Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"

To create connections, it helps to use language chunks.

Native English speakers have used these familiar chunks their entire lives.

Often, with these chunks the order of words matters.

Today, learn four native chunks where you must follow the word order.

This is vital both for correct grammar and connection!

Born and raised

Lindsay asks Aubrey where she was born and raised.

Aubrey answers that she was born in Utah and then moved to Idaho when she was five years old.

Lindsay was born and raised in New Hampshire.

‘Born and raised’ is a very interesting chunk.

We don’t use it to ask where someone is from, but instead respond with it.

Today’s episode is inspired by a listidener’s question.

Today’s question

I said to a friend that I heard they were raised and born in New York City and they corrected me and said I must say ‘You were born and raised in NYC.’

Is this true? Why does it matter?

Tried and True Tips for English Expressions

Idioms and expressions often have to be used word for word, like ‘born and raised.’

It will sound odd to native speakers if you say ‘raised and born.’

Lindsay and Aubrey will teach three more chunk that follow this pattern.

Each has two words that must be shared in the correct order.

Use this as a mental model where you are working with a pattern of words.

These patterns are a rule of thumb you can follow to become fluent faster.

#1: Tried and true

This is something that has been proven to be effective or reliable.

You may also hear this in British English as ‘tried and tested.’


  • This strategy is tried and true so I’m not going to switch it up.
  • My art teacher taught me a tried and true watercolor technique that I love.

#2: Black and blue

This means that something or someone is badly bruised.

Bruises can have different colors but we don’t customized it to what color of bruise one has.


  • I fell yesterday and now my leg is black and blue!
  • He was black and blue the day after the car accident.

#3: Far and away

This means that something is different by a lot.

It is used to emphasize how different two things are.

You may also hear some native speakers shorten it and say ‘by far’.


  • That is far and away the best restaurant I’ve been to.
  • In New York City, the subway is by far the best way to get around.


Here is a quick roleplay from Lindsay and Aubrey using the phrases in today’s episode.

In this scenario, Lindsay and Aubrey are chatting over lunch.

Aubrey: I dropped something on my foot yesterday and now it’s black and blue!
Lindsay: Oh no, sorry to hear it!
Aubrey: It’s ok. I’m far and away the clumsiest person I know.
Lindsay: Did you ice it? That’s definitely a tried and true way to reduce swelling.
Aubrey: Yes and that helped a lot.


Idioms and expressions can be difficult in English!

They must be used word for word or your meaning might be lost or confusing.

Today’s phrases are extremely useful.

With these tips you’ll be ready to use them to make connections in English.

Do you know any other chunks in English that should be used in order?

Share it in the comments below.

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