Hello, I’m Neil…
… and hello, I’m Feifei and welcome to The English We Speak.
Now Feifei, here’s a question for you. If you had some news what would do?
Hmm, I would tell someone of course.
Yes but some good news, some amazing, incredible news about yourself – like for example, I’m having a baby.
Are you really?
Of course not – but if you had exciting news like that, how would you tell people?
I’d use social media… tell all my friends… tell everyone in the office… I would shout about it – but not literally.
Exactly! Which is why, in English, we say we would ’shout it from the rooftops’ which means we would share some information publicly so everyone knows.
I guess this is how people shared important news before TV, radio and the internet had been invented.
Exactly. They would climb up somewhere high and shout it out! Let’s hear some examples…
Congratulations for getting a first in your degree, you should go and shout it from the rooftops!
I know you won the lottery but don’t shout it from the rooftops; otherwise everyone will be after your money!
We all know Ming is in love with JiYuen, he’s been shouting it from the rooftops!
So to shout something from the rooftops means to tell everyone your good news. Hold on a minute Neil, I do have some good news… I am getting a pay rise!
Sorry, what did you say?
I am getting a pay rise!
OK, no need to shout. Feifei, be careful, there are some things you don’t want to shout from the rooftops – that news will just upset people.
Like me. I didn’t get one. But congratulations anyway.