BBC Learning English: The English We Speak – Skeleton in the closet
Li is accompanying Finn to his late uncle’s old house. It is an isolated and dark place full of masks on the walls. Finn is there to collect a suitcase. Li is frightened. See what happens next.
Finn: Thank you for coming with me to my late uncle’s old house. He died recently.
Li: What a huge house!
Finn: Yes. My uncle, Frank Stein, left instructions for me to collect a suitcase which contains a donation to a school.
Li: A kind man who lived in a huge dark house. Oh, what was that?!
Finn: An owl – spooky!
Li: These wooden masks on the walls look very scary, Finn. Look – big eyes, twisted mouths…
Finn: Yes, they are from an old tribe I think.
Li: Finn, why did your uncle have all this stuff?
Finn: Our family never had much contact with him. He was a bit of a loner with a mysterious past.
Li: Mysterious past?
Finn: Yes. He had a mysterious life. He was an adventurer and a gambler. His first wife was killed in an accident. The second one disappeared suddenly. He had a few skeletons in the closet!
Li: He has got skeletons in the closet! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!
Finn: Calm down, Li. In English, when we say that someone has a skeleton in the closet, we mean that they have a hidden secret which is embarrassing. Let’s hear some examples.
- Mr Burns had to resign his position as CEO, after it came to light that his brother was in jail for corruption. Shareholders got scared he might have more skeletons in the closet.
- I have always led a modest and honest life. There are no skeletons in my closet.
Li: That’s a relief. So this is just an expression. There are no skeletons in these closets, are there?
Finn: Oh, no. No skeletons in these closets but…
Li: But what?
Finn: But here’s the suitcase my uncle wanted to donate to a school after his death. And it has… (he opens the suitcase).
Li: A skeleton!! This place must be haunted! Ohhhhh I’m out of here!! Ahhhhhhh!
Finn: Don’t worry, Li! My uncle Frank Stein was a doctor. He wanted me to donate this skeleton to a medical school for students to examine!
(Sinister laughter, sound of door closing)
The English We Speak – Skeleton in the closet Transcript Video
The English We Speak
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- 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
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