The English We Speak

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


Reinvent the wheel  

Wasting time doing something that's been done before? There's a phrase to explain this


Do you have a false friend? In The English We Speak we get to hear how one of Feifei's best friends isn't a friend at all and discover that there's a great word to describe them

To be fair  

Give both sides of the argument with this phrase

On the box  

Watching a ‘box’ can’t be very enjoyable, can it?


Learn a phrase you can use that features our feathered friend


Learn a phrase involving bottles that describes when you're too afraid to do something

Got your number  

Understanding someone's true intentions

A slap in the face  

Not got the result you wanted? Here's a phrase that expresses how you feel


Learn a word that describes tempting online links


Dan and Feifei are in the studio and Dan has been working on a new music track. Will it be good? Let's find out

Air kiss  

How do you kiss someone without kissing them? Neil and Feifei explain a word which describes a popular way of greeting and saying goodbye to friends


A word for when a man explains to a woman something in a way which suggests she's stupid.

Rolling in it  

Neil is rolling on the floor to teach a phrase connected to wealth. Feifei explains


Feifei and Sian discuss a word to use when something unexpectedly appears in your photo.


Do you look up every symptom on the internet and then imagine you have a serious illness? Here's an expression to describe what you're doing

To wash your dirty linen in public  

Are you discussing your private life in public? Here's an expression to describe what you're doing

Cat got your tongue?  

There's a cat about and Feifei's not talking. Learn an expression that questions her quietness

It takes two to tango  

Neil's doing a partner dance on his own in the studio to help you learn English. Learn an expression which means two people need to accept the blame for a bad situation

Knee-jerk reaction  

Feifei kicks Neil in the face after he hits her knee with a hammer. It's all to teach you a useful English expression

To have an axe to grind  

An expression with three related but slightly different meanings connected to strong opinions

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