Monday, 19 November 2007

In this post I would like to talk about the idiomatic expression, “Part of the Furniture”.
The other day while teaching an online lesson at Smart Language Solutions I was asked by a student, why, in English the expression “part of the furniture” is used to talk about people and not about the furniture. I have a short video lesson on the subject on YouTube and you can find it by clicking here.

At first glance it would seem that the expression “part of the furniture” would refer only to a piece of the furniture, and this would be the case when we are directly talking about the furniture. However in English when describing a piece of furniture we would normally name that piece of furniture

For example we went to a furniture store and bought a new sofa. When we got home and put the sofa home together we saw some screws on the ground and we realised that the screws were part of the sofa. As you can see here we say part of the sofa, and not part of the furniture!

So when we use the expression “Part of the furniture” we are not talking about furniture at all! In fact we use the expression, “part of the furniture” to describe a person.

When we say someone is “part of the furniture” it means that the person in question has been in a position in any organisation such as job or voluntary group for a long, long time.

So for example, you are in your job and there is one person who has worked in the company for a long time then we can that person is part of the furniture.
In other words, “John has worked in this company for 20 years, in fact John is here so long he is part of the furniture”
If you want more on this or any other English matter click here to visit my website,