of phraseological units processing rich system of means of expression of degree and comparison that allows them to act as an effective remedy of speech influence in the discourse system.

There is a classification where we find groups of idioms associated with domestic and wild animals and birds, agriculture and cooking.

They are:

Idioms associated with domestic animals
  • as fat as a pig — fat person;
  • as greedy as a dog — person who eats more than he needs;
  • as gentle as lamb — well behaved child;
  • as harmless as a kitten — kind person;
  • as patient as an ox — uncomplaining man;
  • as mute as mouse — calm person or animal;
  • as poor as church mouse — poor;
  • as silly as a goose; crazy person;
  • as strong as horse — healthy;
  • as stupid as donkey — crazy;
  • as weake as a cat — person who cannot do anything.
Idioms associated with wild animals
  • as bold as a lion — brave;
  • as cold as a frog — person who shows no emotion or little feeling;
  • as dumb as a fish — stupid person;
  • as gruff as bear — ill tempered;
  • as fierce as a tiger — furious;
  • as greedy as wolf — person who eats more than he needs;
  • as timed as a rabbit — fain — hearted;
  • as tricky as a monkey — sly bad;
  • as wet as a drowned rat — person whose clothes have got very wet.
Idioms associated with birds
  • as blind as a bet — bad eye sighted person;
  • as gaudy as a peacock — used of the extremely colourful way in which someone dresses;
  • as free as a bird — a person or animal with free meaning hot restricted;
  • as innocent as a dove — without guilty;
  • as proud as a peacock — used of the way a person dresses, acts, speakers, etc;
  • as busy as a bee — laborious person.
Idioms associated with agriculture
  • as bright as button;
  • as cold as blue blazes;
  • as cross as two stick;
  • as daft as a brush;
  • as deaf as apost;
  • as safe as the bank of England;
  • as right as nine pence;
  • as smooth as silk.
Idioms associated with cooking
  • as easy as pie;
  • as dry as a bone;
  • as cool as a cucumber;
  • as cold as ice;
  • as brown as a berry;
  • as fit as a butchers dog;
  • as flat as a pancake;
  • as mild as milk;
  • as sure as eggs;
  • as sweet as a nut.

There also numerous idioms drown from sport art etc.

So studying value of phraseological units and their pragmatical potential specifies in that fact that intensity of phraseological as levers on the listener communicates not with any quantitative qualification of the phenomenon but only with which shows a deviation from norm the author explains this statement on a following example.

Women jump to conclusion that man do not.

Expression to jump to conclusion characterizes as considers A.F. Artemova one of the lines inherent in women which unlike men, not always come to the correct conclusion and not always think of made action often giving in to any impulses. Comparing to come to conclusion with phraseological units to temp to conclusion it is possible to interpret in aspect of degree of measure as to come conclusion very quickly.

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Список литературы

  1. Akhmanova O.S. Lexicology: Theory and Method. M. 1972 -Arnold I.V. The English Word. M. 1986.
  2. Burchfield R.W. The English Language. Lnd.,1985
  3. Canon G. Historical Changes and English Word formation: New Vocabulary items. N.Y., 1986.
  4. Ginzburg R.S. et al. A Course in Modem English Lexicology. M., 1979


Тулкинова, С.А. Сопоставительная оценка в английских фразеологических единицах / С.А. Тулкинова. — Текст : электронный // NovaInfo, 2022. — № 131. — С. 61-63. — URL: https://novainfo.ru/article/19044 (дата обращения: 05.10.2022).