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The English We Speak
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Every week, we look at a different everyday English phrase or piece of slang in this fun three-minute programme. From BBC World Service
© (C) BBC 2019
September 10, 2019
To cough up
When is a cough not a cough? We teach you a money-related phrase.
September 3, 2019
We teach you a phrase that's worth remembering!
August 27, 2019
We won’t teach you to lie, but you will learn how to use the word ‘fib’.
August 20, 2019
Hot under the collar
Cool off and learn this phrase with us.
August 13, 2019
Eat your heart out
Learn a humorous phrase about being the best!
August 6, 2019
When is 'across' not a preposition?
July 30, 2019
Learn an expression about likelihood.
July 23, 2019
A phrase about taking advantage of a situation to gain sympathy or respect
July 16, 2019
We’ve picked the best phrase for you to learn!
July 9, 2019
To fight tooth and nail
Learn a phrase about working hard to get just what you want.
July 2, 2019
It's a small world
Learn an expression about coincidences.
June 25, 2019
Vanish into thin air
Learn an expression about disappearing
June 18, 2019
Get the short straw
A phrase that sucks!
June 11, 2019
These are job skills needed to deal with the public, and very much in demand.
May 28, 2019
Will wearing new shoes make Feifei more intelligent? Join her and Rob in this programme.
May 21, 2019
Looking for a sofa to sleep on? Learn a phrase to describe your actions.
May 14, 2019
Like riding a bike
Learn an English expression about skills we never forget.
May 7, 2019
Can you be on fire without any flames?
April 23, 2019
If something is 'dead good' is that a positive or negative thing?
April 16, 2019
Give someone the runaround
A phrase about being unhelpful.
April 9, 2019
Laughing all the way to the bank
When can going to the bank be funny? We've got a phrase that will leave you laughing.
April 2, 2019
The joke is on you
Find out more about a seriously funny English phrase.
March 26, 2019
Keep a lid on it
Learn the right English phrase about having to put a stop to something.
March 19, 2019
To pull the wool over someone's eyes
Here's a phrase about preventing someone from discovering something.
March 12, 2019
Take the rough with the smooth
Learn an expression about experiencing bad things to enable you to enjoy good things.
March 5, 2019
What is a hard-nosed person like? Find out in this episode of The English We Speak.
February 26, 2019
To have a soft spot
How do you feel if you really like something or someone? This phrase might help you.
February 19, 2019
To make a song and dance (about something)
If things don't go your way, how can singing and dancing help?
February 12, 2019
Here's a phrase to describe the success of a small team.
February 5, 2019
A shock to the system
A sudden and unpleasant change can come as a shock. Learn a phrase to describe this.
January 29, 2019
From pillar to post
Moving from place to place can be chaotic. Learn a phrase to describe the situation
January 22, 2019
Here's a phrase that describes making informal conversation about not much.
January 15, 2019
A bright spark
Here's a clever expression that can describe someone doing something stupid.
January 8, 2019
To be all downhill
Rob's done all his work! Find out here if it's all downhill until the weekend for him.
January 1, 2019
Learn a New Year-related expression
December 28, 2018
To have all your Christmases come at once
An expression for when you have good fortune
December 18, 2018
It's the thought that counts
Learn a polite thing to say when you receive a bad present.
December 11, 2018
Learn this very modern expression.
December 4, 2018
It leaves a bad taste in your mouth
How can a tasty meal leave a bad taste?
November 27, 2018
Is it a meal or a type of weather?
November 20, 2018
Throw in the towel
Learn a phrase about giving up.
November 13, 2018
A walk in the park
Is walking in the park easy? It can be if you learn this phrase!
November 6, 2018
Learn a new name for old tech
October 30, 2018
Are you ready for Halloween?
October 23, 2018
Something to chew on
Feifei gives Neil something to chew on
October 16, 2018
Not all waffling is good!
October 9, 2018
Describe something that isn't straight.
October 2, 2018
Play a blinder
Doing something amazing.
September 25, 2018
Has someone annoyed you? Use this word.
September 18, 2018
Brag if you must - just don’t humblebrag! Find out what that means with Rob and Feifei.
September 11, 2018
Out of your depth
A phrase for when you're struggling to do something.
September 4, 2018
A word for a bad mood.
August 28, 2018
Learn a spicy expression.
August 21, 2018
Take the biscuit
A sweet phrase for irritating behaviour.
August 14, 2018
Step on it
Do you need someone to go faster? Use this informal phrase.
August 7, 2018
When does the word 'ping' not make a sound? Find out in this programme.
July 31, 2018
When the time comes to make an important decision, what do you say?
July 24, 2018
Have a pop
Learn a phrase about having a go at something
July 17, 2018
A necessary evil
Can you accept something you don't like?
July 10, 2018
If the cap fits
Learn an expression about accepting criticism
July 3, 2018
Learn a phrase about accepting blame
June 26, 2018
To have a good nose (for something)
Rob and Feifei sniff out a new phrase to learn
June 19, 2018
Friends in High Places
Learn a phrase about important people
June 12, 2018
Learn an expression for a no-win situation.
June 5, 2018
Let the dust settle
Learn a phrase about allowing a situation to become calm again
May 29, 2018
Nothing to shout about
Learn a phrase about not saying much
May 22, 2018
Let sleeping dogs lie
Learn about a trouble-free phrase
May 15, 2018
Bleed someone dry
An expression for a financial injury
May 8, 2018
A phrase for trivial things
May 1, 2018
That'll teach you
Learn from what you've done
April 24, 2018
An old hand
Someone who's skilled and experienced
April 17, 2018
Out of the loop
Learn a phrase about missing out.
April 10, 2018
Rub it in
Learn an expression about enjoying someone's misfortunes.
April 3, 2018
Are you a smartphone zombie?
March 27, 2018
Are you someone who only eats food that has been wasted or thrown away? Learn a word that describes what you are
March 20, 2018
Barking up the wrong tree
Have you ever made the wrong assumption? Here's a dog-related phrase to describe your actions
March 13, 2018
Cloud cuckoo land
Can you make the impossible possible? This phrase implies you can't but what's it got to do with a cuckoo?
March 6, 2018
A taste of your own medicine
February 27, 2018
Relaxed about the future? Here's a phrase that might describe your character
February 20, 2018
Young, clever and successful: find out a phrase that describes someone like this
February 13, 2018
The best of both worlds
Can you enjoy the advantages of two different situations at the same time? You can if you use this phrase
February 6, 2018
Are you taking it easy or just being lazy? Here's a phrase to describe your condition
January 30, 2018
To cut a long story short
Have you got a story to tell? Here's a phrase about just telling the important bits
January 29, 2018
Beards have been 'a thing' for a while. Is it now time to shave them off?
January 23, 2018
Just the ticket
Rob and Feifei help teach a phrase to describe something you really want or need
January 9, 2018
Do a runner
Is it time to go? Here's a phrase about avoiding a tricky situation
December 26, 2017
All that jazz
We love slang, idioms, phrases and all that jazz! Learn a new phrase with us
December 18, 2017
Not gonna lie
A phrase to use when you're being brutally honest
December 12, 2017
Up your game
Don't know which one to use? You need to up your emoji game
December 5, 2017
To shout it from the rooftops
Have you heard the good news? This programme has something to shout about!
November 28, 2017
To blow the cobwebs away
No spiders involved. It's time to get lively and learn a new English phrase
November 21, 2017
Want to go to a party? This phrase might help you get an invitation
November 14, 2017
To put someone on the map
Need directions to learn a new English phrase? Here's one about a map and being famous
November 7, 2017
Down in the dumps
Feeling unhappy? Here's a phrase to describe your mood but don't take it too literally!
October 31, 2017
Rob keeps saying 'excuse me' but what does he really mean? You and Feifei are about to find out the many uses of this phrase
October 24, 2017
A sting in the tail
Rob's become a bee keeper but there's something more unpleasant to this hobby than being stung. Find out how a sting in the tail doesn't just come from bees!
October 17, 2017
So done with
Are you doing something very boring? We have just the phrase for you!
October 10, 2017
You might know the slang expression ‘LOL’, but do you know about ‘lolz’?
October 3, 2017
Have a go
Poor Neil gets a lot of criticism in the programme. Of course, it’s all to help you learn English!
September 26, 2017
You know what ‘about’ means, right? But maybe not this extra meaning! Take another look with us
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