When I teach people to learn English, I get them to view phrases literally, by components. So, breaking words into their smaller parts (or phrases into words into parts). For example, one of the longest words in the English dictionary as of 2013, 'Antidisestablishmentarianism'. Now, when you see it, it looks like random letters together, but looking closer you can see 'Anti' 'Dis' 'Establishment' 'arian' and 'ism'. Each of these components join together to make a meaning of bringing down an establishment, and that is what it was (19th century opposition of disestablishment of the Protestant Church as the state church of England).