When you listen to the news in English, you might hear about someone getting busted. In this episode, we take a look at some expressions that can be used to talk about police catching criminals and making arrests. Sometimes the police have been investigating someone for a huge illegal operation, and other times someone might get busted for something as simple as speeding. Listen to this episode to learn about a bunch of expressions that have to do with getting caught breaking the law or doing something wrong. Hopefully, you won’t be using any of these to talk about yourself!
Expressions included in the learning materials
- Tech savvy
- To fall of your radar
- To bust someone
- A loner
- A ring
- To crack down on something or someone
- To nab someone
- A mule
- To tag
- To round up someone or something
- To think twice
- To carry out something
- To hack
For a complete transcription, click:
Andrew: That’s right. And our first expression is to bust.
Harp: To bust.
Andrew: Yeah. To bust. And usually we use this in the past tense, so you could say I was busted, or… Well, I don’t get arrested often, so I would say they got busted or he got busted.
Harp: Yeah. Exactly. It’s used in the past tense to describe when someone was arrested or caught by the police doing something bad.
Andrew: Right. So if you get caught by the police for breaking the law, you’ve been busted.
Harp: Yeah. And it could be something like speeding. So, he got busted for speeding, or it could be something really serious, like, he got busted for a big drug deal.
Andrew: That’s right. It’s usually used for more serious crimes, and I feel like when somebody’s busted, the police sort of have been planning out their actions; they’ve done an investigation, they’ve been following somebody, and they usually surprise the person, maybe in their apartment. They break down the door, they run in, they catch the person when they’re not suspecting that they’re being chased by the police, and that’s really what a bust is to me.
Harp: Yeah. I definitely agree with you. It’s usually something big. And I have the same visual in my head of the police breaking down the door and surprising the criminals.
Andrew: Right. Sometimes you see in movies or something when the police are maybe catching a terrorist or somebody who’s sort of planning an attack, maybe building a bomb in their bedroom, and you see the FBI with their scary guns and their battering ram, and they break into the house and catch the person. To me that’s what a bust is.
Harp: Yes. Should we use this in an example?
Andrew: Yeah. Let’s give some examples.
Andrew: Hey, Harp, do you remember that guy Paul that we graduated with?
Harp: Yeah. He was kind of a loner in high school.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, anyways, I heard this crazy story about him yesterday.
Harp: Tell me. What?
Andrew: He got caught by the police and he was actually busted for running a stolen car ring.
Andrew: Yeah. They found over 20 cars in his backyard.
Harp: Wow. Quiet Paul was running a stolen car ring. Wow.
Andrew: Yeah. He was stealing the cars and then shipping them to the States. And, yeah, that’s what he did for a job, but he got busted.
Harp: I’m in shock. He seemed like such a quiet dude, with no criminal intentions.
Andrew: Yeah, well, I guess you just never know.
Harp: In this example, we had an old classmate from high school, Paul, who turned out to be a criminal and who was busted by the police.
Andrew: That’s right. He stole a bunch of cars, many cars—20 cars I think—and he was arrested by the police. He was busted by the police.