Annotation guidelines
PARSEME corpora of multiword expressions - version 1.2 (2020)
PARSEME shared task on semi-supervised identification of verbal multiword expressions - edition 1.2 (2020)


Verbal idioms (VID)

Verbal idioms constitute a universal category. A verbal idiom (VID) has at least two lexicalized components including a head verb and at least one of its dependents. The dependent can be of different types. Here are some examples:

  • Subject
    • броят му се ребрата be counted someone's (possessive pronoun) ribs (someone) to be very thin and skinny
    • ein kleines Vöglein hat mir gezwitschert a little bird told me
    • μου είπε ένα πουλάκι me told a little-birda little bird told me
    • a little bird told someone
    • tu hora ha llegado your time has arrived your time has come
    • licho wie devil knowsI have no idea
    • a sua hora chegou your time has arrived your time has come
    • a șoptit o păsăricăwhispered a bird little a little bird told someone
    • srce pade v hlače komu (someone's) heart drops into the pants one is lacking courage to do something , sekira pade v med komu (someone's) hatchet falls in honey one gets lucky
    • ђаво да некога носи đavo da nekoga nosi may the Devil carry someone to hell with someone
      Бог некога погледао Bog nekoga pogledao God looked at someone to be lucky
      ђаво је умешао прсте đavo je umešao prste the Devil mixed in his fingers an unfavorable outcome
      пао некоме мрак на очи pao nekome mrak na oči darkness fell on someone's eyes to blow a fuse
  • Direct object
    • гушна букета hug the bunch of flowers to die
    • er hat den Schuss nicht gehört he did the shoot not hear it takes him a long(er) time to understand sth
    • to kick the bucket
    • estirar la pata to strech the leg kick the bucket
    • udać Greka to pretend to be a Greekto pretend not to understand
    • bater as botas to hit the boots to die, abrir mão de algo to open hand (of something) to give up (on something)
    • bater as botas to hit the boots to die, abrir mão de algo to open hand (of something) to give up (on something)
    • ustreliti kozla to shoot the goat to say or do something stupid
    • дизати нос dizati nos to raise one's nose to be haughty
      добити ногу dobiti nogu to get a leg to get dumped
      држати банку držati banku to hold a bank to dominate the conversation
  • Circumstantial or adverbial complement
    • удрям в гръб hit in the back to stab in the back
      правя сам да си говори make (someone) to talk to himself to drive (someone) crazy
    • etwas wie warme Semmeln verkaufen sth. like warm bread rolls to sell sth. fast and easy
    • φέρω βαρέως bring heavily
    • to take something with a pinch of salt, to sell like hotcakes, to strike while the iron is hot, to come off with flying colors
    • coger algo con pinzas to hang something with pegs take something with a pinch of salt
    • wiercić komuś dziurę w brzuchu to drill a hole in one's bellyto intrusively solicit someone, to insist too much
    • levar em conta to bring in account to take into account
      ir ao ar go to the air to go on air
    • a lua în considerare to bring in account to take into account
    • spati kot ubit to sleep like dead to sleep soundly
    • продаје се као алва prodaje se kao alva to sell like halva to sell well
      ударити на велика звона udariti na velika zvona to bang on big bells to spread the news
      бити као запета пушка biti kao zapeta puška to be like a tense rifle to be ready for action

It is often challenging to distinguish VIDs from other VMWE categories if only one dependent of the head verb is lexicalized. The VMWE categorization depends on the category of this dependent:

  • Reflexive clitic or particle: the VMWE is either an IRV (reflexive pronoun) or a VPC (particle), never a VID.
  • Verb with no lexicalized dependent: fine-grained tests need to be applied in order to discriminate between a MVC and a VID. See the section on Structural tests.
  • Extended nominal phrase: fine-grained tests need to be applied in order to discriminate between an LVC and a VID. See the section on Structural tests.

With a dependent of any other category, the VMWE is always a VID, including the following:

  • Adjectival phrase
    • постигам своето to achieve one's ownto have it my way
    • schwarz fahren to drive black to take a ride without a ticket
    • to come clean, to stand firm
    • jugar sucio to play dirty to play dirty
    • zrobić swoje to do one's ownto do what one is supposed to do
      tykać cudze to touch someone else'sto take something that does not belong to you
      dopiąć swego to button up one's ownto fulfill one's plans
    • to jogar sujo to play dirty
    • a juca murdar to play dirty
    • biti zelen od zavisti to be green with envy
    • бити зелен biti zelen to be green to be a greenhorn/to be inexperienced
  • Verb with lexicalized dependents
    • не мога две думи на кръст да кажа I cannot say two words crossing each other to be unable to speak or express oneself две думи на кръст да кажа is a clause
      правя сам да си говори make someone talk to himself to drive someone crazy сам да си говори is a clause
    • to make ends meet
    • састављати крај с крајем sastavljati kraj s krajem to join one end to another to make ends meet крај са крајем kraj sa krajem is a clause
  • Relative clause
    • ще видиш откъде изгрява слънцето you will see where the sun rises from(angrily) you will get what you deserve, you will be punished
    • wissen wo es langgeht to know where things are heading to know on which side one's bread is buttered
    • to know on which side the bread is buttered
    • saber de qué pie cojea to know of which foot (he/she) limps to know someone inside out
    • wiedzieć, skąd wieje wiatr to know where wind blows fromto know on which side your bread is buttered, to know how to take advantage of the situation
    • saber onde pisar know where to-step to know the way to succeed in something
      mostrar com quantos paus se faz uma canoa show with how many sticks one makes a canoe to punish or take revenge
    • a ști cu ce se mănâncă to know with what CL.Refl. eats to knwo what it is about
    • vedeti koliko je ura to know what time it is to realize the truth
    • знати у ком грму лежи зец znati u kom grmu leži zec to know in which bush the rabbit lies to know what the main problem is
      не знати где је некоме глава ne znati gde je nekome glava not to know where one's head is to be out of one's mind
      дај шта даш дај šta daš give what you give be satisfied with anything that is given to you
  • Non-reflexive pronoun
    • втасахме я we proved it.FEM (as in bread: raise in volume due to yeast) to fall into a difficult situation
    • es gibt it gives there is
    • τα καταφέρνω, την πατάω
    • to make it
    • l'emporter to take it away to win
    • prender le to take it to be beaten
    • Polish does not seem to have this type of VMWEs
    • dá-lhe João! give to him/her, João! show them what you got, João!
    • a o șterge to her delete to fly the coop
      a o întinde to her extend to fly the coop synonymous expressions with the non-anaphoric feminine ACC personal clitic 'o' functioning as an expletive
    • ucvreti jo to escape her to escape something/someone by running
    • n.a.

Sentential expressions with no open slots, such as proverbs and conventionalized sentences, are included in the scope of VIDs.

  • краставите магарета се надушват отдалече the itchy donkeys smell each other from afaralike people are attracted to each other
  • Rom wurde nicht an einem Tag erbaut Rome was not build in a day wer A sagt muss auch B sagen who says A must also say B you must finish what you start
  • στο σπίτι του κρεμασμένου δεν μιλάνε για σχοινίin-the house the.GEN hunged-man.GEN not speak.03.PL about rope
  • Rome was not built in a day
    Fortune favors the bold
    The pleasure is mine
    I beg your pardon!
  • Roma no se construyó en un día Rome was not build in a day donde dije digo, digo Diego where said.I said, say.I Diego to do or give something and then take it back, to retract oneself
  • trafiła kosa na kamień met the scythe a stonesomeone rude/dishonest came across someone else who used similar methods against him/her
  • quem vê cara não vê coração who sees face doesn't see heart a person can lie/omit his/her feelings
  • Urciorul nu merge de multe ori la apă Pitcher-the not goes of many times at water The pitcher goes so often to the well that it is broken at last
  • Počasi se daleč pride more haste less speed
    Po toči zvoniti je prepozno there is no use ringing the bells after hail it is to late
  • нашла крпа закрпу našla krpa zakrpu a rag found a patch to find one's other half
    било па прошло bilo pa prošlo happened and it's done let bygones be bygones
    рекла казала rekla kazala said and told hearsay

If more than one dependent of the head verb is lexicalized, then the candidate VMWE is always classified as a VID.

  • заравям глава в пясъка to hide head in sandto pretend not to see a problem
  • die Katze aus dem Sack lassen to let the cat out of the bag
  • βάζω λάδι στη φωτιά put oil to-the fire
  • to let the cat out of the bag, to cut a long story short, to call it a day
  • hacer de tripas corazón make of intestines heart to pluck up the courage
    dejar con la miel en los labios to_leave with the honey in the lips leave (sb) wanting more
    dar gato por liebre to_give cat for hare to rip off, to take for a ride
  • se faire des idées to make SELF ideas to imagine something false,s'en aller to go SELF from there to leave,il y a it has there there is
  • chować głowę w piasek to hide head in sandto pretend not to see a problem
  • tapar o sol com a peneira to hide the sun with a sieve to sugar-coat
  • a da bir cu fugiții to give tribute with fugitives.the to back away
  • beseda mi je ostala v grlu word got stuck in my throat I am speechless
  • бежати главом без обзира bežati glavom bez obzira to run away mindlessly to bolt
    бежати као ђаво од крста bežati kao đavo od krsta to run away like Satan from a cross to run like a bat out of hell
    забити главу у песак zabiti glavu u pesak to stick your head in the sand to bury your head in the sand
    ићи линијом мањег отпора ići linijom manjeg otpora to go with the line of least resistance to take the path of least resistance
  • att sätta sig upp mot någon to sit oneself up against someone to defy someone
    att dra sitt strå till stacken to draw one's straw to stack.the to contribute (in a small way)

Cases when there is no single clearly identifiable head verb, because of coordinated verbs or of an irregular syntactic structure, are also covered by the VID category.

  • цъфна и вържа to blossom and give fruit (usually sarcastically) to prosper
  • leben und leben lassen live and let live
  • έδωσε πήρε
  • to drink and drive
  • coser y cantarto_sew and to_singeasy as pie, a piece of cake
  • pluć i łapać spit and catch to be lazy, to do nothing useful
    coś kogoś ani ziębi, ani grzeje something neither cools nor warms someonesomeone is indifferent to something
    badż tak dobry i zrób cośbe so good and do somenthingbe so good as to do something
  • pintar e bordar paint and knit to abuse
  • a tunat și i-a adunatit.has thundered and CL.ACC-it.has gatheredbirds of a feather flock together
    seamănă, dar nu răsaresow.3SG (homonym of resemble), but not sprout.3SGnot to resemble
  • živi in pusti živeti live and let live
  • ни лук јео ни лук мирисао ni luk jeo ni luk mirisao neither ate nor smelled an onion to be innocent
    нити смрди нити мирише niti smrdi niti miriše neither stinks nor has a nice scent neither good nor bad
  • n.a.
  • to voice act
    to pretty-print
    to short-circuit
    to tumble dry
  • n.a.
  • court-circuiter to short-circuit
  • n.a. there are no cases of compound hyphenated verbs in RO
  • n.a. there are no cases of compound hyphenated verbs in SL
  • рекла-казала rekla-kazala said and told hearsay

In case of several lexicalized dependents, special care must be taken to identify and also annotate embedded VMWEs.

  • страхувам се от собствената си сянка to fear SELF from one's own shadowto get easily scared → contains the IRV страхувам се to fear SELFto be afraid
  • einen Plan aufstellen to set up a plan to draw up a plan → contains the VPC aufstellen to set up
  • to let the cat out of the bag → contains the VPC to let out
  • hacerse ilusiones make.self hopes to get your hopes up → contains the IRV hacerse
  • se faire des idées to make SELF ideas to imagine something false → contains the non-VMWEs se faire and faire des idées
  • bać się własnego cienia to fear SELF one's own shadowto be very timid → contains the IRV bać się to fear SELFto be afraid
  • virar-se nos trinta turn-RCLI in-the thirty to get by contains the synonymous IRV virar-se to get by ≠ virar to turn/become
  • a da cărțile pe față to give cards.the on face to reaveal one's true intentions → contains the ID a da pe față to reveal
    a-și da arama pe față to give his/her copper.the on face to reveal his/her true (evil) nature → this is even more complicated since, besides the ID a da pe față, the IRV has to be annotated as well - a three-level embedding
  • delati se norca iz koga to make RCLI fool of someone to make fun of someone → contains the IRV delati se to make oneself to pretend
  • бојати се сопствене сенке bojati se sopstvene senke to fear SELF one's own shadow to be afraid of one's own shadow → contains the IRV бојати се to fear SELF to be afraid

Idioms whose head verb is the copula (to be) can pose special challenges because their complements may be (nominal, adjectival, etc.) MWEs themselves. In this task, we consider constructions with a copula to be VMWEs only if the complement does not retain the idiomatic meaning when used without the verb.

  • съм с единия крак в гроба be with one leg in the graveto be close to death idiom because #с единия крак в гроба with one leg in the grave loses the meaning
    съм на червено be on redto be in debt → non-VMWE because the copula can be omitted, as in в края на месеца винаги оставам на червеноat the end of the month I always get into debt
  • sei kein Frosch be no frog be no chicken → idiom because #kein Frosch no frog loses the meaning
  • to be dying for → idiom because #dying loses the meaning of wanting something
    to be somebody → idiom because #somebody loses the meaning of being important or successful
    it is double Dutch to me → non-VMWE because the copula can be omitted, as in he seems to speak double Dutch
  • ser un pelota to be a ball to suck/butter up → idiom because un pelota a ball loses its original meaning
  • być jedną nogą na tamtym świecie to be with one leg in the other worldto be close to death idiom because #jedna noga na tamtym świecie one leg in the other world loses the meaning
    być do rzeczy to be to the thingto be relevant → non-VMWE because the copula can be omitted, as in dał parę argumentów całkiem do rzeczyhe gave a couple of quite relevant arguments
    być w trakcie (czegoś) to be in the road (of sth)to be doing sth → non-VMWE because the copula can be omitted, as in wyszedł w trakciezebraniahe went out during the meeting
  • ser alguém na vida to be somebody in life to be somebody → idiom because #alguém na vida loses the meaning
    não ser flor que se cheire to not be a flower that one may smell to be an untrustworthy person → idiom because #flor que se cheire loses the meaning
    isso é grego pra mim that's greek to me → non-VMWE because the copula can be omitted, as in você está falando grego
  • a fi ușă de biserică to be door of church to be honest → idiom because #ușă de biserică loses the meaning
    a fi un papă-lapte to be a eat-milk to be a piker → idiom because #un papă-lapte preserves the meaning
  • biti trn v peti komu to be a thorn in somebody's heel to be a big problem, obstacle → idiom because #trn v peti loses the meaning
  • бити неко и нешто biti neko i nešto to be someone and something to be a somebody →idiom because #некоsomebody and #нештоsomething loses its meaning of being important or succesful
    бити једном ногом у гробу biti jednom nogom u grobu to be with one leg in the grave to be close to death →idiom because #једном ногом у гробу with one leg in the grave loses its meaning
    бити зелен biti zelen to be green to be a greenhorn/to be inexperienced → idiom because #зелен green loses its meaning

Note that special care must be taken in languages in which the copula omission is a regular or even a compulsory phenomenon (e.g. in Russian). In those cases, language-specific tests are required to distinguish a copula-based idiom from a non-verbal MWE.

Idioms typically have both a literal and an idiomatic reading. Thus, they are closely connected to the phenomenon of a metaphor (see also the section on VMWEs versus metaphors). This often makes them semantically totally non-compositional, i.e. none of their lexicalized components retains any of their original meanings. Some authors argue though that partial semantic compositionality can be obtained via decomposability, e.g. to spill the beans is compositional provided that to spill is paraphrased as to reveal and the beans as a secret

VID-specific decision tree:

In this tree, a single YES to one of the tests is sufficient to decide that a candidate is a VID. Note however that this tree is to be applied only after it was referred to by the generic decision tree containing structural tests.
  • Apply test VID.1 - [CRAN: Candidate contains cranberry word?]
    • It is a VID, exit.
    • Apply test VID.2 - [LEX: Regular replacement of a component ⇒ unexpected meaning shift?]
      • It is a VID, exit.
      • Apply test VID.3 - [MORPH: Regular morphological change ⇒ unexpected meaning shift?]
        • It is a VID, exit.
        • Apply test VID.4 - [MORPHSYNT: Regular morphosyntactic change ⇒ unexpected meaning shift?]
          • It is a VID, exit.
          • Apply test VID.5 - [SYNT: Regular syntactic change ⇒ unexpected meaning shift?]
            • It is a VID, exit.
            • It is not a VID, exit

Test VID.1 - [CRAN] - Cranberry word

Does the candidate expression contain a cranberry word?

  • it is a VID
    • хващам натясно catch in a tight place to coerce, to pressureнатясно is only used in MWEs
      правя на бъзе и коприва to turn into elder and nettle to scold, to tell off бъзе is an old word, very rarely used independently
      вземам предвид, имам предвид to предвид (as adverb) is only used in MWEs
      стоя диван чапраз to stay upright as in Osman council to stay ready to serve чапраз is an old word, very rarely used independently
    • sich um etw. scharen to gather around something scharen is not a stand-alone word
    • μάλλιασε η γλώσσα μου is-full-of-hair-3SG the-SG.NOM tongue-SG.NOM my-SG.GEN.POSSto repeat the same thing again and again μάλλιασε is not a stand-alone word
    • to go astray astray is not a stand-alone word
    • sin decir ni chus ni mus chus is not a stand-alone word without to_say neither chus nor mus without saying a word
      no decir ni chus ni mus chus is not a stand-alone word not to_say neither chus nor mus not to say a word, to remain silent
      hacer algo a troche y moche troche is not a stand-alone word to do something at troche and dulled to do something in a nonsensical way, willy-nilly, haphazardly
    • txintik ere ez esan 'txint' neither no say not even say a word →the word 'txint' is not used out of this expression
    • prendre la poudre d'escampette to escape escampette is not a stand-alone word
    • mangiare a ufo to eat without paying a ufo is not a stand-alone word
      fare lo gnorri to play dumb gnorri is not a stand-alone word
      scendere in lizza to enter the lists lizza is not a stand-alone word
    • odsądzić kogoś od czci i wiary to refuse honor and faith to someone to drag sb's name through the mire/mud, to damage someone's reputation by saying insulting things about them
      wyjść na jaw to come-out to light to transpire, to become known
    • ir para as cucuias to go wrong cucuias is not a stand-alone word
    • a nu avea habar to have no idea habar is not a stand-alone word
    • biti si kvit to pay up a debt, owe nothing to somebody kvit is not a stand-alone word
    • не би било згорег ne bi bilo zgoreg it wouldn't be for the worse it wouldn't be a bad idea згорег zgoreg is not a stand-alone word
      читати (некоме) вакелу čitati (nekome) vakelu to read somebody a scolding to scold somebody вакела vakela is not a stand-alone word
      имати на претек imati na pretek to have an abundance претек pretek is not a stand-alone word
      не часити ne časiti don't jump the gun часити časiti is not a stand-alone word
    • att komma ihåg to remember ihåg is not a stand-alone word
  • further tests are required
    • правя на сос правя and сос are stand-alone words
    • sich um etw. herum stellen to stand around something → all words are stand-alone words
    • to go away go and away are stand-alone words
    • ir a la universidad to go to university ir, a, la and universidad are stand-alone words
    • unibertsitatera joan university-to go to go to university →both words are stand-alone
    • andare giù to go down andare and giù are stand-alone words
    • wyznać tajemnicę to reveal a secret wyznać and tajemnica are standalone words
    • ir para a escola to go to school ir, para, a and escola are stand-alone words
    • a nu avea idee to have no idea → all words are stand-alone words
    • biti si v sorodu to be related to each other biti si and sorod are stand-alone words
    • бити квит biti kvit to be even бити biti and квит kvitare stand-alone words
    • att komma på to figure out komma and are stand-alone words

Test VID.2 - [LEX] - Lexical inflexibility

Does a regular replacement of one of the components by related words taken from a relatively large semantic class lead to ungrammaticality or to an unexpected change in meaning?

  • it is a VID
    • бълвам змии и гущери to spew snakes and lizards#бълвам влечуги (to spew reptiles)
      всяка жаба да си знае гьола every frog to know its own puddle#всяка жаба да си знае локвата
    • die Katze aus dem Sack lassen to let the cat out of the bag#den Hund aus dem Karton lassen #to let the dog out of the box
      eine Entscheidung treffen to meet a decision to make a decision#eine Entscheidung machen/herstellen a decision make/produce #to make/produce a decision
    • to let the cat out of the bag#to allow the feline out of the container
      to go on*to go upon
      to stand firm/fast*to stand hard/rigid/solid
    • meterse en la boca del lobo to_get_into.self in the mouth from_the wolf venture into the lion's den#meterse en el ojo del gato
      tomar una decisiónto_take a decision to make a decision#hacer/coger/producir una decisión to_make/grab/produce a decision #to make/grab/produce a decision
    • erabakia hartu decision take to make a decision →erabakia #sortu/jaso/egin create/receive/do
    • non dire gatto se non ce l'hai nel sacco don't say cat if it is not in the sack don't count on something before it happens#non dire cane se non ce l'hai nel sacco#don't say dog if it is not in the sack
      sputare il rospo spit the toad spit it out#sputare la rana#spit the frog
    • wiedzieć, co w trawie piszczy to know what in grass squeals to be well informed#wiedzieć, co w trawniku popiskuje
      nie wchodzić w rachubę not to come into count to be out of question#wchodzić w liczenie/rachunek
      wodzić kogoś za nos to lead someone by the nose to cheat on someone#wodzić za nozdrza/ucho/wargi
    • quebrar um galho break a branch to help#danificar um ramo to damage a stem
    • a da cu bâta în baltă to give with bat-the in pond to say sth embarrassing*a da cu bățul în baltă to give with stick-the in pond, *a da cu bâta în lac to give with bat-the in lake
    • imeti mačka to have a cat to have a hangover#imeti psa to have a dog
      iti rakom žvižgat to go whistling to crabs to fail, to die#iti jastogom pet to go singing to the lobsters
    • знати у ком грму лежи зец znati u kom grmu leži zec to know in which bush the rabbit lies to know what the main problem is#знати у ком жбуну лежи кунић #znati u kom žbunu leži kunić to know in which shrub the hare lies
      пустити буву pustiti buvu to let go of the fly to start a rumour/to spread news#пустити вашку #pustiti vašku to let go of the lice
      отети се контроли oteti se kontroli to break away from control to lose control#отети се провери #oteti se proveri to break away from the examination
    • att Plocka russinen ur kakan to pick the raisins out of the cake to choose only the best things#att välja ut nötterna från kakan
  • further tests are required
    • изнасям доклад present a report → изнасям урок/лекция/презентация и т.н.
    • den Bus nehmen to take the bus → den Zug/ das Flugzeug, etc nehmen to take the train/plain/etc
    • to take a plane → to take a bus/car/boat, etc.
    • coger el autobús to_take the busto take the bus → coger el avión/tren, etc. to take the plain/train/etc.
    • autobusa hartu bus take to take the bus → trena/taxia/hegazkina hartu to take a train/taxi/plane
    • prendere il trenoto take the bus → prendere il bus/aereo/etc to take the bus/plain/etc
    • jqum u joqgħod always moving about
    • sprawić kłopot to make a troublesprawić przykrość/trudność/niedogodność/problem/zawikłanie/nieprzyjemnośćto make a(n) nuisance/difficulty/inconvenience/problem/complication
    • quebrar um braço to break an arm → quebrar uma perna/costela/falange to break a leg/rib/phalanx
    • a lua o decizieto take a decision to make a decision → a lua o hotărâre to take a decree to make a decision
    • delati težave to make a troubledelati preglavice/probleme/ to make a(n) nuisance/problem
    • изазвати проблеме izazvati probleme to cause problems → изазвати бриге/невоље izazvati brige/nevolje to cause worries/afflictions
    • att ta bussen to take the bus → att ta tåget/flyget, etc to take the train/plain/etc

Usual modifications for [LEX] include replacing content words in the candidate by synonyms, hypernyms, hyponyms, antonyms, troponyms, meronyms, and related words in general.

Test VID.3 - [MORPH] - Morphological inflexibility

Does a regular morphological change that would normally be allowed by general grammar rules lead to ungrammaticality or to an unexpected change in meaning?

  • it is a VID
    • хвърлям око throw an eye to throw a glance#хвърлям очи.PLURAL
      хващам бика.DEF за рогата take the bull by the horns#хващам бик.INDEF за рогата
      не мога да си намеря място cannot find a place for myself to be extremely nervous → only exists in negative form
    • ins Gras beißen to bite into the grass to die#in ein Gras beißento bite into a grass #in die Gräser beißen to bite into the grasses, in Kraft treten into force step to come into effect#in Kräfte treten into forces step
    • to kick the bucket#to kick the buckets
      to pretty-print*to prettier-print
      to take turns#to take a turn
    • coger el toro por los cuernos to_take the bull by the horns to take the bull by the horns#coger el toro por el cuernoto_take the bull by the horn #to take the bulls by the horns to_take the bulls by the horns #to take the bulls by the horns
      entrar en vigor to_enter in vigor to come into effect#entrar en vigores to_enter in vigors #to come into effects
    • prendre le taureau par les cornes to_take the bull by the horns#prendre le taureau par une corne to_take the bull by a horn
    • andare a letto con le gallineto go to bed with the hens to go to bed early#andare a letto con la gallina to_go to bed with the hen
      cercare il pelo nell'uovo to look for the hair in the egg to be pedantic #cercare i peli nell'uovo
    • budować zamki na lodzie to build castles on ice to rely on unstable foundations#budować zamek na lodzie to build a castle on ice
      mucha kogoś ugryzła a fly bit someone someone is in a bad temper#mucha kogoś ugryzie a fly will bite someone
      wyciągnąć nogito stretch.PERF legsto die#wyciągać nogi to stretch.IMPERF legs (imperfective aspectual variant prohibited)
    • bater perna hit leg to walk aroundbater a/uma/essas perna/pernas/perninha/pernona to hit the/one/these leg/legs/leg.SMALL/leg.BIG
    • a da colțul to give corner.the to die*a da colţurileto give corners.the
    • klicati jelene to call cerfs to vomit#klicati jelena to call a cerf
    • обећавати куле и градове obećavati kule i gradove to promise towers and towns to promise somebody the moon#обећавати кулу и град obećavati kulu i grad to promise a tower and a town
      бити у свакој чорби мирођија biti u svakoj čorbi mirođija to be the dil in every broth to meddle#бивај у свакој чорби мирођија bivaj u svakoj čorbi mirođija be the dil in every broth
      дође као кец на једанаест dođe kao kec na jedanaest comes as an ace on an eleven an unfavorable outcome#дође као кечеви на једанаест dođe kao kečevi na jedanaest comes as aces on an eleven
    • träda i kraft step in force to come into effect#träda i krafter step into forces
  • further tests are required
    • хвърлям топка to throw a ball → хвърлям топка/топката/топки/топките
    • einen Kuchen backen to bake a cake → viele/keine/den Kuchen backen/machen many/no/the cake bake/make
    • to make a cake → to make a/many/those/no cake/cakes
    • mover el brazo to_move the arm to move the arm → mover/agitar/levantar/estirar el brazo/la pierna/las manos/las piernas to_move/shake/raise/stretch the arm/the leg/the hands/the legs to move/shake/raise/stretch the arm/the leg/the hands/the legs
    • fare un dolce → fare un/molti/dei/quei/nessun dolce/dolci
    • kształtować opinię to form an opinionkształtować opinie to form opinions
    • bater o braço to hit the arm→ bater o/os/um/esse braço/braços/bracinho hit the/the.PL/a/this arm/arms/arm.SMALL
    • a face o prăjiturăto make a cake → a face multe/aceste prăjiturito make many/these cakes
    • vzeti taksi to take a cab → ne vzeti nobenega taksija/en taksi/dva taksija to take no/one/two/… cab(s)
    • обећавати улагање obećavati ulaganje to promise an investment → обећавати улагања obećavati ulaganja to promise investments
    • att baka en kaka to bake a cake → att baka flera/den där/några/ingen kaka/kakor to bake several/that/some/no cake(s)

Usual modifications for [MORPH] include inflecting content words in the candidate for gender, number, case, tense, mood, aspect, etc. - depending on the target language's morphology.

Test VID.4 - [MORPHSYNT] - Morpho-syntactic inflexibility

Does a regular morpho-syntactic change that would normally be allowed by general grammar rules lead to ungrammaticality or to an unexpected change in meaning?

  • it is a VID
    • аз ти давам думата си I give you my word#аз ти давам неговата дума (I give you HIS word)
      аз си продавам душата I sell my soul#аз продавам неговата душа (I sell his soul)
    • Ichwerde mein Bestes tun I will my best do I will do my best*Ich werde dein Bestes tun I will do your best, Ich gebe dir mein Wort I give you my word*Ich gebe dir ihr Wort I give you her word
    • I will do my best*I will do your best
      I give you my word for that → #I give you his word for that
      he was pulling my leg#I was pulling my leg
    • te doy mi palabra to_you give_I my word I give you my word#te doy su palabra to_you give_I his/her word I give you his/her word
    • il vide son sac he empties his bag he reveals his secret thoughts#il vide mon sac he empties my bag
    • Iofarò del mio meglio*Io farò del tuo meglio
      Io ti do la mia parola#Io ti do la sua parola
    • Polish VMWEs do not seem to exhibit this kind of inflexibility
    • ele se suicidou he self.3P.SG suicided*ele me suicidou
      eu perdi meu tempo I wasted my timeeu perdi teu/seu/nosso tempo English allows this, Portuguese doesn't. We say I made you waste your time instead.
    • Îți dau cuvântul meu CL.DAT give.1SG word.the my I give you my word#Îți dau cuvântul luiCL.DAT give.1SG word.the his I give you his word
    • Vlečeš me za nos you are pulling my nose you're pulling my leg *Vlečeš se za nos you're pulling your nose
      Pojdi se solit! to go salt oneself Get lost!*Pojdi ga solit go salt him
    • дати све од себе dati sve odsebe to give one's all#дати све од тебе dati sve od tebe to give everything from you
    • Jag gör mitt bästa I do my best I do my best*Jag gör ditt bästa I do your best
  • further tests are required
    • копая си гроба to dig my graveкопая ти/му/й/им гроба (to dig your/his/her/their grave)
    • er traf seine Entscheidung he made his decision → er traf meine/ihre/unsere/eure Entscheidung he made my/her/our/your decision
    • he did his job → he did my/her/our/your job
    • Ha hecho su trabajo Has_he/she done his/her work He/She has done his/her workHa hecho mi/tu/nuestro trabajo Has_he/she done my/your/our work He/She has done my/your/our work
    • hafatto il suo lavoro → ha fatto il mio/tuo/nostro/vostro/loro lavoro
    • Polish VMWEs do not seem to exhibit this kind of inflexibility
    • Eu fiz meu trabalho I did my job → Tu/ele/nós fizeste/fez/fizemos meu trabalho You/he/we made my job
    • el își face tema he his does homework.the he does his homework → el îmi/ne/le face tema he my/our/their does homework.the he does my/our/their homework
    • opravil je svojo nalogo he did his jobopravil je mojo/njeno/našo/tvojo nalogo he did my/her/our/your job
    • урадио је свој посао uradio je svojposao he did his jobурадио је мој посао uradio je moj posao he did my job
    • han gör sitt jobb he does his job → han gör mitt/hennes/vårt jobb he does my/her/our job

Usual modifications for [MORPHSYNT] involve agreement or loss of agreement between some components in the candidate.

Test VID.5 - [SYNT] - Syntactic inflexibility

Does a regular syntactic change that would normally be allowed by general grammar rules lead to ungrammaticality or to an unexpected change in meaning?

  • it is a VID
    • на стар краставичар краставици продавам to an old cucumber seller cucumbers to sell to try to cheat a more experienced person#продавам краставици на стар краставичар, #краставиците са продадени
      бълвам змии и гущери#бълвам гущери и змии
    • Noun phrase (NP) or prepositional phrase (PP)
    • speak of the devil the person one is talking about shows up#he was speaking of the devil
      to go bananas to get crazy#bananas are gone
      to drink and drive#drive and drink
      to kick the bucket#the bucket was kicked
    • coser y cantar to_sew and to_sing easy as pie, a piece of cake#cantar y coser to sing and to sew
      perder la cabeza to_loose the head to go bananas#perder las cabezas to_loose the heads
    • alzare la cresta to lift the crest become cocky#la cresta è stata alzata the crest has been lifted
      andare in malora go to ruin go to ruin #nella malora è andata in ruin was gone
      vivi e lascia vivere live and let live#lascia vivere e vivi let live and live
    • kogoś krew zalewa blood foods someone someone gets furious#ktoś jest zalewany przez krew someone is flooded by blood (passive blocked)
      robić bokami to do with-sidesto have serious financial problems→#robić swoją robotę bokami to do one's job with sides (regular modification blocked)
      dobrze komuś z oczu patrzy well someone.DAT from eyes lookssomeone looks like a good person#uprzejmość dobrze komuś z oczu patrzy kindness well someone.DAT from eyes looks (subject prohibited)
      nie zagrzać miejsca w pracy not to warm a place at worknot to stay long at one work #zagrzać miejsce w pracy to warm a place at work (negation is compulsory)
      zdechł pies! died the dog!it is a lost cause#pies zdechł the dog died (a regular word order variability is blocked)
      wziąć w łebto take into headto fail #wziąć porażkę w łeb to take failure into head(direct object prohibited for the normally transitive verb wziąćto take)
    • pisar na bola step on the ball make a mistake#a bola na qual ele pisou the ball on which he stepped
    • a da colțul to give corner.the to die*colțul a fost dat corner.the has been given
    • delati se Francoza to pretend to be French to pretend to be indifferent*delan Francoz made French
    • коцка је бачена kocka je bačena the die has been thrown the die has been cast#коцка се бацила kocka se bacila (blocked passive) the die cast itself
      ведрити и облачити vedriti i oblačiti to brighten and to cloud to call the shots#облачити и ведрити oblačiti i vedriti (regular word order variability is blocked) to cloud and to brighten
      не вредети пишљивог боба ne vredeti pišljivog boba to not be worth a single bean to be worthless#вредети пишљивог боба vredeti pišljivog boba (negation is compulsory) to be worth a single bean
      носити на души nositi na duši to carry something on one's soul to carry the burden of guilt#ношење на души nošenje na duši (nominalization blocked) carrying on a soul
    • det knallar och går it trots and walks it is OK/as usual#det går och knallar
  • It is not a VID, exit
    • продавам неговата кола I sell his car → колата му беше продадена (his car was sold), неговата кола, която тя продаде (his car which she sold), т.н.
    • jemandes Auto waschen to wash one's car → ihr Auto wurde gewaschen her car was washed, das Auto, welches sie wusch the car that she washed, Autowaschen car-washing, etc
    • to wash one's car → her car was washed, the car that she washed, car washing, etc.
    • pisar la arena to step on the sand → la arena que pisaste The sand on which you stepped
    • lavare la macchina →la sua macchina è stata lavata, la macchina che ha lavato, il lavaggio della macchina, etc.
    • kształtować opinię to form an opinion opinia jest kształtowana the opinion is formed
    • pisar na areia to step on the sand → a areia na qual você pisou the sand on which you stepped
      jogar futebol to play football → ?futebol é jogado football is played One may argue that this is a VMWE because passive sounds strange. However, we assume that this sense of jogar does not accept passive. Since this construction is very productive, we do not annotate it as VMWE.
    • a spăla maşinato wash the car→ maşina a fost spălată, maşina pe care a spălat-o, spălarea maşinii etc.the car was washed, the car that he/she washed, car washing
    • narediti film to make a movie → Film, narejen po knjigi a movie based on a book
    • написати књигу napisati knjigu to write a book → књига је написана knjiga je napisana the book is written
    • att tvätta bilen to wash one's carmin bil tvättades my car was washed, bilen som hon tvättade the car that she washed, biltvätt car-wash etc.