Catch Word # 160 – To know the ropes

Do you know your stuff? If not, you’re going to want to listen to this episode! Today’s program is all about experts and how to describe them. Join Harp and Andrew as they share many useful expressions that will come in handy when talking about skilled and smart people!

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Expressions included in the Learning Materials:ESL Podcast

  • An oldie but a goodie
  • To come in handy
  • Bibimbap
  • To know something inside out
  • To give someone a hand
  • A heads-up
  • To know the ropes
  • To be on its last legs
  • To know your stuff
  • Whoa
  • To know something from back to front
  • Forest Gump
  • To chill out
  • A know-it-all
  • The Simpsons
  • To hook someone up (with something)
  • Seinfeld
  • To give someone a ring

Sample transcript:

Andrew:         So, Harp, what’s new?

Harp:              Well, you know, I’m really craving Korean food.

Andrew:         Really? I crave Korean food all the time.

Harp:              Me too! It’s the best food. I love it so much. I really want to go eat some. Do you know any good restaurants?

Andrew:         There is a restaurant, actually, right down by the university. You should check it out. It’s called GaNaDaRa, which I think in Korean translates to, like, ABCD.

Harp:              Oh, interesting. OK, I’ll write that down and check it out, ’cause I need to eat some Korean food.

Andrew:         Yeah. You should go there for sure. It is great. They have just, like… Get the dumplings. The dumplings are good.

Harp:              Yeah? Do they have bibimbap?

Andrew:         Bibimbap? Yeah, of course. Yeah, it’s good.

Harp:              Nice! OK. So I think we should get started with today. We’re doing a Catch Word episode for you all.

Andrew:         That is correct. A Catch Word episode is where we talk about three different expressions that are all related and we tell you what these expressions mean and how you can use them in natural conversation.

Harp:              Yes. And today our expressions are all related to knowing something really well.

Andrew:         Mmhmm. If you are an expert in something, in doing something, then these expressions will come in very handy.

Harp:              Yes. So let’s get started with the first expression.

Andrew:         Sure. So our first expression is to know something inside out.

Harp:              Yes. To know something inside out.

Andrew:         Mmhmm. So if you know something completely, if you know it very well, then you know it inside out.

Harp:              And this expression makes sense. If you know something inside out, that means you know all the inside of it, you know the outside of it, you know everything about it.

Andrew:         Mmhmm. So you know the correct way to do something, or you know all the details and all the information about a certain subject.

Harp:  Yup. You’re an expert in this subject, whatever it is.

Andrew:         Exactly. And I think we use this expression a lot when we talk about business.

Harp:              Yes. That’s true. When you’re an expert in something, maybe you’re really knowledgeable about the stock market, you know it inside out.

Andrew:         Exactly.

Harp:              You know, I don’t like to say this about myself, though, because I feel like I’m always learning more, so I don’t think I know anything inside out, to tell you the truth.

Andrew:         It would be a little bit rude or arrogant if you described yourself as knowing something inside out. If I said, “I know everything about Canadian history. I know it inside out,” it kind of sounds like you’re bragging. I think you want to use this expression when you talk about other people.

Harp:              Yeah. If you said to me, “I know Canadian history inside out,” I would start challenging you right away, ’cause I think you… ’Cause I think you’d be bragging.

Andrew:         That is right. So maybe this is a word of warning that we can say to you, is to be careful when you’re using this expression. It is best used to praise somebody else and describe somebody else’s talents, and I would personally not use this expression to talk about myself.


english PodcastPodcast/Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast, Image Culips