BBC Learning English: The English We Speak – Pull the plug: in English, when we tell someone we’re going to pull the plug on something, we mean we are going to stop spending time or money on it.
Rob is having serious problems writing a programme about art. Li wants to help him. But how? Listen to the programme to find out.
(Li comes into the office and finds Rob very annoyed)
Li: Good morning, Rob.
Rob: Hi Li. I wish the morning was good but it’s not.
Li: Why not?
Rob: Well, I came to the office very early today to write a programme about art.
Rob: Yeah, but it’s giving me a headache because I don’t really understand art. I think I’m going to pull the plug on this idea!
Li: Pull the plug?
Rob: Yes. If I pull the plug on this one I’ll be more relaxed and inspired to write a programme about technology. They’re the ones I like the best. I love new gadgets!
Li: No problem. I can do it for you.
Rob: (surprised and concerned) Oh, my computer has been switched off! What’s happened!?
Li: Here’s the plug. I’ve just pulled it out. You can be more relaxed now. There you go.
Rob: Oh Li, I didn’t literally mean “pull the plug out”. In English, when we tell someone we’re going to pull the plug on something, we mean we are going to stop spending time or money on it. Let’s listen to some examples.
- Research on the new product was becoming very expensive so the company pulled the plug on the project.
- The play got really bad reviews and almost no one came to see it, but the theatre owner said he wouldn’t pull the plug on it.
Li: OK. So you don’t want to spend time on a programme you don’t enjoy writing.
Rob: No, not really.
Li: So I might have done you a favour by pulling the plug out.
Rob: Well, maybe. Yes, you’re right Li. Thank you.
Li: OK. Now that you sound more relaxed, I will plug it back in so you can write about… technology!
Rob: That’s right. And I can start describing the wonders of electricity!
Li: That’s a great idea. You see, you see, your face has just lit up with joy! Bye.
The English We Speak – In the doghouse 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 How to … with transcript videos
- L1: BBC Drama – Frankenstein with transcript videos
- L3: BBC Better Speaking
- L2: BBC 6 minute English with transcript videos
- L1: BBC Short and Easy Dramas with transcript videos
- L1: BBC 6 Minute Vocabulary with transcript videos
- L1: BBC Face Up to Phrasals with transcript videos
- L3: BBC Words in the News with transcript videos
- L1: BBC Drama – The Race with transcript videos
- L1: BBC The Flatmates
- L2: Study English – IELTS Preparation
- L3: The Business of English Video Series
- L2: My Australia
- L2: A.A. Milne – Winnie the Pooh AudioBook
- L1: Living English Video Series
- L1: extr@ English with subtitles
- L2: The Secret Garden AudioBook
- L3: Pride and Prejudice AudioBook
- L3: CNN Student News with transcript
- L2: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Easy AudioBook
Source: BBC Learning EnglishMore Series for You: