Purpose of the study: The experiment is aimed at studying the potential of non-native speakers in applying various idiom transformations. The relevance of the current work is closely related to its purpose since the ability to identify the key component of an idiom or proverb makes their comprehension much easier and deeper.

Methodology: The authors used experimental methods to reveal the role of transformations in identifying the key components of idioms. The experiment included several types of experiments: natural, transformational, open and mental. The subjects were 28 third-year students of Kazan Federal University whose major is English as a group of informants. The group of informants was given 10 English phraseological units which include a component part nominating some profession. Students were given two tasks and the time limit given for it was 2 – 2.5 hours.

Main Findings: The paper describes an experiment conducted with the purpose of identifying key components/components of phraseological units. Having analyzed two types of phraseological transformations (substitution and deletion) performed by informants, we draw conclusions concerning the relevance of applying each of these types of transformation for the purpose of identifying the key component/components.

Applications of this study: Analysis of the results of the experiment conducted within this research demonstrates that each of the phraseological units under analysis is built according to a particular semantic model, which is retained when any of the component parts are substituted and can be restored when deleting component parts other than key ones.

Novelty/Originality of this study: The fact that most phraseological units are built according to some semantic template and the possibility of distinguishing one or more key components within them is assumed. The experiment also reveals the possibility of an element of a phraseological unit being not necessarily a component part. The relevance of the current work is closely related to its purpose since the ability to identify the key component of an idiom or proverb makes their comprehension much easier and deeper.


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