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Dreamy Expressions

For many people, sleep means dream time. (This 2021 photo comes from SleepScore Labs, a sleep research group.)
For many people, sleep means dream time. (This 2021 photo comes from SleepScore Labs, a sleep research group.)
Dreamy Expressions
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And now, Words and Their Stories, from VOA Learning English.

On this program we explore words and expressions in the English language.

If you love learning English expressions and want to speak like a native English speaker, this might just be your dream show. But I would not dream of saying it is the only show. That would be shamelessly overconfident and incorrect.

When we say, “I wouldn't dream of doing or saying something,” that just means it is something we would never do or say.

When learning a language, it is helpful to study many different examples. We need to know how certain words and phrases are used. Hearing an example is a great way to learn its correct usage. This method works like a dream. In other words, it works really well.

What other methods could we say work like a dream? I would say using the expression often in a conversation also works really well … like a dream.

If you have not already guessed the subject of today’s show, it is exploring expressions using the word “dream.”

Let’s look at an earlier example: dream show. If we put “dream” in front of any word, it makes that word the best choice for you. For example, your dream job has everything you could want in a job. Your dream date would include all your favorite things – such as a nice meal or funny movie. And your dream vacation would have things you love to do and see.

For example, I have a friend who loves birds. So, going somewhere with many different types of birds would be her dream vacation.

All of us have dreams that are pretty great. But some things are so amazing, they are beyond our ability to even dream about. In such cases, we can say those things are beyond our wildest dreams.

We often use this expression when describing a great place or situation. Once I visited Italy and that trip was beyond my wildest dreams.

We also use it when we want someone to do something or go somewhere. Let’s go back to my friend who loves birds. Let's say I want her to go on a trip to the rainforest with me. But she is not sure. I can say, “In the rainforest, you will see birds beyond your wildest dreams !” Then, after a day of birdwatching in the rainforest, she might say, “Even in my wildest dreams, I could not have imagined such amazing birds!”

A vacation like that is what dreams are made of. When something fulfills your every wish and desire it is almost like a dream. That is when we way what dreams are made of. This expression simply means that something is perfect for someone.

You can also say it is the stuff of dreams. For example, if you love writing and traveling, getting a job as a travel writer would be the stuff dreams are made of. It would be a dream come true! Wouldn’t it be nice if all our dreams could come true?

And that’s all the time we have for this Words and Their Stories.

Until next time … I’m Anna Matteo.

Anna Matteo wrote this story for VOA Learning English.


Words in This Story

shame – n. a painful emotion caused by having done something wrong or improper : shamelessly – adv. done without feeling you’ve done something wrong or improper

overconfident – adj. overly sure of yourself and your abilities

conversation – n. oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or ideas

amazing – adj. causing great wonder or surprise

stuff – n. supplies or equipment that people need or use


We want to hear from you. Do you have a similar expressions in your language? In the Comments section, you can also practice using any of the expressions from the story.

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