BBC Learning English: The English We Speak – Pie in the sky: In English, we use the expression ‘pie in the sky’ to talk about something good that we would like to happen but which is unlikely to.
Finn and Li are bird-watching in the woods. As she looks up in the sky Li wonders: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it… a pie?! Listen to the programme to find out what the phrase ‘pie in the sky’ means.
Li: I’m so happy you invited me to come to the woods to do some bird-watching with you, Finn.
Finn: I’m glad you came along, Li. It’s a very British hobby. We love nature and the different species of birds. That one, for example, is a swallow.
Li: Oh. Pass me the binoculars please.
Finn: Can you see how beautiful it is?
Li: Oh, I can see it clearly. It’s tiny. It must be a young one. It’s good that the mayor has promised to preserve these woods, Finn.
Finn: I wish they would stop building shopping centres everywhere. But preserving all these areas is pie in the sky, Li.
Li: Pie in the sky? Where? These binoculars are good but I can’t see any pie!
Finn: No, there is no actual pie up there, Li. In English, we use the expression ‘pie in the sky’ to talk about something good that we would like to happen but which is unlikely to.
Li: So you think the idea of preserving these woods is good but they might end up building a shopping centre here.
Finn: Exactly. Unfortunately, I think these businesses are too powerful.
Li: Let’s not lose hope, Finn.
Finn: Well, ‘pie in the sky’ is the expression in this edition of The English We Speak. Now let’s hear some examples of how it is used.
- When my bank manager says the stock market is sure to recover by the end of the year, that’s clearly pie in the sky.
- Mary’s plans to live a life of luxury are just pie in the sky. She doesn’t have much money.
Li: Well, I must admit that the idea of pie has made me hungry.
Finn: Yeah, I’m hungry too. Let’s go back to town and find a place where they serve tasty pies.
Li: Yes! I love cherry pie! Bye bye little birdies!
Finn: Yum yum. Bye.
The English We Speak – Pie in the sky Transcript Video
The English We Speak
- The English We Speak – Treading on eggshells
- The English We Speak – To make a monkey out of me
- The English We Speak – Take a rain check
- The English We Speak – Hot potato
- The English We Speak – Use your loaf
- The English We Speak – There’s method to my madness
- The English We Speak – Skeleton in the closet
- The English We Speak – In good nick
- The English We Speak – Get lost!
- The English We Speak – Cheap and cheerful
More from the BBC
- L1: BBC The English We Speak with transcript videos
- L3: BBC Better Speaking
- L1: BBC 6 Minute Vocabulary with transcript videos
- L1: BBC The Flatmates
- L3: BBC The Reading Group
- L1: BBC Drama – Frankenstein with transcript videos
- L1: BBC Face Up to Phrasals with transcript videos
- L1: BBC English at Work with transcript videos
- L1: BBC How to … with transcript videos
- L1: BBC English Idioms
- L2: A.A. Milne – Winnie the Pooh AudioBook
- L3: CNN Student News with transcript
- L1: Living English Video Series
- L2: My Australia
- L2: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Easy AudioBook
- L3: Pride and Prejudice AudioBook
- L1: extr@ English with subtitles
- L2: Study English – IELTS Preparation
- L3: The Business of English Video Series
- L2: The Secret Garden AudioBook
Source: BBC Learning EnglishMore Series for You: