The month of July is just around the corner and things are only going to get hotter here in Atlanta! Here are a couple English idioms (expressions) which relate to the July heat (and also refer to the winter cold, which is the opposite).
“A cold day in July”
A cold day in July is almost impossible in the United States, especially if you live in the southern states. This idiom is used when we think something is pretty much impossible.
“It’ll be a cold day in July before my boss gives me the raise I want!”
“Christmas in July”
As you may know, many Americans celebrate Christmas and buy many gifts for their friends and family. But sometimes you might get many gifts at another time, for example your birthday. If you get many gifts or money at another time of the year, you might say “it was like Christmas in July.” Yes, you can say this even when it isn’t exactly July!
Since the 1960s, computers have been able to store and analyze increasingly large amounts of data. Today, we can take all the words found in books, newspapers, magazines, and more, and store them in a database. What’s more, we can also do this with spoken language (although the process of converting it to text and storing it is more difficult).
Large collections of language, used for studying and analyzing the language, are called corpora. One collection is called a corpus. A good corpus which can give us reliable information about a language needs to be based on millions of words. The largest American corpus today consists of over 520 million words (http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/). In Britain, several exist containing over a billion words!
Most corpora of American (and British) English say the same thing: the most common word in English is the.
So it is not surprising: If we ask “What is the most common word in English?” we will see the word the in the question itself!!
What are some other very frequent words? And, be, of, to, a/an, in, have, that, I, are just some of the most common words which we are sure you already know!