Binomial Expressions English

One of the best ways to improve your English is to learn all the phrases, idioms, and sayings in the language. There are a variety of expressions in the English language that can help you get a better grip on your understanding and fluency.

One such type of expression is Binomial expression. These expressions are common phrases that are usually accompanied with “and” or “or” (example: black and white, plain and simple, more or less). These words come in specific orders and are counted as a single chunk of English vocabulary. 

Types of binomial expressions

There are a few types of binomial expressions in the English language. Let’s take a look at them:

  • Opposite: When “and” or “or” are used with opposite words. (hot and cold)
  • Synonym: When “and” or “or” are used with similar meaning words. (peace and quiet)
  • Rhyming: When “and” or “or” are used with rhyming words. (meet and greet)
  • Repetition: When “and” or “or” are used with one word in repetition. (more and more)
  • Alliteration: When “and” or “or” are used with words that start with the same letter. (tried and tested)

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most famous binomial expressions:

Again and again

To say something occurs repeatedly. 

The washing machine keeps breaking up again and again. 

all in all

To summarize a situation or a topic.

All in all, I had great fun there.

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all or nothing

To say something needs to be completed wholly or not at all.

If you want to pass the exams, you have to study hard. It’s all or nothing.

back and forth

To move from one place to another many time.

Why are you moving back and forth?

bit by bit

When something happens in stages.

You will get there bit by bit.

black and white (black-and-white)

To describe something without colors. 

We were watching a black-and-white movie yesterday. 

bright and early

Early in the morning.

He wakes up bright and early.

by and large

Used to make a general estimation about something.

By and large, things have been going quite well since I moved out of my parent’s basement.

Read More- There are Some Interesting Exceptions in English Grammar: Let’s Take a Look

chalk and cheese

Used to refer to two things completely different from each other.

No wonder their relationship didn’t work out; they were like chalk and cheese. 

do’s and don’ts

Used to refer to guidelines about what should be done and what should be avoided.

Here are the dos and dont’s of starting a blog. 

fair and square

To describe something that is achieved honestly and without unfair methods.

He clearly won fair and square.

heart to heart (heart-to-heart)

Used to describe a deep conversation between two people.

She seems fine now, especially since I have had a heart-to-heart with her

(go) hot and cold

To feel nervous.

I went hot and cold all over when the interviewer called my name.

(no) ifs and buts

Used to denote that you don’t want the concerned person to make any excuses.

If I say you are going to school, you are going to school—no ifs and buts. 

Read More- The Most Confusing Rules in English Grammar

(the) ins and outs

Used to refer to the detailed information about a situation

Our driver knows the ins and outs of Delhi traffic. 


There are a number of binomial expressions in the English language. Learn them all and use them in your day-to-day language to get a better grasp of the language. As long as you keep the lessons fun and casual, you are going to have a great time learning the languages. 

Keep learning, keep growing.


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