BBC Learning English: The English We Speak – Take for a ride: In English, when we say someone is ‘taking you for a ride’, we mean he is deceiving you.
Li is about to invest in a company which develops cars fuelled by air. Rob is suspicious and warns her not to go ahead with this business venture. Will she take Rob’s advice? Listen to the programme to find out.
Hello Li. What a nice handbag. Is it new?
Thank you, Rob. Yes. I bought in a designer shop. It was very expensive but it doesn’t matter. Soon I will be able to afford ten like this one!
What do you mean?
This afternoon I’m going to meet a financial adviser. He has promised to make me rich!
And how is he going to do that?
He said there’s this new company which is very high-tech and they are developing a car which uses only fresh air for fuel!
Yes. Isn’t that brilliant?!
Li, do you know this guy very well?
No. But he has also advised my neighbour to buy shares in this company.
Li, this guy is taking you and your neighbour for a ride!
I hope so. A ride in this wonderful car powered by air…
No, no, no. I don’t mean that. In English, when we say someone is ‘taking you for a ride’, we mean he is deceiving you. This company might not even exist – and I’m sure the car is just a fantasy…
Oh! He’s just after my money?!
I’m afraid so. ‘Take for a ride’ is today’s expression in The English We Speak. Here are some examples of how it’s used.
That hotel took me for a ride. When I booked a room they said they’d give me a full cooked breakfast but all I got was a cup of coffee and a piece of toast. I’m never going back there again.
Don’t be taken for a ride. If an offer seems too good to be true, it’s probably not real.
Oh, Rob. Thank you very much for warning me.
You’re welcome, Li.
Well, talking about rides… when you say it as a normal sentence, the phrase ‘take someone for a ride’ or ‘to give someone a ride’ can also mean ‘to take someone somewhere as a passenger in your car’, can’t it?
Yes, it can – especially in American English. The meaning can be literal, or idiomatic: it’s all about the context.
Well, this time I’m not using it as an idiom but speaking as an American. Can you give me a ride home in your car?
Sure thing, Li. It will be a pleasure to have you riding in my car. No idiom. And my car is powered by more than just fresh air.
Thank you, Rob. I’ll try to be more suspicious of things which sound too good to be true.
That’s good. Okay. Li, come on. Jump in.
The English We Speak – Take for a ride Transcript Video
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