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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
February 25, 2020
A memory like a sieve
Are you forgetful? This expression is for you!
February 18, 2020
Got a fear of not using your mobile phone? Here's how to describe your condition.
February 11, 2020
Rob and Feifei explain the true meaning of this animal-related phrase.
February 4, 2020
Kick into the long grass
If you want to delay doing something, where do you kick it?! We have the answer here.
January 28, 2020
The Year of the Rat is here – so Neil has decided to dedicate his life to work.
January 21, 2020
What's a 'microworker'? May be you are one!
January 14, 2020
Learn a phrase about exchanging clothes.
January 7, 2020
Talk the talk
Neil can talk the talk, but does he know what he's talking about?
December 30, 2019
Out with the old, in with the new
As 2020 approaches, learn a phrase to describe what you can do at this time of year.
December 23, 2019
The more the merrier
It’s Christmas and time to party. Learn a phrase that means more people equals more fun!
December 17, 2019
Take one for the team
Are you the kind of person who makes sacrifices for others?
December 10, 2019
Mind your Ps and Qs
Learn an English expression about being polite.
December 3, 2019
Swing those arms, shake those hips! Is this the latest dance trend?
November 26, 2019
‘Big data’ is a hot term these days, but do you know what it means? Learn here.
November 19, 2019
Punch above your weight
It sounds violent, but this phrase might surprise you!
November 12, 2019
Social media influencer
You know all about social media, but ... what is a social media influencer? Learn here.
November 5, 2019
A fairy tale with a new meaning
October 29, 2019
Is someone ignoring all of your calls and messages? Maybe you are being ghosted!
October 22, 2019
Learn about the TV trend that urges you to relax, slow down and chill out.
October 15, 2019
Trying to help your kids succeed in life? These mothers have a strong idea of what to do!
October 8, 2019
A phrase for when something spoils your fun.
October 1, 2019
Have you ever regretted an expensive purchase? This is the phrase for you!
September 24, 2019
When you don't want to sell, freecycle! Learn what it means.
September 17, 2019
Love to travel but worried about the environment? Here's a phrase for you to use.
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
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