Preaching To The Choir – Definition and Study Exercises
Preaching to the choir means you are presenting a side of a discussion or argument to someone who already agrees with it. In other words, you are wasting your time. If a pastor preaches to a choir literally, they’re preaching to people who are obviously already converted.
Another way of saying preaching to the choir, is preaching to the converted.
The origin of the expression is difficult to locate but it is thought to have been introduced to the English language in the United States.
That being said, one of the most famous early uses of the idea was in the 1867 writings of the English philosopher John Stuart Mill when he said:
“Dr. M’Cosh is preaching not only to a person already converted, but to an actual missionary of the same doctrine.”
Preaching to the Choir Exercises:
1. Can you think of a situation where you were preaching to the choir?
2. Has someone recently tried to convince you of something when you already agreed with him or her?
3. Try to write 3 examples of dialogue in which you use preaching to the choir.
4. Here is a song that uses this idiomatic expression. Do you understand why?
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Keep learning by visiting our articles about English idioms and English phrasal verbs.