[Music] Hello there, it’s Mark, and this is the Everyday Language for English Learners Podcast.
Today’s idiom is “been round the block”. So this is an idiom which means a person has a lot of experience.
In the Oxford Dictionary, which I checked, it said that this phrase is a US idiom. But I’ve included it in this idioms podcast series because, hmmm, well, I haven’t got a rule not to include US things.
But, you know, I am teaching British English, because I’m from the UK. But this one “been round the block”, people in the UK do know it, and do use it. Plus it sounds really cool.
Okay, so if someone’s “been round the block” it means that they have a lot of experience.
So it may be used in these ways, for example:
You can’t fool the boss. He’s been around the block a few times.
Okay, so it’s used when people are giving you a warning. You can’t fool – you can’t lie, or you can’t hide – something from the boss, he’s been round the block a few times.
Meaning, you know, the boss has got experience, he will know if you try to, you know, cheat him, or you try to hide something.
Okay, so you use it to warn somebody, which it’ll be difficult to do something.
And it could be you that has a lot of experience, So you could be warning somebody, or you could be telling somebody, er, this:
“Be honest with me, I’ve been round the block, I know what’s right, and I know what’s wrong.”
So you are telling somebody, you know that – I’ve got experience, I know in my own mind already, what is a good thing, and what is a bad thing.
Okay and then in this last example, it’s often used with sports teams, again. So you could say, like this:
“That team are great, they’ve won championships and got players who have been round the block.”
And that means the players have got experience. You know, they’re not all new – newbies, they’re not new players who, who don’t know the tricks. Who haven’t got experience of playing in these kinds of matches.
Okay, they’ve been, “round the block”.
I should explain “the block” is often used in the US because a lot of US cities have got a block [street layout] system.
So the streets are in blocks, like [a] kind of a square block and all the housing, or the apartments, I think they called them apartments, in the US. They’re in block; they’re in blocks, or apartment blocks.
So to say you’ve “been round the block”, it kind of, you’ve got the idea that, you’ve seen lots of things that’s been happening in this, in this area.
You haven’t just stayed inside in your own apartment or own house. You’ve actually been outside, and you’ve seen all different types of people, you’ve seen all different types of things, you’ve seen all different types of, you’ve had all different types of experience.
So it means, you know, you’ve got experience of the world or of whatever situation that you’re talking about.
Okay, so that’s “been round the block”. Please try and use it in your own life, write a sentence in the comments section below, and let me know about your own experiences, and if you’ve been round the block.
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Okay, Thank you for listening, and I’ll see you soon. Okay, bye-bye! [Music]
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Intro and outro music
I’ll fly away by JMM Quah see his YouTube channel here
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