Vocabulary | Clichés and Fixed Statements

Audio Episode

What is this episode about?

Learn some common cliches and fixed statement you can use in your everyday speaking in this new Vocabulary episode from English Plus Podcast.

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I am using an automatic transcript service as it is not possible for me to do it on my own and I cannot afford human transcription at the moment. The service claims to have about 95% accuracy, which means there will still be some mistakes, so my apologies for having a less than perfect transcript, but I hope I can afford human transcription soon and I will solve this problem. However, the service is pretty good, and the transcript is almost perfect.


Welcome to a new episode from English plus podcast. Today’s episode is about vocabulary and we will talk about cliches and fixed statements. So we will talk about things that we usually say, and these things are technically idiom. So we will focus on idioms today. And now without further ado, let’s start talking about some cliches that you might hear all the time and they have specific meanings.

[00:00:33] And remember, these are fixed statements. So if you want to say them, you will have to say them the same way all the time. Now, before we start with these cliches, let me tell you a little bit about a cliche. What is a cliche? A cliche is a comment that is often used in certain common or everyday situations.

[00:00:52] It is a comment that most people are familiar with and is therefore not original. That’s why we call it a cliche. Cliches are often used in everyday conversation, and they’re also frequently within advertising slogans and newspaper headlines. So let’s start with our very first cliche for today. And that is, there are plenty, more fish in the sea.

[00:01:15] You hear that when you want to talk about, there are plenty more people or possibilities. And we often use that to cheer someone up who has found one person or opportunity on successful. So, if you want to cheer someone up, who’s found one person or opportunity unsuccessful. You might cheer this person up by saying there are plenty, more efficient dis-ease meaning there are plenty more people or possibilities.

[00:01:40] What if you want to try to see something good in a bad situation, you might use the cliche. Look on the bright side. Look on the bright side. Remember these are fixed expressions. So you don’t say, look at the bright side or look at the shiny side. You don’t say that. You use the fixed expression as it is.

[00:01:59] So look on the bright side. And as I said, we use that to try to see something good in a bad situation. This is usually followed by an explanation of what the bright side might be. For example, after failing a job interview, you are told that you probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the job if you’d got it. So look on the bright side, or you might hear something from some people, and that’s not always a positive thing.

[00:02:26] People might tell you about something that they already know it’s going to happen next. So it’s easy to say what you or others should have done if you know what happens next. So here you can use the cliche. It’s easy to be wise after the event, or hindsight is a wonderful thing. And usually you say that.

[00:02:45] You want to tell people it’s easy for you to say that, you know what happens next? So it’s easy to say what you or others should have done. And that’s usually unwanted advice. You don’t want to go and tell people what they should have done. I mean, this is maybe the worst thing you can do. The best thing is you can listen to them.

[00:03:02] You can comfort them. You can suggest ways to get over problems, but it’s always a bad idea just to go and lecture them about what could have happened because you know what the consequences would be. So here, the cliche it’s easy to be wise after the event or hindsight is a wonderful thing. And there’s another cliche that I want to share with you.

[00:03:24] And that is ignorance is bliss. Now ignorance is bliss. What do we mean by that? You may be happier sometimes when you do not know all the facts about a situation. So you say ignorance is bliss. Sometimes some people say that some people don’t want to know everything. I mean, it’s easier for me to just get on with my job without knowing all the details.

[00:03:47] Because if I know all the details, even if I know that there are some, maybe, maybe illegal stuff happening in the background, but burden, I will have to carry. So ignorance is bliss. If I don’t know, it’s a lot easier. I’m not saying it’s the right thing to do, of course, but I’m just saying what ignorance is.

[00:04:03] Bliss is used for. So ignorance is bliss. You may be happier sometimes when you do not know all the facts about a situation. And you can also say you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink now, but you can’t make a drink. You don’t have to finish it because people will definitely know this continuation by only saying you can lead a horse to water.

[00:04:25] They will know. You want to say, but you can’t make it drink. And what does that mean? That means you can give someone the opportunity to do something, but you cannot force them to do it. And as I said, the second part is usually not said, because people will definitely know what you’re talking about by just saying, you can lead a horse to water and another cliche truth will out.

[00:04:46] Now this cliche is very easy to understand, because that means the truth will always become known. But the tricky thing about this cliche is the wording itself. The phrase itself truth will out. You might think that it’s not exactly grammatical and it might not be grammatically perfect, but it is an expression.

[00:05:04] People use. It is a cliche. People use all the time to mean that the truth will eventually become known. So truth will out. That’s another question. Now let’s talk about some fixed statements that we use all the time. Now, sometimes people promise you things and they promise that you will get this, or you will get that, or this will happen, or that will happen.

[00:05:25] But because you know, this person is not exactly trustworthy or at least not all the time. So you have your doubts and you will. Want to keep your doubts until this thing happens. So you say I’ll believe it. When I see it, that is a fixed statement. I’ll believe it. When I see it now, sometimes you promise not to tell a secret and there is a fixed statement that is obviously informal.

[00:05:50] That is mum’s the word, mum. Mum, of course. We’re not talking about moms. We’re not talking about mothers that we’re talking about secrecy. Mum’s the word. And what if you’re happy that something, or someone has gone. You can say good riddance, good riddance is said, when you are happy that something, or someone has gone, what if you want to calm someone down or tell them to relax?

[00:06:15] You can tell them to take it easy. That might be very famous. And you might all know about take it easy because we hear it a lot. But the other fixed statements are as commonly used as this one. What if you want to describe the behavior of someone or a group of people, and you want to say that their behavior is reasonable, especially under the circumstances you can say, or you can use the fixed statement.

[00:06:38] Fair’s fair. Fair is fair. But we don’t say fair is fair because remember fixed statements. We say them just the way they are used. We don’t change anything in them. So we say Fair’s fair. Fares, apostrophe S fair. And there’s another common one, very commonly used actually, when things are going well up to this point, if somebody asks you how’s the project going or how’s marriage life or how’s, whatever thing you’re doing.

[00:07:05] And do you want to say that things are going well up to this point? What can you say about that? What is the fixed statement that you can use? Well, you can say so far so good. That is used a lot, and I’m pretty sure you know that already, but it’s worth mentioning here as well. And the next fixed statement, which is the final fixed statement we’re going to talk about today.

[00:07:24] That is when people start criticizing you and they don’t stop. And you just want to tell them, please. Of course it doesn’t have to be all the people. Maybe just, you’re talking about one person and here you want to tell them, please stop criticizing me. You can use the fixed statement. Give me a break, give me a break.

[00:07:42] That means stop criticizing me. Well, that being said, these are all the cliches and fixed statements that I wanted to share with you today. Let me remind you that there is a link you will find in the description of this episode that will take you to our website English plus podcast.com. There you will find interactive activities, PDF, downloadable worksheet, show notes, anything you need to help you improve your English.

[00:08:05] So take the link, go to our website and take your English with it to the next level. And there’s also another link that will take you to our Patreon page. If you like the content we’re creating and you would like to support us to create more of this content and reach more people, become our patrons on Patreon and help us grow and reach more people and create more of the content you love.

[00:08:24] Now that being said, let me just say one thing before I leave you remember we talked about cliches and we talked about fixed statements and we said that you have to use them just the way they are used, but because they are cliches and the meaning of cliche is the opposite of original. So when you use cliches, you’re definitely not using original language because old people use that specially as cliches or fixed statements.

[00:08:48] So you wouldn’t want to use it in your own creative writing, for example, or even in formal writing, it’s not best to use cliches in formal writing or when you want to express original or complex idea, because that will kind of sell, adding a little bit short. So you would want to do that, but it’s absolutely okay to use it in everyday speaking.

[00:09:09] So that being said, this is your host, Danny. I would like to thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcast. I will see you next time.

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