BBC Learning English: The English We Speak – Beat the drum: In English, when we say ‘to beat the drum’ or ‘to bang the drum’ we mean to speak with enthusiasm about an idea in order to persuade or convince other people to support it.
Neil and Li love baby turtles. They plan to go to an event at the beach to help protect turtles. But why does Li want to bring her drum? Listen to the programme to find out.
Neil: Hello, Li. Are you ready?
Li: Yes, Neil! We’re going to that event for the protection of turtles, aren’t we Neil? Where is it happening again?
Neil: By the beach. They’re going to make speeches and then release some small turtles into the sea.
Li: How sweet! I love baby turtles!
Neil: Yes, they’re lovely, aren’t they? Let’s go and join all the scientists, animal lovers and campaigners and beat the drum for the cause!
Li: Beat the drum? Will there be drums there?
Neil: No. I don’t think so…
Li: But if you think we need to drum, I have one here. We can beat the drum, like this…
Neil: You’re a great drummer Li, but sadly no need for drums. It might scare the baby turtles.
Li: But why are you talking about drums then?!
Neil: I’ll tell you. In English, when we say ‘to beat the drum’ or ‘to bang the drum’ we mean to speak with enthusiasm about an idea in order to persuade or convince other people to support it.
Li: Ah! I see. No real drums, then…
Neil: No. ‘Beat the drum’ is our expression in this edition of The English We Speak. Now let’s hear some examples of how it’s used.
- Part of the job of a prime minister is to visit other nations and beat the drum for your country, to support business and jobs.
- Mary is shy but her colleagues keep telling her: “If you don’t beat the drum for your own ideas, who will?”
Li: OK, Neil. I’m ready to beat the drum for turtle conservation!
Neil: Great, we’d better go. We’ll be late.
Li: OK. Ready? One, two, one, two…
Neil: You are quite keen on this instrument, aren’t you? You’re not taking it with you… are you?
Li: Of course not. I don’t want to frighten the animals. But I might end up forming a band. How about The Baby Turtles?
Neil: Yeah, that’s a good name! Let’s go. Bye.
The English We Speak – Beat the drum Transcript Video
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