Catch Word #79 – Needle in a haystack

At some time in our lives we all lose something! Hopefully you can easily find it again. Other times it is very difficult to find what you have lost. This episode is about expressions that we can use when we have to look for our lost item that is difficult to find. We might say that it is like looking for a needle in a haystack, or that we have to go on a treasure hunt, or that we searched inside out for it!


Expressions included in the learning materialsneedleinahaystack

  • To be cluttered
  • A needle in a haystack
  • Do you have a minute?
  • A basement
  • It means so much to me
  • To go on a treasure hunt
  • Tickle Me Elmo
  • I do remember that
  • To search inside out

Sample transcript

Harp:              Yes. And today, we’re looking at expressions that talk about something that is difficult to find.

Maura:            Right, exactly. So something that is not easy to find, and it could be because you lost the item, and so you have no idea where it is.

Harp:              Mmhmm. Or it could be difficult to find because it’s in an area that’s unorganized, it’s cluttered, it’s messy.

Maura:            Right. It could be also be difficult to find because it’s in an area with a lot of things, maybe even a lot of things that look similar to the item you’re looking for.

Harp:              Yeah. Or it could be difficult to find because it’s very small.

Maura:            Right. So, anything that you lose that’s very small is really hard to find, because sometimes you can’t see it.

Harp:              Yup.

Maura:            Great. So, all our expressions today are talking about trying to find something that’s very difficult.

Harp:              Exactly. Our first expression is a needle in a haystack.

Maura:            Right. So when you’re looking for something that’s difficult to find, you can say that it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Harp:              Yes, a needle in a haystack.

Maura:            Now, it’s very important to understand a needle in a haystack. A needle is a very, very small tool that’s used for sewing.

Harp:              Yes. And a haystack is large and is full of straw, and you’d find it on a farm.

Maura:            Right. Sometimes, if you’re driving along a road, you might see a field with lots of different haystacks around the field.

Harp:              Yeah. So to find a needle in a haystack is very difficult.

Maura:            Yes, near impossible. So, if you imagine trying to find this very small needle in this big haystack … well, it’s very difficult.

english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips