Writing Tips

Are idioms and similes enough?

Question: My child is in Primary 3 now. Should I get him to start memorising idioms and similes so that he can include them in his compositions?

Answer: Idioms and similes form a part of the required vocabulary that each student should possess but not the whole. 

This is because a story with too many idioms and similes can only sound contrived and rather “artificial” to the reader.

Students can also be mislead into thinking that the learning of vocabulary is merely about similes and idioms, without realising that it is a vast realm which comprises of other segments like adjectives, adverbs and specific verbs. 

Like an artist who finds it necessary to be painting with different colours and strokes to create the painting, students will need to use a medley of adjectives, adverbs, verbs and idioms to create a descriptive story.

Nevertheless, it is still beneficial for students to know the common idioms and similes and make use of a sprinkling in their writing.