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Bite your Tongue!


Image: Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yesterday, we spoke about the English idiom to speak one’s mind, which meant to say what you really think. Today, we are going to talk about an idiom that means the opposite. It’s the expression to bite one’s tongue, which can be defined as to be quiet, to hold back in saying something that you would like to say or to keep one’s opinion to oneself . Here are some sample sentences using this English idiom:

I was upset by her comments, but, because I didn’t want any conflict, I bit my tongue.
I wish that he hadn’t said that. Why couldn’t he have just bitten his tongue instead?
Bite your tongue! Don’t upset your sister!

Biting your tongue, i.e. not saying anything, isn’t always easy, but, sometimes, it seems to be the better thing to do. The Roman author Publius Syrus once said I have often regretted my speech, but never my silence.

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