Hello! Welcome to the new podcast of ABC English Levels with Valentina.
In this lesson, you will learn six interesting phrases and how to use them. The phrases are:
- When it comes to…
- When pigs fly…
- When one’s ship comes in…
- When chips are down…
- When push comes to shove…
- When the dust settles…
For your convenience, you have the script below to understand the topic easier. Hope you’ll like it!
Remember that you always can get in contact with us if you want me to talk about some specific issue.
Hope to hear from you soon!
PODCAST 5. INTERESTING PHRASES B1-C2
Hello! This is ABC English Levels and Valentine here. Get to know about us and our courses on our web site englishlevels.es.
As I promised in the previous podcast today we’re learning some interesting phrases. They are six, they all start with “when”, and you’ll need your imagination to remember them better! Let’s get started!
1. When it comes (down) to something.
You can use the expression when it comes (down) to to start talking about a new topic or a new aspect of a topic that you are discussing. E.g.: We know we should eat small portions but that doesn’t help when it comes to something delicious. People like criticizing others, but everything changes when it comes down to their own behaviour.
2. When pigs fly.
To begin with, fancy flying pigs. Is it possible? If you saw flying pigs, what would you think? Now try to guess the meaning of the phrase from the context. Two people are talking. One says: “I’ve been working here for almost three years and nobody hasn’t offered me a higher position yet. When do people here normally get promoted?” And the other replies: “When pigs fly!” Remember that pigs can’t usually fly. So is promotion possible? The right answer is ‘no’. If someone declares that something is possible, you can answer ‘when pigs fly’ if you think it is very unlikely to happen. More examples: In this part of the country, it rains when pigs fly. “When could we rent this castle again?” – “When pigs fly, I’m afraid.”
3. When one’s ship comes in (comes home).
Again, let’s picture what happens when ships come home. They often bring goods and different precious things. Selling them, people become rich and successful. We can paraphrase ‘when my ship comes in‘ and say ‘when I become rich’. Let’s see how we can use it. “When my ship comes in, I’ll buy this island for you, my dear.” – “Oh, I guess it will happen when pigs fly.”
4. When push comes to shove.
In this case, we need to remember the definitions of both ‘push’ and ‘shove’. They’re synonyms and mean moving someone or something with force. ‘Shove’ is stronger. ‘Push’ also has the meaning of persuading someone with force. For instance, “Her parents pushed her into marrying him”. Let’s see our phrase in the context: “She seems a soft touch but when push comes to shove she becomes as hard as nails.” Guessed the meaning? Right! When the situation becomes so bad that you are left with no choice but to do something about it, the situation calls for action pushes and shoves you. More example: When push comes to shove, we’ll sell the second car.
5. When the chips are down.
‘Chip’ has different meanings. One of them is a small piece broken off a larger object. Now imagine there’re a lot of such chips around on the floor… Obviously, this is no good. Something must have been smashed. Look at the example: One day when the chips are down, you’ll understand who does love you. So ‘when the chips are down‘ means to be in a very difficult or dangerous situation that makes you realise the true values.
6. When the dust settles.
Imagine there’s a dust storm and you can’t see anything. Difficult to choose where to go, isn’t it? So we have to wait until the dust settles and then take another step.
Look at the example: We’re too irritated now to discuss this. Let’s talk when the dust settles. Meaning is: let’s calm down and then talk. Another example. Wait for a little as he’s so upset. You’ll explain everything to him when the dust settles.
To remember the phrases better, repeat them loudly as often as possible and make your own sentences with them. Leave your comments below and follow us. In the next podcast, we’ll remember about confusing words, such as lie and lay, rise and raise and some others. This is all for today. This was ABC English Levels and Valentine. Best wishes!