Strange English Phrases We Actually Use! English Idioms and Sayings!

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2022-04-26・ 3582

Learn English with Bob the Canadian channel


You might have some difficulties as you learn English because of all the idioms and sayings we have that don't always make sense. You learn the English words, but when you translate word for word, the result doesn't make sense. In this English lesson I'll help you learn some phrases and idioms that are commonly used, but not easy to understand at first glance. In this English lesson you'll learn idioms, phrases, and sayings like: you can't teach on old dog new tricks, worried sick, to have butterflies in your stomach, hold your horses, to think outside the box, and more! I hope you enjoyed this English lesson about strange idioms, phrases and sayings that English speakers use regularly. Have a great day! P.S. Yes the surprise I hinted at is that we got a new puppy! Woof! Woof! His name is Walter. -- βŒ› Remember: Always watch the video three times. Twice today with English subtitles on, and once tomorrow with the English subtitles off. This will reinforce the English you have learned! -- βœ… This video was edited by Ember Productions: https://audreyember.com Thanks Audrey! -- βœ… Support Me and Get These Members Only Perks: πŸ˜€πŸ’² If you would like to become a member of my channel here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZJJTxA36ZPNTJ1WFIByaeA/join Becoming a member at every level has these benefits and perks: 1) For 10 minutes during each live stream you will be able to participate in the "Members Only" chat. 2) A cool crown beside your name during live streams and when making comments on videos. 3) Your name in green during live stream lesson chat. 4) You will have access to a members only video each Wednesday called, "Wednesdays with Bob". These are behind the scenes bonus videos with full English transcripts for your listening practice. 5) A full transcript for every Tuesday video. βœ… Join now to receive these perks: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZJJTxA36ZPNTJ1WFIByaeA/join I really appreciate those you that have chosen to thank me in this way! Please only support me if you can afford it! If you prefer to support me via Patreon, here is a link to that page: https://www.patreon.com/bobthecanadian Thank you for your generosity! -- βœ…SEND ME A POSTCARD: Bob the Canadian P.O. Box 419 Smithville, Ontario Canada L0R2A0 -- TAKE YOUR ENGLISH CONVERSATIONS TO THE NEXT LEVEL: βœ…Talk to a real English tutor / teacher at preply: http://tracking.preply.com/SH2X (This is an affiliate, signing up for this service helps support my channel). -- FOLLOW ME: βœ… I have a second Youtube channel right here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmW5tmKIBrryNf5n-_A6Fmw βœ… P.S. If you are interested I have created a podcast of my shorter English lessons. It is right here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1310116 -- #englishlesson #learnenglish #bobthecanadian **Note: All images used under: CC0 License βœ“ Free for personal and commercial use βœ“ No attribution required From pexels.com or pixabay.com

Instruction

Double-click on the English captions to play the video from there.

00:00
So I have my scissors and I think I'll go for a run.
00:02
Hey! What?
00:04
Don't run with scissors! Ah right.
00:06
We have this phrase in English don't run with scissors,
00:09
which simply means you shouldn't run when you have scissors
00:12
because it's a little bit dangerous.
00:14
But we have a bunch of other phrases
00:16
that when you first read them at first glance,
00:19
you might not know what they mean.
00:21
When you translate them literally,
00:23
they might not make sense.
00:24
So in this English lesson,
00:26
we'll look at a few of those phrases.
00:28
I'll try to act out the funny literal meaning
00:30
and then I will explain to you what the actual meaning is
00:34
of each of those phrases in English
00:36
(upbeat music)
00:42
Oscar, fetch!
00:45
We have a saying in English
00:46
you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
00:49
And it doesn't mean
00:50
that you can't teach a dog like Oscar new tricks.
00:52
What it actually means is you can't teach people
00:55
who are old, how to do new things.
00:59
It's hard to teach someone who real likes
01:02
doing something a certain way to do it a new way.
01:04
So we use the English phrase
01:05
you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
01:08
But this dog, this might be a little easier.
01:11
Here, bud.
01:12
This is Walter.
01:15
This is a new dog.
01:16
And we think we might be able to teach this new dog
01:19
some new tricks.
01:21
By the way, we thought Oscar needed a friend,
01:23
so we got another dog.
01:25
No one can sit on this side of the couch
01:27
because of this couch potato.
01:29
This potato is just always sitting on the couch,
01:32
doing nothing.
01:32
It's a real couch potato.
01:34
But that's not actually what the term couch potato means
01:37
in English.
01:38
In English, when we say that a person is a couch potato,
01:42
what we mean is that the person sits on the couch all day.
01:45
They don't really do anything.
01:47
Maybe they just sit and endlessly watch
01:49
one television show after another.
01:52
Maybe they're a little bit lazy.
01:53
We would call that person a couch potato.
01:56
I'm definitely not a couch potato,
01:58
but when I'm old and retired,
02:00
I think I might be more of a couch potato.
02:03
I might sit around a lot more
02:04
and I might watch a lot more television.
02:06
So earlier, I was doing some thinking
02:09
inside this box and it wasn't going very well,
02:11
so I thought I should stop and think outside the box.
02:15
So now I'm outside the box
02:17
and I'll do a little bit more thinking.
02:20
But the English phrase to think outside the box
02:24
has nothing to do with the box.
02:25
We don't sit in boxes when we think.
02:27
We don't sit outside boxes.
02:29
What it means when you say to someone
02:31
you need to think outside the box
02:33
is it means you want them to think differently
02:36
about something.
02:37
Let's use school for an example.
02:39
Right now, students learn in classrooms
02:41
and they sit in rows.
02:43
But if we think outside the box,
02:45
students could also learn by watching YouTube videos,
02:48
or maybe by going outside or going on field trips.
02:51
So when you think outside the box,
02:53
if at work, your boss says,
02:55
"You need to think outside the box a little bit more,"
02:58
what they mean by that
02:59
is they want you to have unique and different ideas.
03:03
They want you to think about things differently
03:05
and come up with something that's just really cool
03:08
and really awesome.
03:09
So I'm just trying to hold my horses right now.
03:12
I don't want my horses to get away.
03:15
So I'm trying to hold my horses.
03:16
But this isn't what the English phrase
03:18
hold your horses actually means.
03:20
If someone says to you, "Hold your horses,"
03:23
they just want you to wait.
03:24
Sometimes when we're going somewhere,
03:26
my kids all run out to the car really fast
03:28
and I say, "Whoa, hold your horses!
03:30
We're not leaving for another 10 minutes."
03:32
So it doesn't mean to hold an actual horse.
03:35
It simply is something you say to someone
03:37
when you want them to wait,
03:39
when you want them to slow down a little bit.
03:41
Whoa, hold your horses.
03:44
There.
03:45
I have all my ducks in a row.
03:47
I like to have all my ducks in a nice straight row.
03:50
But this isn't actually what the phrase
03:52
to have your ducks in a row means.
03:54
When we say in English
03:56
that you should have your ducks in a row,
03:58
it means that you should be prepared or ready for something.
04:01
Let's say it's the first day of school.
04:03
You should have your ducks in a row.
04:05
You should have your backpack and your books
04:07
and a few pens and things to write with.
04:09
You should be ready.
04:11
You should be prepared for the first day of school.
04:13
You should definitely have all your ducks in a row.
04:16
Sometimes when you're in a room full of people,
04:18
it's hard to talk about certain things
04:21
because of the elephant in the room.
04:23
The English term elephant in the room
04:25
doesn't refer to an actual elephant.
04:27
But when we say it's hard to talk about certain things
04:30
because of the elephant in the room,
04:32
what we mean is that there's something
04:35
that you just don't wanna talk about.
04:38
Maybe your brother and his wife got divorced
04:41
and that's a sensitive topic.
04:44
It's something that people don't like to talk about
04:46
when they're all in the same room together.
04:48
We would refer to that situation
04:51
as the elephant in the room.
04:53
You would say something like this.
04:54
It was hard to have a fun conversation
04:56
because of the elephant in the room.
04:58
In that case, the elephant in the room is the fact
05:01
that your brother and his wife are no longer together.
05:03
So in English, there's no actual elephant in the room
05:07
when you use the phrase the elephant in the room.
05:09
You're simply talking about an uncomfortable situation
05:12
that no one wants to talk about
05:14
and it kind of prevents normal fun conversation
05:18
from happening.
05:19
One, two,
05:21
three, four.
05:23
Hey, we have an English phrase don't count your chickens
05:25
before they hatch, but I'm just ignoring it for now.
05:28
Because I think if I count the number of eggs here,
05:31
I'll know how many chickens hatch in a few weeks.
05:33
But the phrase don't count your chickens before they hatch
05:37
has nothing to do with eggs or chickens.
05:39
When we say to someone don't count your chickens
05:41
before they hatch, what we're saying is
05:43
don't think something is going to happen
05:46
until it actually happens.
05:48
Let's use this example.
05:49
Let's say someone says to you
05:51
my boss is going to give me a raise next week.
05:53
Right now, I make $17 an hour
05:56
and my boss is going to give me a raise next week.
05:59
You might say to that person,
05:59
"Hey, don't count your chickens before they hatch."
06:02
What you mean by that is
06:04
don't think that that's going to happen
06:07
until your boss actually tells you next week
06:09
that you're getting a raise.
06:10
So don't count your chickens before they hatch
06:13
has nothing to do with eggs.
06:14
It simply means don't get too excited about something
06:17
until it actually happens.
06:19
So I had a job once where one of my coworkers
06:22
was stealing money from work and then he got caught
06:26
and the boss just gave him a slap on the wrist.
06:28
So a slap on the wrist is not actually a slap on the wrist.
06:33
When you do something bad
06:34
and you are disciplined or punished for it,
06:37
if the punishment is very, very light,
06:39
we call it a slap on the wrist.
06:41
In the case of my coworker,
06:43
the boss simply told him to stop stealing.
06:46
He didn't lose his job.
06:48
Nothing else happened.
06:49
The boss just gave him a bit of a slap on the wrist,
06:52
a very light punishment.
06:53
He got simply a talking to.
06:56
That is definitely just a slap on the wrist.
06:58
So this is kind of strange.
07:00
I have butterflies in my stomach.
07:02
If you look here, you can see
07:03
that I have butterflies in my stomach, for some reason.
07:06
But this isn't what the phrase
07:08
to have butterflies in your stomach actually means.
07:11
If I was to say I have butterflies in my stomach,
07:14
it means that I'm nervous about something.
07:16
If I knew that later today,
07:18
I had to talk in front of a thousand people,
07:21
I would probably say, "Ooh, I'm a bit nervous.
07:24
I have butterflies in my stomach."
07:26
So whenever you need to do something,
07:28
when you are planning to do something
07:30
that makes you nervous, you might describe it
07:32
by saying I have butterflies in my stomach.
07:35
So the other day, my friend said he caught a fish
07:38
that was this big.
07:39
But I took what he said with a grain of salt.
07:42
In English, when you say that you take something
07:44
with a grain of salt, there's no actual salt involved.
07:48
It simply means
07:49
that you're not going to believe it right away.
07:52
My friend tends to exaggerate
07:54
when he tells his fishing stories.
07:57
I'm sure the fish he caught was really only this big,
07:59
but he said it was this big,
08:01
and so I just took it with a grain of salt.
08:03
That means I'm not gonna believe what he says
08:06
maybe until I actually see the fish.
08:09
So I just simply took it with a grain of salt.
08:11
No salt actually involved.
08:13
That just means I didn't believe him right away.
08:15
If I stand up really tall, my head is in the clouds.
08:19
But if I just stand normal,
08:20
my head is no longer in the clouds.
08:23
The English phrase, though, to have your head in the clouds
08:25
means something a little bit different.
08:27
We use this to describe someone
08:29
who is a little bit absentminded.
08:31
Someone who is not very practical.
08:34
You might use a sentence like this.
08:36
I'm not sure my brother-in-law will be successful
08:39
in business because he always has his head in the clouds.
08:42
Someone who has their head in the clouds
08:44
is often thinking about other things.
08:47
They're not thinking
08:48
about what they're supposed to be doing.
08:49
Maybe they're daydreaming a bit, or they're just thinking
08:52
about things that aren't very practical.
08:54
I usually don't have my head in the clouds,
08:56
unless I go like this.
09:00
Hmm
09:02
Sorry, I'm having a little trouble talking right now
09:05
because I bit off more than I can chew.
09:07
Now, the English phrase to bite off more than you can chew
09:11
doesn't actually refer to eating.
09:13
We don't say that
09:14
when we've taken a really big bite of something
09:16
and we're having trouble talking.
09:18
We use this phrase when we've started a job
09:21
or we've started a project
09:23
and it's too hard for us to do by ourselves,
09:26
or it's just gonna be very difficult
09:28
and take a really long time.
09:29
You might say to someone,
09:31
"I bought an old car and I'm gonna fix it up,
09:33
but I think I bit off more than I can chew."
09:36
When you say that,
09:37
basically what you're saying is the job is too hard.
09:39
The job is too difficult.
09:41
It's gonna take forever.
09:42
I definitely bit off more than I can chew.
09:45
So last night, one of my kids came home really late
09:47
and I was worried sick.
09:49
In English, when we use the phrase to be worried sick,
09:52
it just means that you are extremely worried.
09:55
It doesn't necessarily mean that you were so worried
09:58
that you started to feel sick.
10:00
Although this is one of the phrases
10:01
where you can actually take it literally as well.
10:05
So there's two ways to use this phrase then.
10:07
You can say I was worried sick,
10:09
meaning that you were so worried about something
10:11
that you actually had a stomachache,
10:13
or you weren't feeling well,
10:14
but we also use it sometimes just to exaggerate.
10:17
My kid came home really late and I was worried sick.
10:21
Well, thank you so much for watching this English lesson.
10:23
Remember, I put out one or two English lessons a week.
10:26
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10:29
when a new English lesson pops up on my channel.
10:32
If you enjoyed this lesson, please give me a thumbs up.
10:34
And if you have a little bit of extra time,
10:36
why don't you stick around and watch another English lesson?
10:39
(upbeat music)
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