Do native speakers tell this idiom now? " It rains cats and dogs". I met this idiom in many textbooks but I heard that in modern life it is not used, is it?
Aug 26, 2014 11:54 AM
Answers · 11
Say, not tell. We still say "it's raining cats and dogs", even though some might think it's a cliché. Either way, we all know this idiom well and recognise it.
August 26, 2014
The idiom is 'It's raining cats and dogs', and your question should be: 'Do native speakers use this idiom (nowadays)?' And the answer is - not really. English language textbooks love this expression, and whenever anyone brings up the subject of English idioms, or asks for examples of idioms, this one is always first on the list. However, the truth of the matter is that we don't really use it. We are all aware of it, and native speaker teachers will often eagerly teach this to students as an example of how funny our expressions are, but you never actually hear it in everyday speech. I've never said this in my life, and probably never will. A more normal expression would simply be, for example: 'It's absolutely pouring down' or 'It's really tipping down'.
August 26, 2014
Well I have heard several people say its raining cats and dogs, I also say it too, maybe its an older generation thing! But mostly as tongue in cheek. I have heard its tipping down when I was in England. Here we say, its pouring down, and a Scottish one, It's a real dreich day. It's pelting down.
August 26, 2014
Thanks for your comment, Claire. As it happens, we are in the middle of a torrential downpour at the moment where I am. Out of curiosity, I probed my son to see if he could think of an idiom to describe the weather. After much prompting on my part and claims that he couldn't think of any on his, he finally came up with: 'Bucketing down'. I think this proves our point.
August 26, 2014
That could well be the case, Dave. 'Tipping down' is possibly more colloquial GB English. I was hoping that other members would provide Tatiana with some other local variations. I love your 'toads and snakes' expression, by the way.
August 26, 2014
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