Easier said than done

Understand the idiom "easier said than done" and learn how to use it in everyday English with Studycat.

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Easier Said Than Done

Today, we’re tackling a phrase that’s sure to resonate with anyone who’s ever faced a challenging task. Have you ever heard someone say, “It’s easier said than done”? No, they’re not talking about a tongue twister competition!

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of this all-too-relatable expression and discover how to use it like a true wordsmith.

What does “easier said than done” mean?

Let’s say your little one comes to you with a big idea, like building a treehouse that reaches the moon or teaching the family dog to speak English. You might chuckle and say, “Honey, that sounds great, but it’s easier said than done.”

This idiom means that something seems simple in theory, but it’s much more difficult to actually accomplish in practice. It’s a way of acknowledging that a task or goal is harder than it appears at first glance.

Where does “easier said than done” come from?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the expression “easier said than done” has been around since the 1500s. It’s believed to have originated from the idea that talking about doing something is much simpler than actually doing it.

Interestingly, there’s a similar phrase in French, “plus facile à dire qu’à faire,” which translates to “more easy to say than to do.” This suggests that the concept behind the idiom is universal and has been acknowledged across different cultures and languages for centuries.

How to use “easier said than done”

Ready to put this idiom into action? Here are a few examples of how you can incorporate “easier said than done” into your daily conversations:

  • “I know you want to learn how to play the piano in one day, but it’s easier said than done. It takes time and practice to master a new skill."
  • "Losing weight is easier said than done. It requires a lot of dedication, healthy eating, and regular exercise."
  • "Quitting a bad habit like biting your nails may sound simple, but it’s easier said than done. It takes a lot of willpower and determination."
  • "Getting your toddler to eat their veggies can be easier said than done. It often involves a lot of patience and creativity."
  • "Saving money for a big purchase is easier said than done, especially when there are so many tempting things to buy along the way.”

Other ways to say “more difficult than it seems”

While “easier said than done” is a classic phrase, there are plenty of other ways to express the same sentiment:

  • Uphill battle – If something is an “uphill battle,” it means it’s a difficult struggle that requires a lot of effort.
  • Not as easy as it looks – This phrase acknowledges that something appears simple, but it’s actually more challenging than it seems.
  • Harder than it sounds – Similar to “easier said than done,” this expression means that something is more difficult than it appears when described.
  • No walk in the park – If something is “no walk in the park,” it means it’s not a simple or easy task.

Fun ways to practice “easier said than done”

All right, parents, let’s help our little ones grasp this idiom with some engaging activities!

Create an “Easier Said Than Done” challenge, where you and your child take turns coming up with tasks that seem simple but are actually quite tricky. For example, try balancing a book on your head while walking across the room or drawing a perfect circle without using a compass. After each attempt, discuss how the task was “easier said than done.”

Another idea is to read stories or watch movies together that feature characters facing challenges that are “easier said than done.” Talk about how the characters persevere and overcome obstacles, even when things are more difficult than they initially appeared.

The idiom “easier said than done” is a perfect way to acknowledge the gap between theory and practice. By understanding and using this phrase, your child will not only expand their vocabulary but also gain a valuable lesson in perseverance and realistic expectations.

Remember, even if something is easier said than done, with a little determination and hard work, anything is possible!