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The English We Speak

Every week, we look at a different everyday English phrase or piece of slang in this fun three-minute programme. From BBC World Service


Know the score
Learn a phrase about understanding the situation.
02:16 07/02/2023
Jog your memory
Learn a phrase about remembering.
02:08 31/01/2023
A flying start
Learn an expression we use to say a new task is going very well.
02:13 24/01/2023
Steal someone's thunder
If you get more attention than someone else, what are you doing? Here's a useful phrase!
02:07 17/01/2023
Call it a day
A phrase about doing enough
02:10 09/01/2023
Off the top of my head
When you don’t have the facts and figures at hand, you have to make a quick guess.
02:09 03/01/2023
Change for the better
Do you want to make a positive change for 2023? We have an expression for you to learn.
02:17 23/12/2022
The gift that keeps on giving
Learn a phrase about receiving presents.
02:25 20/12/2022
Quiet quitting
Learn a phrase about just doing enough.
02:20 13/12/2022
Hang in there
Times can be challenging but don’t give up. We have a phrase to spur you on.
02:17 06/12/2022
Bite your tongue
What does ‘bite your tongue’ mean?
02:11 29/11/2022
Win hands down
An easy phrase for an easy win!
02:11 22/11/2022
Fever pitch
The men’s football World Cup is coming, and excitement has reached fever pitch!
01:44 15/11/2022
Twiddle your thumbs
A phrase for boring times.
01:44 08/11/2022
Get your act together
A phrase about good organisation.
02:15 08/11/2022
Dog's dinner
Learn this phrase to describe a complete mess.
02:01 25/10/2022
Feast your eyes
Sometimes you can be amazed at what you see. Learn an expression for these moments.
02:11 11/10/2022
Put the brakes on
Learn a phrase about stopping or slowing down an activity.
02:02 04/10/2022
If you don't know what's going to happen next, you have to guess.
01:56 26/09/2022
Ins and outs
Learn about a new expression and why Feifei gets a shock!
02:13 20/09/2022
Yes and no
Not all answers in life are 'yes' or 'no'. Learn why with this phrase.
02:10 13/09/2022
Eat your words
Learn a phrase about being wrong.
02:29 13/09/2022
Bug someone
Sometimes people or things just annoy you. Learn a phrase about this.
02:14 13/09/2022
Learn an informal expression about doing things without planning.
02:19 23/08/2022
A random phrase
02:19 22/08/2022
Do you find something disgusting? Use this word to describe it.
02:06 16/08/2022
Smash it
Learn a phrase to give encouragement
02:20 09/08/2022
A doddle
Is this phrase easy to learn?
01:38 02/08/2022
It’s now or never
Learn how to use ‘it’s now or never’
02:04 26/07/2022
Happy days
Learn a phrase to use when you hear good news.
02:06 19/07/2022