BBC Learning English: The English We Speak -Sinking Feeling: Having a sinking feeling is what you say in English when you realise something bad is happening or about to happen.
Li: Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. I’m Li.
Neil: And I am Neil. Li, let me tell you about this strange dream I had yesterday… we weren’t here. We were somewhere else, in another country…
(Sound of dreamy music)
Neil: We were lucky to find these cheap tickets and fly here to the United States, weren’t we? This is a wonderful place, Li.
Li: Yes, this is a wonderful place!
Neil: …where we found a boat and decided to sail on this river! Blue sky, blue water… Don’t you feel at one with nature, Li?
Li: Of course, yes, I do feel in harmony with nature. But we’ve been sailing for a while now and I’m not sure where we are… Where are we, Neil?
Neil: I’m not sure either. What I can say is that… this boat is rocking a lot, isn’t it? …
Li: Yes, but it must be normal.
Neil: … and I must confess I’m not a very strong swimmer…
Li: Don’t think about it Neil, just admire the view.
Neil: But I have a sinking feeling!
Li: A sinking feeling Neil?! What’s going on? Are your feet wet? Can you see water coming into the boat?
Neil: No, there’s no water in the boat. Having a sinking feeling is what you say in English when you realise something bad is happening or about to happen.
Man 1: I bought shares in that company but the stock market has just crashed! I have a sinking feeling that I’ve lost all my money!
Woman: The meal in this restaurant was very tasty but I have a sinking feeling that I’ve forgotten my wallet at home and I don’t have money to pay the bill!
Man 2: Oh the main player in the team has just got a red card! I’ve a sinking feeling that my team is going to lose this match!
Li: So, what is this sinking feeling that you have, Neil? If it’s not the boat, what is it?
Neil: Well, while we were admiring the view a few minutes ago I saw a sign over there on the bank of the river that said: Niagara Falls. I’ve heard this name somewhere and I don’t think it’s good. I don’t remember why but…
Li: What?! Niagara Falls! Did you say that? It has a vertical drop of some 50 metres, Neil! Do you know that?
Neil: Yes, now I remember! I saw it in a movie! I have a sinking feeling! Grab this life jacket, Li!
Li: Thank you. Now I have a sinking feeling too!
Neil: Here we goooooooooooooooo!
(Sound of alarm clock)
Neil: And that’s when I woke up, Li.
Li: That’s good, Neil. But now I have a sinking feeling.
Neil: Why is that?
Li: We have been so distracted chatting about your dream that we’ve missed our train and we will be late for work! Let’s run and get a taxi. Bye!
The English We Speak – Sinking Feeling (Transcript Video)
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