Do you want to learn common spoken English phrases? Then you’re going to love our series of videos on colloquial English.

The best way to learn them is to see them in action. That way you can see when it’s appropriate to use the phrases and they become more memorable.

Using colloquial phrases will help your English sound more natural and conversational. In this video we’re looking at these ones:
Tell me about it
Join the club
on earth
What’s with…?
What’s got into you?
What’s your problem?
What are you waiting for?
what with (+reasons)
Jump to it
Get a move on
Now you tell me
Make it snappy
I haven’t got all day
or else

What does it mean if make it snappy?
Or you get a move on?
Or something gets into you?
Or you join the club?
We have these and lots more useful English phrases for you.
And you’ll learn how we use them in action.
We’re so glad you’re enjoying this series of videos.
They’re going to help your English sound more natural and conversational.
We have some new conversations for you today that are full of common English phrases.
So let’s get started.
I hate this COVID lock down.
Tell me about it.
And it’s bad for my credit card bills.
How come?
I get so bored I go shopping online.
Join the club. I spent $300 on shoes last week.
Only $300?
Yes, why? What did you buy?
A racehorse.
A racehorse?
What on earth are you going to do with a racehorse?
The first phrase to look at here is ‘tell me about it’.
Sometimes it’s a request or invitation to talk.
I’ve found a great show on Netflix.
Oh tell me about it
So there it just meant describe it for me.
But it’s interesting because this phrase has another meaning. You heard it in the conversation.
I hate this COVID lock down.
Tell me about it.
So there it meant I understand and I’ve have had the same experience.
So you can say it when something bad has happened to someone, that’s happened to you as well.
We heard another phrase that’s very similar.
When I get bored, I go shopping online and spend too much money.
Join the club.
Again this means I’ve been in the same situation as you.
And in American English we also say ‘welcome to the club’
My credit card bill was so high this month, I couldn’t afford the interest.
Welcome to the club.
So here’s one more phrase you heard.
What on earth are you going to do with a racehorse?
We use ‘on earth’ when we’re surprised or angry. It adds emphasis.
You can add it to WH questions.
Why on earth did she spend $300 on shoes? What on earth was she thinking?
How on earth can Jay afford a racehorse? And where on earth is he going to keep it?
We can also use it after negative nouns, when we mean nothing at all.
And again it adds emphasis.
There’s no reason on earth why I shouldn’t own a racehorse.
Well nothing on earth would persuade me to buy one.
OK, let’s watch another conversation.
I already pressed it.
Oh right.
So what’s with that?
With what?
I already called the elevator so why did you press it again?
The light was on. You think I don’t know how to call an elevator?
Of course not. What’s got into you today?
No seriously. What’s your problem?
I don’t have a problem. I don’t call elevators when other people have already called them.
So? Well, what are you waiting for?
I’ll take the next one.
OK, let’s start with things we say when someone’s behaving strangely.
If they’re being unreasonable, you could say this:
What’s your problem?
It suggests that their behavior is a problem and it’s very direct.
So it’s quite rude and threatening.
Here’s a more polite way to say it.
What’s got into you today?
It shows surprise because you think they’re behaving differently from normal. It’s a nicer question.
And we can use it to talk about ANY behavior that’s unusual. It could be bad behavior, but it could also be pleasant behavior.
I don’t know what’s got into Jay today. He’s been cleaning the house all morning and he never cleans it normally.
You missed a bit
OK, here’s a similar phrase : What’s with…?
You can use it to ask about people, things and situations.
So what’s with that?
With what?
I already called the elevator so why did you press it again?
We ask this when something’s wrong and we want to know the reason.
What’s with this mouse? It keeps disappearing.
It needs new batteries.
In British English we’re more likely to say ‘what’s up with this?’ It means the same thing.
And we can say that in American English too
What’s up with this design? It looks funny. Oh I see! That’s better.
Now be careful because there’s another phrase that looks very similar, but it has a very different meaning: what with. So not what’s with – what with.
Here’s an example.
We wanted to go to Spain this year.
But what with COVID, the shutdowns, and all the travel restrictions, we couldn’t.
Maybe next year.
So when we have a list of different reasons for something, we start the list with ‘what with’.
I haven’t been able to exercise this week, what with my bad back and bad leg.
And the fact that you were feeling lazy.
Well yes, that too, of course.
OK, there was one more phrase that we need to look at.
Let’s see it.
So? Well, what are you waiting for?
We say this when we want someone to hurry up.
50% off. 60% off. 70% off. Our President’s Day sale has started at Acme Motors so what are you waiting for?
It’s an instruction to do something immediately –now rather than later.
Hey Vick. This mixer’s really dirty.
Then what are you waiting for? Clean it!
What now?
Yeah. Jump to it.
Jump to it means start right away.
We have lots of expressions we use when we want people to hurry.
Let’s watch another conversation and see if you can spot some more.
Haven’t you left yet?
No and I have to be there by two.
Well you’d better get a move on.
I can’t find my suit.
Oh your brown suit?
I sent that to the cleaners yesterday.
Now you tell me.
Just choose something else. But make it snappy. You haven’t got all day.
Get that for me.
Hi Kathy (It’s your boss) No, he hasn’t left yet. He says he doesn’t know what to wear. OK, I’ll tell him. She says be there by two, or else.
Oh no!
Come on, chop-chop.
OK so did you spot the ‘hurry up’ phrases?
The first one was this.
You’d better get a move on.
It’s an informal way to tell someone to be quick. And here’s another.
Make it snappy.
And one of our viewers suggested this one.
You’re going to be late. Chop-chop.
Chop chop comes from Chinese Pidgin or Cantonese pidgin to be specific.
It’s a fun phrase. Thanks Ricardo. And one more.
You haven’t got all day.
This simply means there isn’t much time.
You can change the person so ‘I haven’t got all day’ ‘We haven’t got all day’. We can say it when we’re impatient.
OK. There was another useful phrase in the conversation.
Oh, your brown suit?
I sent it to the cleaners yesterday.
Now you tell me!
This means you should have told me before.
We say it when we’re annoyed.
Notice we stress the word ‘now’.
Something smells good.
I’m cooking a WONDERFUL meal for us tonight.
Oh well I’m going out bowling with the guys. See ya.
Now you tell me!
OK, and we have one more phrase from to look at: or else.
Ah yes. Now we can use the word ‘else’ to talk about other possibilities.
You sent my brown suit to the cleaners?
Yeah, just choose something else.
But what?
You had other possibilities in your wardrobe!
She means in my closet.
It’s another British and American difference.
But you also heard the phrase ‘or else’.
Kathy says be there by two, or else. 
That was a threat. Kathy was really angry with me.
It’s an interesting threat because it doesn’t say exactly what she’s going to do. We have to imagine it.
Do what I say or else!
You were scary there!
Yeah, I can be very scary.
And subscribe to our Simple English Videos channel, or else.
So you’d better subscribe right now. Go on, chop chop.
And if you’ve enjoyed this video, tell your friends to subscribe as well, or else.
This is the fourth video in this series, so if you want to learn some more colloquial phrases, check out the others. I’ll put the links below.
Bye-bye everyone.



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