I think you have a lot of experiences to read or watch fairy tales and fantasy stories. Fairy tales and fantasy stories present unreal scenarios, magical creatures, and unconventional plotlines, which can inspire us to think freely, explore alternative perspectives, and imagine beyond the boundaries of reality, and so stimulate our imagination and creativity. These genres often give us a good chance to appreciate imaginative and magical worlds, filled with fascinating characters and enchanting adventures. Many people find joy, inspiration, and a sense of wonder in these genres. These stories are also deeply rooted in different cultures and the folklore they come from. So, exploring these stories helps us understand new concepts, ideas, and cultural references, which can enhance our comprehension skills that might not be used in everyday contexts, along with our language skills since these stories contain a wide range of vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, and descriptive phrases to describe characters, settings, and events vividly. Therefore, incorporating fairy tales and fantasy stories into English learning can be an effective and enjoyable way for us to develop our language proficiency.
Here are some useful English expressions often found in fairy tales and fantasy stories and their definitions.
Once upon a time
The most common expression that we can find in those stories is “Once upon a time”. This is the classic opening line in many fairy tales, signaling the beginning of an enchanting story. This phrase is commonly used to set the stage for a fictional tale.
Usually at the beginning of the story there is always a mythical prophecy which can be a prediction or foretelling of future events that hold significance in the plot.
There exists a magical realm, which is a world or place with supernatural or mystical elements in fairy tales and fantasy stories.
In the magical realm, a protagonist has a daunting quest which can be seen as an ultimate goal that he or she struggles to pursue by searching into the unknown, which expresses the act of venturing into unexplored or unfamiliar territory, often associated with a magical or fantastical journey.
Sometimes a hero tries to seek a hidden treasure, a valuable object or wealth that is hidden or protected by magic through adventure.
Sometimes a hero’s task can be to get rid of a forbidden curse. It represents a magical spell, a hex that brings misfortune upon someone or something, or enchantment that comes with dire consequence and is warned to be avoided at all costs.
In the process of a hero’s adventure, the hero faces a dazzling enchantment, a captivating and powerful spell that astonishes and mesmerizes whoever encounters it.
Lost in a labyrinth
The hero is usually lost in a labyrinth, which describes the feeling of being in a complex and confusing situation, unable to find a way out. But the hero is headed to the spot where he finds a magical talisman, an object or a piece of jewelry with magical properties that aids him in his journey, breaks the spell, frees him from a magical enchantment or curse, and unlocks the secrets by encouraging himself to discover hidden information or solve mysteries with a leap of faith, which means making a decision or action taken on trust or intuition, often associated with magical or extraordinary circumstances.
The most common evil existence we can find in fairy tales and fantasy stories is a vicious witch. A forbidden curse is usually caused by a wicked witch. If there is always a protagonist, there is always an antagonist, or what we call a villain. A wicked witch signifies an evil and often powerful female character who uses magic to cause harm or hinder the hero’s progress. When a protagonist struggles to lift the forbidden curse, he or she always meets unsolvable matters. This is typically when a fairy godmother appears.
A fairy godmother grants wishes or provides aid to the protagonist in overcoming obstacles. Usually a wicked witch or a fairy godmother has a magic wand as a tool or object that grants magical powers or brings about desired outcomes. When there is a conflict between a wicked witch and a fairy godmother, a terrible war between them usually breaks out in the deep forest.
The enchanted forest
In the climax of these stories, just before approaching the conclusion, a supernatural event occurs usually in the enchanted forest, a typical setting for adventures. In this enchanted forest, a hero sometimes meets a mythical creature, such as a dragon or unicorn, found only in legends or folklore.
Rides off into the sunset
At the end of the story, the protagonist rides off into the sunset. This expression symbolizes a romantic or triumphant departure, often used to conclude fairy tales or fantasy stories.
Vanishes into thin air
When the conflict between a wicked witch and a fairy godmother ends, the wicked witch vanishes into thin air.
The power of true love
The hero realizes the power of true love which represents the idea that love has the ability to conquer all obstacles and break any curse or enchantment.
They lived happily ever after
Lastly, a story ends with this expression. This expression is typically used to conclude fairy tales and fantasy stories indicating that the characters found lasting joy and contentment, emphasizing the ideas of those stories’ conclusion.
In conclusion, the expressions examined above have become established tropes and convention within their literary genres over time. They provide a sense of familiarity and nostalgia, harkening back to traditional stories and archetypes that have been passed down through generations. And so many expressions in fairy tales and fantasy stories carry symbolic and metaphorical meanings. They represent deeper themes and lessons, such as the struggle between good and evil, the power of love and friendship, or the journey of self-discovery.
I really hope that these useful expressions found in fairy tales and fantasy stories will be helpful in expressing your own creativity and conveying important messages that you want to deliver in your conversations.