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During the study process, I have been attracted by – English idioms, proverbs
and expression about relationship. Idioms and proverbs are a treasure of each
country and all that I know about them is very little because of its immense
number. Due to time allowance and limited knowledge, I cannot cover all
idioms and proverbs on these issues but only focus on idioms and proverbs
related to relationship, here is a sample of discussing on them :
– The importance of relationships in life
– Subcategories of idioms and proverbs relating to relationship, such as :
friendship, love, and family.

english idioms proverbs and sayings relating to relationship
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1
Bé gi¸o dôc vµ ®µo t¹o
Tr-êng ®¹i häc d©n lËp h¶I phßng
—————–o0o—————-
Khãa luËn tèt nghiÖp
Ngµnh ngo¹i ng÷
H¶I phßng – 2009
ISO 9001:2008
2
Hai phong private university
foreign languages Department
—————–o0o—————-
Graduation paper
English idioms, proverbs and sayings
relating to relationship.
By :
NguyÔn ThÞ Thu H-êng
Class : NA901
Supervisor :
Hoµng ThÞ B¶y, M.A
Hai phong – 2009
3
Bé gi¸o dôc vµ ®µo t¹o
Tr-êng ®¹i häc d©n lËp h¶I phßng
———————————
NhiÖm vô ®Ò tµi tèt nghiÖp
Sinh viªn : ………………………………………………. M· sè :
Líp : ………………………………………………………. Ngµnh : ..
Tªn ®Ò tµi : ……………………………………………………………………………….
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………
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NhiÖm vô ®Ò tµi
1. Néi dung vµ c¸c yªu cÇu cÇn gi¶i quyÕt trong nhiÖm vô ®Ò tµi tèt nghiÖp
( VÒ lÝ luËn, thùc tiÔn, c¸c sè liÖu cÇn tÝnh to¸n vµ c¸c b¶n vÏ ).
…………………………………………………………………………………………..
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2. C¸c sè liÖu cÇn thiÕt ®Ó thiÕt kÕ, tÝnh to¸n.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………….
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3. §Þa ®iÓm thùc tËp tèt nghiÖp.
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5
C¸n bé h-íng dÉn ®Ò tµi tèt nghiÖp
Ng-êi h-íng dÉn thø nhÊt :
Hä vµ tªn: …………………………………………………………………………….
Häc hµm, häc vÞ: …………………………………………………………………….
C¬ quan c«ng t¸c: ………………………………………………………………….
Néi dung h-íng dÉn:
Ng-êi h-íng dÉn thø hai :
Hä vµ tªn: …………………………………………………………………………….
Häc hµm, häc vÞ: …………………………………………………………………….
C¬ quan c«ng t¸c: ………………………………………………………………….
Néi dung h-íng dÉn:
§Ò tµi tèt nghiÖp ®-îc giao ngµy .. th¸ng . n¨m 200
Yªu cÇu ph¶i hoµn thµnh xong tr-íc ngµy th¸ng.. n¨m 200
§· nhËn nhiÖm vô §.T.T.N
Sinh viªn
§· giao nhiÖm vô §.T.T.N
C¸n bé h-íng dÉn §.T.T.N
H¶i Phßng, ngµy……th¸ng .n¨m 200
HiÖu tr-ëng
Gs.ts.ng-t trÇn H÷u NghÞ
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PhÇn nhËn xÐt tãm t¾t cña c¸n bé h-íng dÉn
1. Tinh thÇn th¸i ®é cña sinh viªn trong qu¸ tr×nh lµm ®Ò tµi tèt nghiÖp
2. §¸nh gi¸ chÊt l-îng cña §.T.T.N ( So víi néi dung yªu cÇu ®· ®Ò ra trong
nhiÖm vô §.T.T.N trªn c¸c mÆt lÝ luËn, thùc tiÔn, tÝnh to¸n gi¸ trÞ sö dông,
chÊt l-îng b¶n vÏ )
3. Cho ®iÓm cña c¸n bé h-íng dÉn :
( §iÓm ghi b»ng sè vµ ch÷ )
H¶i Phßng, ngµy. th¸ng n¨m 2009
C¸n bé h-íng dÉn chÝnh
( Hä tªn vµ ch÷ kÝ )
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NhËn xÐt ®¸nh gi¸
cña c¸n bé chÊm Ph¶n biÖn ®Ò tµi tèt nghiÖp
1. §¸nh gi¸ chÊt l-îng ®Ò tµi tèt nghiÖp vÒ c¸c mÆt thu thËp vµ ph©n tÝch
sè liÖu ban ®Çu, c¬ së lÝ luËn chän ph-¬ng ¸n tèi -u, c¸ch tÝnh to¸n
chÊt l-îng thuyÕt minh vµ b¶n vÏ, gi¸ trÞ lÝ luËn vµ thùc tiÔn cña ®Ò tµi.
2. Cho ®iÓm cña c¸n bé ph¶n biÖn
( §iÓm ghi b»ng sè vµ ch÷ )
H¶i Phßng, ngµy th¸ng.n¨m 2009
Ng-êi chÊm ph¶n biÖn
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
* * *
In the completion of the graduation paper, I received so much help and advice
from many people that my indebtedness to them is beyond words.
First and foremost, I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to my supervisor,
Hoang Thi Bay, M.A , for her warmth and understanding which she graciously
gave me, for her energy and time which she consumed to improve and polish my
drafts, and for her criticism and encouragement, the lack of which would render
this paper impossible.
Then, I would like to thank other teachers of department of Foreign Language
for their useful lessons and materials during 4 years which construct the
background of the paper.
Last but not least, I wish to express my heart – felt gratitude to my family and
my friends, who always encouraged and supported me in the process of
completing the paper.
Hai phong, 2009
NguyÔn ThÞ Thu H-êng
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS …………………………………………………………………….. 1
PART I: INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………… 3
1. Rationale …………………………………………………………………………………. 3
2. Scope of the study …………………………………………………………………….. 4
3. Aims of the study …………………………………………………………….. 4
4. Method of the study ………………………………………………………………….. 5
5. Design of the study …………………………………………………………… 5
PART II: DEVELOPMENT ………………………………………………………………. 7
CHAPTER I: GENERAL THEORetICAL BACKGROUND …………… 7
I. Idioms versus proverbs ……………………………………………………………… 7
1. An overview of proverb …………………………………………………………… 7
1.1. Definition of proverb …………………………………………………. 7
1.2. Some common features of proverb …………………………………. 10
2. An overview of idiom ……………………………………………………………… 10
2.1. Definition of idiom ……………………………………………………. 10
2.2. Some common features of idiom ………………………………………… 12
3. The distinction between idioms and proverbs………………………….. 13
3.1. English idioms and proverbs ………………………………………… 13
3.2. Vietnamese idioms and proverbs …………………………………… 14
4. Similarities and differences between English and Vietnamese idioms
and proverbs …………………………………………………………………………… 15
4.1. Similarities ……………………………………………………………… 15
4.2. Differences ………………………………………………………………………. 17
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CHAPTER II: ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE IDIOMS, PROVERBS
and sayings RELATING TO RELATIONSHIP ……………………………. 19
I. The importance of relationship in life …………………………………………… 19
II. Subcategories of idioms and proverbs relating to relationship ……… 22
1. Proverbs and idioms relating to friendship ……………………………… 22
1.1. Definition of friendship ……………………………………………… 22
1.2. Proverbs and idioms relating to true friendship …………………. 25
1.3. Proverbs and idioms relating to bad friendship …………………. 32
1.4. Advice for friendship …………………………………………………. 35
2. Proverbs and idioms relating to love ……………………………………. 37
2.1. Definition of love ……………………………………………………… 37
2.2. Proverbs and idioms relating to the challenges of love ………… 39
2.3. Proverbs and idioms relating to the power of love ……………… 43
3. Proverbs and idioms relating to family ………………………………… 46
3.1. Proverbs and idioms relating to relationship between husband
and wife …………………………………………………………………. 46
3.2. Proverbs and idioms relating to relationship between parents
and children …………………………………………………………… 49
CHAPTER III: SOME DIFFICULTIES FOR LEARNER OF ENGLISH
WHEN STUDYING IDIOMS AND PROVERBS ……………………………….. 52
I. Some difficulties in studying idioms and proverbs ……………………… 52
II. Suggested solutions …………………………………………………………… 52
PART III: CONCLUSIon …………………………………………………………. 54
REFERENCE ……………………………………………………………………………………. 55
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PART I: INTRODUCTION
1. Rationale
Nowadays, English is the most widely used in the world and plays an important
role together with the development of society and technologies. English is not
only the effective means of communication but also show its progressive effects
in many aspects of life.
Practically, study on the similarities and differences between the two languages
and cultures English and Vietnamese has been one of my concerns when
studying English at university. It is clear that there are many differences
between the two languages of as those in grammar, lexicology, translation,
phonetic and so on. However there still exists plenty of similarities and
differences between English and Vietnamese that can be demonstrated through
metaphorical meaning especially in literature, idioms and proverbs expression.
This study of English idioms and proverbs has been traditionally associated with
the study of literature, the use of idioms and proverbs is not restricted to this
kind of language. A good understanding of how idioms and proverbs are used in
everyday language is not only important for students of English to increase our
vocabulary, but also to understand new and original idioms and proverbs when
we hear or speak them.
However, what I want to express here it that idioms and proverbs are the genius
of national language that is the key to help learners know more about nation, as
well as custom and culture of each country all over the world. Therefore, it is a
must to me to study idioms and proverbs related to relationships that have made
a deep expression on me for a long time because, I myself find it so interesting
that the relationships not only reflect the concepts but also refer the
characteristic of person and society. Most languages make use of idioms and
proverbs but the way individual words used varies from one language to another
and each languages has its own system and that they cannot always transfer the
metaphorical use of a word from one language to another.
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Importantly, idioms and proverbs help learners see the interest, the beauty as
well as the culture color of language which help learners use and understand
correctly and clearly. I hope that learners will understand about idioms and
proverbs in English especially idioms and proverbs relating to relationship that
is also the main reason motivating me to carry out this research.
2. Scope of the study
During the study process, I have been attracted by – English idioms, proverbs
and expression about relationship. Idioms and proverbs are a treasure of each
country and all that I know about them is very little because of its immense
number. Due to time allowance and limited knowledge, I cannot cover all
idioms and proverbs on these issues but only focus on idioms and proverbs
related to relationship, here is a sample of discussing on them :
– The importance of relationships in life
– Subcategories of idioms and proverbs relating to relationship, such as :
friendship, love, and family.
3. Aims of the study
Being aware of the fact that idioms and proverbs are extremely difficult topic
and merely well- understood by foreign English learners and even if native
speakers of English who take the idioms and proverbs for granted because when
they use idioms and proverbs, they don’t know what they are using them,
however, appreciate the idioms and proverbs associated to attitude and behavior
of the speakers. So when they hear foreigners make grammatical or
pronunciation mistakes, they are quite willing to accept and understand them.
But if inappropriate idioms and proverbs are used then, they might not
understand what that person means and that leads to a misunderstanding and
boring conversation. Therefore, my research is aimed at :
– Giving the knowledge of relationship idioms and proverbs.
– Distinguishing different kinds of relationship idioms and proverbs.
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– Raising the learner’s awareness of the existence of relationship idioms
and proverbs and the effects using them on communication.
– Helping the learners use right idioms and proverbs in right situation.
– Comparing and contrasting the meaning and usage of some certain
English idioms and proverbs about relationship with Vietnamese ones to
find the similarities and differences, so that readers can understand more
about culture, society, as well as people of these two countries.
4. Method of the study
In order to learn English idioms and proverbs relating to relationship and
Vietnamese equivalence better, with a hope that learners could see the role of
idioms and proverbs in life, the following methods are used in the studying
process:
– First, having discussion with the supervisor, experts and friends
– Besides, idioms were collected from dictionary to get valuable knowledge
for this paper.
– Furthermore, information related to the research paper from websites was
also looked into in order to complete this research successfully.
– Finally, I will analyze and compare these idioms and proverbs.
5. Design of the study
This paper provides a clear organization consisting three main parts that help an
easy exploration and practical benefits gained for readers as well.
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Development
Chapter 1: Theoretical background of English and Vietnamese idioms
and proverbs : some definitions of idioms and proverbs, how idioms
versus proverbs, the differences and similarities between English and
Vietnamese idioms and proverbs, the popularity of idioms and proverbs.
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Chapter 2: Relationship idioms and proverbs in English and Vietnamese
equivalences. In this chapter some certain idiom and proverb are analyzed
according to subcategories of idioms and proverbs relating to relationship.
Chapter 3: Some difficulties for learner of English when studying idioms
and proverbs
Part 3: Conclusion
Conclusion which restates the knowledge mentioned through three chapters
above.
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PART II: DEVELOPMENT
CHAPTER I: GENERAL THEORetICAL BACKGROUND
I. Idioms versus proverbs
Before researching to detail the use and the meaning of idioms and proverbs
related to relationship, it is important to understand the history and the use of
idioms and proverbs in daily life. Idioms and proverbs are considered as special
units of each language. They reflect honestly and exactly history, experience,
spiritual values, religious opinions and of people. So what is idiom, proverb?
How can we distinguish between them? And what are differences between
English and Vietnamese idioms and proverbs?
1. An overview of proverb
1.1. Definition of proverb
Proverbs are used by speakers for a variety of purposes. Sometimes they are used
as a way of saying something gently, in a veiled way (Obeng 1996). Other times,
they are used to carry more weight in a discussion, a weak person is able to
enlist the tradition of the ancestors to support his position. Proverbs can also be
used to simply make a conversation/discussion more lively. In many parts of the
world, the use of proverbs is a mark of being a good orator.
The study of proverbs has application in a number of fields. Clearly, those who
study folklore and literature are interested in them, but scholars from a variety of
fields have found ways to profitably incorporate the study proverbs. For
example, they have been used to study abstract reasoning of children,
acculturation of immigrants, intelligence, the differing mental processes in
mental illness, cultural themes, etc. Proverbs have also been incorporated into
the strategies of social workers, teachers, preachers, and even politicians.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” When you hear or read the words just
cited, you will readily recognize that you have encountered a proverb. You
should also find it quite easy to recall additional instances of this literary or,
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perhaps better, protoliterary genre. Does this mean that you (or anybody else)
can easily say what proverbs are? Hardly so, and numerous proverb scholars
have in fact despaired of the task of defining the familiar subject matter of their
expertise. In Archer Taylor’s formulation of 1931, “the definition of a proverb is
too difficult to repay the undertaking[]. An incommunicable quality tells us
this sentence is proverbial and that is not” (The Proverb 3). In a well-informed
encyclopaedia article of 1994, Peter Grzybek still concludes: “There is no
generally accepted definition which covers all specifics of the proverbial genre”
(Simple Forms 227). Recognizing the contested character of all expert
definitions, Wolfgang Mieder performed the interesting experiment of aski

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