English, Erasmus and 12 phrases that will help you on more than one occasion
Let's set the scene, you've just arrived at your Erasmus destination to begin one of the most exciting experiences of your life (no, the pandemic isn't going to stop you!), but there's a few worries that you can't seem to get out of your head... How am I going to interact with people in another language? Will I be able to manage on my own? Will I sound like a robot when I try?
Chill out, it doesn't matter that you don't know the language of whichever country you are in, as many people understand English and therefore we want to give you a series of common phrases that will make language less of a problem for you and you can enjoy 100% of your time away.
If you want to sound like a true native, you need to learn this slang, so grab a pen and paper or get ready to copy and paste. Let's get started!
1. Piece of cake!
You've just left your exam, you meet up with the rest of your class to talk about how it went and somebody says this phrase. They want a piece of cake at 10am? Really?
No! It simply means that the exam was super easy, and it's a really common phrase so make it stand out on your list by highlighting and underlining it.
2. Break a leg
It's your turn to go up to the blackboard to present your work and while you are talking, someone mentions this expression. Calm down! He is not wishing anything bad on you, in fact rather the opposite, as English people use this phrase to wish each other good luck.
3. Make yourself at home
You've just arrived at your friends place and straight away they say this phrase to you which, in English, means settle in and make yourself comfortable so that you feel as if you're in your own home. As Confucius said, politeness leads to confidence.
4. Not my cup of tea
You've been invited to a fancy dress party, but you don't like dressing-up? Don't worry, you can use this phrase to politely say that you're not too keen on the idea.
5. No bother
You get to class on your first day, you have a coffee in hand and, completely by accident, you drop it all over the table leaving the notes of the person next to you smelling like coffee... Talk about making an entrance! If the person says this phrase to you, they are telling you not to worry at all, it's no problem.
6. Hit the roof
On the other hand, there are people who won't handle you throwing coffee all over them in such a polite way and they may get angry and kick-off. The next day, you would use this phrase when summarizing to your friends how they responded.
7. Kiss and make up
After the little incident with the coffee, there's nothing left to do other than move on and let it go, which is exactly what this phrase means. It's one that also has a frequently used equivalent in Spain.
8. It’s water under the bridge
It also turns out, that after the coffee incident, you end up making friends with the person who wasn't too happy about it all. At this point, you decide to apologise and therefore use this phrase to make it clear that the issue is over and it's been forgotten about.
9. I’ve enough on my plate
It's your first piece of group work, you divvy up the tasks and there's always that one person who doesn't fully understand what they have to do, so they just don't do their part. You mention to the rest of the group what's happened and try to divide the final task at hand between you, to which one of them responds with this set phrase, as a way of saying that they already have too many things to do and they don't have time for anything else.
10. Hit the nail on the head
You're looking at your phone and all of a sudden the teacher asks you a question in the middle of the class (obviously, she didn't realise what you were doing at the time... ) you answer her and she uses this phrase to tell you that you are spot on with your answer (by the skin of your teeth!). It's a really common saying in the UK so try to remember it.
11. Catch something
You get to the airport and go straight to the information desk. You ask a question to the person at the window and between the fact that he talks fast and the fact that you are more nervous than you were the day of your driving test, it turns out that you haven't understood anything he said and you don't know what's going on in the conversation. Set this phrase as your wallpaper so that you don't forget it and I guarantee you it will get you out of a lot of trouble!
12. It’s up to you
You don't want to make a decision and you want the responsibility to be in someone else's hands. Stress over! Here you have the perfect phrase, which literally means “I don't mind; you can choose”.
All of these phrases will help you a lot when it comes to improving your English, being able to express yourself and getting by in day to day life, with things such as reading books and watching films.
Globalisation has made English a common communication language which allows people from different countries and cultures to communicate amongst each other. At tuSpeaking, they are specialists in online language courses, so if you want to be up to date with the best advice for learning English in a fun way, follow them on LinkedIn.
Content available in other languages
- Español: Inglés, Erasmus y 12 frases hechas que te sacarán de más de un apuro
- Italiano: L'Erasmus e l'inglese: 12 frasi per cavarsela in ogni situazione
- Français: Anglais, Erasmus et 12 expressions idiomatiques que te sortiront de la galère plus d'une fois
- Deutsch: Englisch, Erasmus und 12 Redewendungen, die dir aus mehr als einer Patsche helfen werden
- Português: Inglês, Erasmus e 12 frases feitas que o tirarão de mais de uma situação
- Polski: 12 zwrotów w języku angielskim, które wyciągną cię z niejednych tarapatów na wymianie Erasmus
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