This is the second 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:
Keep it to yourself
Out with it
Mum’s the word
My lips are sealed
I’m off
Up to you
Give it a miss
Suit yourself
Grab a cofffe, nap, cab etc.
Get a grip
No way
You gotta be kidding
You can say that again.

You can see our other videos on colloquial English by clicking this link:

What does it mean if you get a grip?
Or if you keep mum?
Or if something’s up to you?
Or you’re off?
We have these and lots more common English phrases for you.
And you’ll learn how we use them in action.
We’re back with some more phrases today to help your English sound more natural and conversational.
They’re phrases English speakers say all the time but they might not translate directly into your language.
Or they might have slightly different meanings.
The best way to learn them is to see them in action, so what’s first?
We’re going to start with some phrases about secrets.
OH that’s really very interesting Roger. I understand. I’ll keep it to myself. Right. Bye.
What? Out with it.
OK, but mum’s the word. It’s very confidential.
Don’t worry, my lips are sealed.
Roger thinks we got the contract.
Hey everybody. Roger thinks we got the contract.
Did you notice the phrase ‘I’ll keep it to myself’.
It means I’ll keep it secret and I won’t tell anyone about it.
We can also ‘keep something under our hat’. It means the same thing.
And there was a similar phrase. Mum’s the word.
If we keep mum, it means we say nothing and keep quiet.
So here are some things you can say to ask someone to keep a secret.
It’s confidential
Mum’s the word
Keep it to yourself
Keep it under your hat
And when we promise to keep a secret, we can say ‘My lips are sealed.’
When we seal things we close them tightly so nothing can get out. We can seal envelopes and containers.
‘My lips are sealed.’ means I’ll tell no one. No words will escape my mouth.
Except you told everyone in the office.
I find it hard to keep secrets.
OK. The last phrase. To encourage someone to talk, we can say ‘out with it.’
What did he tell you? Come on. Out with it!
We say it when someone’s having difficulty saying something.
It might be because it’s a secret or it might just be something they don’t want us to know. It’s quite forceful and demanding.
You’ll say it if someone’s hesitating and if you think you can command them and make them say it.
Settle down children and pay attention. Who threw this? Out with it!
Jay did.
Vicki did.
Ok I’m ready for another situation.
Let’s watch another video then.
Hey, I’m off to the gym. Do you want to come too?
It’s up to you.
I think I’ll give it a miss today. BrE
Suit yourself. Oh and I’m going to grab some coffee on the way back.
And doughnuts?
Oh sure. Why not?
Grab one for me too
OK, the first thing you said was ‘I’m off.’ ‘I’m off to the gym’
I’m off just means I’m leaving.
OK I’m off. Bye.
And another useful phrase was ‘it’s up to you’.
We say that to tell someone that something’s their decision.
Which tie should I wear?
Well, they’re both nice. It’s up to you.
So it’s up to you means it’s your choice. You should decide.
And you heard another common expression that’s similar. Suit yourself.
I think I’ll give it a miss today.
Suit yourself.
Now you used the phrase in a nice way there.
Yes, it can mean the same as ‘It’s up to you’.
But we can also use it in a more negative and judgmental way.
You’re not coming to the gym? Tut tut. You look like you need the exercise but suit yourself.
You sounded a little angry there.
Well yes! If we think someone’s not doing the right thing, we might be indignant. ‘Suit yourself’.
It still means they can do whatever they want, but it tells them you think they’re wrong.
OK, here’s another useful phrase. I’ll give it a miss. We say this when we’re deciding NOT to do something.
It’s a British expression. In American English we might say I’ll pass on that.
I’m not going to the gym this weekend. I’ll give it miss.
I’ll pass on it too this weekend.
And you’re normally so serious about exercise.
Yeah but I like to take things easy on the weekend.
He means at the weekend.
On the weekend. It’s an American and British difference.
OK, here’s a useful verb that we often use informally: grab.
I’m going to grab some coffee on the way back.
And doughnuts?
Oh sure. Why not?
Literally the verb grab means to take hold of something quickly and roughly, but we use it in other ways too.
Let’s grab something to eat on the way home
Grab a seat everybody and I’ll be with you shortly
There are no busses so I’ll grab a cab.
I’m so tired. Why don’t you grab a couple of hours of sleep?
So sometimes we can use the verb ‘grab’ instead of the verbs ‘have’, ‘get’ and ‘take’.
It implies an action is quick or short and it sounds casual.
Yes, it’s informal and colloquial
OK are you ready for some more phrases?
Let’s see another situation.
I paid them, I paid them.
What the matter?
The tax office. They say we owe them $20,000. $20,000!
Get a grip. Show me.
I paid them. I paid them.
But look. This letter isn’t addressed to us.
You gotta be kidding.
No, we’ve opened somebody else’s mail.
No way! Oh, what a relief!
You can say that again!
The first phrase to note was ‘get a grip’.
Now the word ‘grip’ can be a verb. If you hold something very tightly you grip it. And it can be a noun as well. Jay’s in my grip.
Ooo! But that’s not what it meant in that conversation. You told me to ‘get a grip.’
In that phrase it’s similar to relax or take it easy.
This can’t be happening.
Take a deep breath and get a grip.
We say it when someone seems to be losing their self-control. They might be very upset or angry or frightened.
So be careful because the meaning is stronger than ‘relax’. It means ‘control your emotions’.
Sometimes we apply it to ourselves.
So when is your job interview?
In five minutes. I’m so nervous. Get a grip, Vicki.
You’ll be fine.
Now you also heard a couple of phrases we use when we don’t believe something.
No way. You gotta be kidding.
We have a lot of colloquial phrases to express disbelief. Here are a few more.
You gotta be joking.
Come off it.
Are you for real?
You can’t be serious!
Before we finish, there was another interesting phrase there. ‘You can say that again’.
Literally this means you can repeat something, but that’s not how we use it.
What a relief!
You can say that again.
It expresses agreement – strong agreement.
So instead of ‘repeat it’ it actually means ‘I completely agree with what you just said.’
Sometimes English is weird like that.
You can say that again.
OK, it’s time to stop now, but we will be making more videos like this.
So if you want to learn more colloquial phrases like this, make sure you’ve hit the subscribe button.
And help a friend learn English too. Why not send them a link to this video?
Bye-bye everyone.


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