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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Small change

Original website



Summary

Feifei opens her purse to illustrate a phrase that has more than one meaning. She's ready to explain using a phrase that describes trivial and insignificant things – and it won't cost you a penny!



Transcript

Feifei
Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. You are Neil…

Neil
…and hello, you are Feifei.

Feifei
Neil, a question – if you looked into my purse, what would you find?

Neil
Not much! Probably lots of small coins that aren't worth much.

Feifei
Well I'm not rich, Neil – but yes, you would find small change. A collection of coins with little value.

Neil
OK – is this the phrase for this programme?

Feifei
Not exactly. The phrase is 'small change' but it's not about money. Something that is insignificant or trivial, meaning not important, can also be described as 'small change'.

Neil
Like getting a seat on the train during the rush hour is 'small change' for me.

Feifei
And getting chocolate sprinkles on top of my cappuccino is 'small change' for me.

Neil
Really? That's 'big change' for me! Let's hear some examples that are far from being small change!

Examples
  • I've only got a cold so my health problems are small change compared with your broken leg.
  • Eating out every night is small change to Molly – she can afford it with the huge salary she's on.
  • Where I sit on the plane is small change to me, as long as we arrive on time.

Feifei
This is The English We Speak from BBC Learning English and we're talking about the phrase 'small change', which describes something insignificant or trivial, meaning not important.

Neil
We can also describe someone as being 'small change' – so they are not important. Feifei, do you think I'm small change in this programme?

Feifei
Of course not, Neil. You are very important to this programme – and besides, we couldn't afford the other presenter!

Neil
Ha ha. Very funny. So now we've explained 'small change' – can you lend me some?

Feifei
You mean money? How much do you want?

Neil
Ten pounds!

Feifei
Neil, that's NOT small change – and your request is not 'small change' either. The answer is 'no'!

Neil
Well it was worth a try. See ya.

Feifei
Bye.

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