English language and editing · Uncategorized

Lesson 56 Vocabulary Study : By heart

I wrote this lesson by heart!

Are you also someone who does things by heart? What does it even mean to do things by heart? Are you sure? A warm welcome to this week’s lesson. Let’s take a look at the correct meaning and usage of this expression.

That guy talks by heart.
This sentence (in Ghana) means he doesn’t think before talking and therefore what he says is not worth paying attention to.

Now to the dictionary.
By heart: from memory/ by rote. And by rote simply means to memorize something and later speak or act exactly what has been memorized. It implies a mechanical activity and this is exactly what by heart means.

So,  better sentences would be:
I want to be able to sing this song by heart.

My pastor is a walking Bible: he can quote virtually the entire Bible by heart.

Our Literature professor insisted that we learn Shakespeare’s poem by heart.


From the examples, it is clear that the expression by heart deals with memory and not with a reckless behavior.

So how would you correct the first sentence: He talks by heart,  to reflect its intended meaning? We could use: thoughtlessly, carelessly or recklessly.

For example:
My friend talks recklessly.
Whenever she is angry, she tends to make thoughtless statements.
The painters did their work carelessly.

We hope this lesson was useful. Let’s is know how this has helped you and send us sentences with by heart and other expressions in this lesson.

Till we meet again, let’s spread the word and keep practicing!

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