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See eye to eye

  • The phrase see eye to eye is an idiom. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom or other parts of speech is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions such as in a blue moon, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, chin up, on the ball, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, as they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker. We will examine the meaning of the idiom see eye to eye, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    To see eye to eye means to agree with someone, to hold the same opinion as someone else, to understand each other in a profound manner. The phrase see eye to eye is taken from a biblical passage, Isaiah chapter 52 verse 8 of the King James Version: “…for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” In this passage, the expression see eye to eye means to meet face-to-face, or in person. Today, the idiom see eye to eye means to agree with some one, the idea is that one’s eyes are on exactly the same level as the other person’s eyes. Related phrases are sees eye to eye, saw eye to eye, seeing eye to eye. Note that according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term is not hyphenated.

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    Examples

    While we may not all see eye to eye on a decent presidential candidate, we can agree on cheering for humans to destroy mean aliens. (The Miami New Times)

    That means they may increasingly see eye to eye on Syria even if Russia and Iran are on one side of the Syrian conflict and Turkey ostensibly on the other. (The Jerusalem Post)

    It will be interesting for viewers to see the BB 12 housemates together on screen as the two never saw eye to eye in the reality show. (India Today)

    Blatter rejected allegations of vote-buying, and the two ­never saw eye to eye after that. (The Scotsman)


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