This is the third video in a series on colloquial English where we’re looking at common phrases and expressions we use when we’re speaking.

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:
Nice try
Gotta go
Don’t even think about it
Told you
Guess what
That’ll teach him
Serves him right
Fair enough
What are you up to?
could do with
has had it
Just the job
in your dreams

What does it mean if something’s had it?
Or if something’s just the job?
Or it serves someone right?
Or it’s fair enough?
We’re exploring these phrases and lots more like them.
Come and join us and take your English up a level.
Welcome to the third video in our series on colloquial English.
We have some new conversations for you, stacked full of useful phrases.
They’re things English speakers say all the time and they’re often informal.
When you start using them, your English is going to sound more natural and conversational.
So let’s start the first video and see what we’ve got!
Oh,hey, is this English chocolate?
Yes, it is. It’s for the grandkids.
Do you want me to unwrap it for them?
Nice try. They can unwrap it themselves. Oh, there’s my taxi. Gotta go. And don’t even think about it.
We say ‘Nice try’ when someone has made an effort or an attempt to do something, but they weren’t quite successful.
Can you get it in? Oh well done.
Your turn. Oh nice try.
What are you doing?
But here’s the thing. We often use ‘nice try’ in an ironic or sarcastic way. So when an attempt was sneaky and not a nice thing to do.
Do you want me to taste this chocolate for you to check that it’s OK.
Nice try. No, you can’t have any.
OK, another phrase you heard was ‘gotta go’. It’s short for ‘I’ve got to go’
We say it when we’re leaving, especially if we’re in a rush.
And in British English, we could also say ‘Must dash’. It means the same thing.
And in American English we might say ‘I have to run’, or ‘I gotta run.’
Oh, that’s our taxi. Must dash.
Yeah, we gotta run.
And then the last phrase was ‘Don’t even think about it’. This is a warning.
We use it to tell someone that something is not allowed.
And it’s very forceful – so it’s a serious warning.
Don’t even think about touching that chocolate while I’m out.’
I wont! I promise!
You broke your promise.
But I didn’t eat any!
You’d better not!
OK, let’s have another video clip.
All right. This conversation is very short and you have to listen carefully at the end.
You need to use the other copier. This one’s not working.
Really? Why not?
They think it’s an electrical fault.
Told you.
The phrase ‘told you’ is short for ‘I told you so’.
We say it if we warned someone about doing something dangerous or silly and then they went ahead and did it anyway.
But it’s very annoying when people say this.
Well it’s very annoying when they ignore your warnings too. Let’s look at some similar phrases.
OK, here’s a different situation.
Hey, guess what. John’s just got a parking ticket.
That’ll teach him.
That’s not a nice thing to say.
Well, it serves him right. He’s always parking in the disabled spot.
Oh, I see what you mean. Fair enough.
The first phrase you heard there was ‘Guess what’. This is very common.
It’s what we say before we tell someone some news
Especially if we think it’s something that will surprise them.
Guess what. I just saw a traffic warden put a parking ticket on Jay’s car.
Now you’re worried. OK, another phrase you heard was ‘That’ll teach him’.
We say this when someone gets punished for doing something silly or wrong.
The idea is they’ve had a lesson in what NOT to do.
That’ll teach him. He’s always taking my coffee.
It served me right.
And that was another phrase we heard.
John’s always parking in the disabled spot so it served him right when he got a ticket.
So the idea there was John deserved the ticket because he behaved badly.
But we probably wouldn’t say these things directly to John. ‘That’ll teach you. It serves you right!”
That would be annoying. It’s not a nice thing to say.
Bur here’s a nice phrase you should learn.
Hmm, I see what you mean. Fair enough.
]Fair enough means I think what you’re saying is fair and reasonable. We say it a lot in British English.
It works in American English too.
Is that the washing?
If you do the laundry, I’ll fold the clothes.
Fair enough.
You agreed to my deal.
That’s because I thought it was fair. I mean I wanted you to do the washing AND fold the clothes, but I realized you had a different point of view.
So you didn’t want to argue with me.
Exactly. It was fair enough!
OK, let’s have one more situation.
What are you up to?
I’m looking for a new audio mixer.
But you already have this mixer. It could do with cleaning though.
It’s not working.
Can we fix it?
No, it’s had it. But look here’s a new digital mixer. It’s just the job.
How much is it?
Six hundred bucks.
In your dreams.
OK, the first question Jay asked was ‘What are you up to?’ It’s another way of saying ‘What are you doing?’
We use it to ask what’s happening, but it has another use too. Sometimes we say it when we think someone might doing something bad.
So something they shouldn’t be doing.
Let’s see an example of that.
I’m back.
Oh hi.
Where are the children?
What are they up to?
They’re just playing. I’ll go and see.
So I asked what the children were up to there because I thought they might be doing something naughty.
But in a lot of situations, this phrase just means ‘what are you doing?’
What are you up to?
I’m looking for a new audio mixer.
But you already have this mixer. It could do with cleaning though.
That’s another useful phrase: could do with…
We use ‘could do with’ when we need or want something.
I’m tired. I could do with a nap.
I’ve got so much work. I could do with an assistant.
I’m thirsty. I could do with a cup of coffee. I’ll make some.
And we can also apply it to objects – to say what needs to happen to them.
This mixer is dirty. It could do with a clean.
It really was dirty!
We should throw it away. It’s had it.
That was another phrase you heard – has had it.
If something has had it then it’s in very bad condition and it can’t be repaired.
This mixer’s had it. It doesn’t work and I can’t fix it.
Your next phrase: just the job. In British English, if something is just the job then it’s just what’s needed for a particular situation. Would you say it in American English?
No, we’d probably say ‘It’s perfect’ or ‘It’s just what we need’
Look at this mixer. It’s just the job.
Yeah, it’s exactly what we need.
OK, and your last phrase: ‘In your dreams’.
It’s only six hundred bucks. I think management will buy it for me.
In your dreams.
When someone’s hoping something will happen but we think it won’t, we could say ‘In your dreams’
It means we think it’s unlikely to happen, so it expresses disagreement.
We could say it as a joke, or we might say it as a challenge.
I’m going to be this year’s top salesperson.
V: In your dreams.
Ok everybody. That’s it for this video. Are we going to make any more videos on colloquial phrases?
Oh I think so. Write and tell us if there are any phrases you want us to teach.
If you’ve enjoyed this video, why not share it with a friend?
And don’t forget to subscribe to our channel. OK, we gotta go. Must dash.
Yeah we gotta run. Bye-bye everyone.



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