Hello, and welcome to The English We Speak with me, Neil and errr… where’s Feifei?
…sorry I’m late. Hello!
Goodness, it’s not like you to be late. You’re always so punctual and… smartly dressed. But today you look a mess - if you don’t mind me saying.
I do mind you saying, Neil. It’s been a very stressful morning. I didn’t have time to shower, iron my clothes or even have breakfast.
Hmm, did you get up late by any chance?
Yes, you’re right. I forgot to set my alarm last night. So I overslept!
Has this got anything to do with you going out last night?I suppose you’re going to tell me you had such a great time, you stayed out later than expected?
Yes, how did you guess? I had one of the best nights out for a long time – but I’m regretting it now!
Ah well, that’ll teach you for staying out late – enjoying yourself!
That’ll teach me’? I’m not going to school – nobody is going to ’teach me’ not to stay out late.
It’s just a saying, Feifei. You might say it to someone to suggest that they should learn the bad effects of doing something and not repeat it in the future. In other words, your stress this morning is a suitable punishment for staying out late last night – you won’t do it again.
You sound like my parents!
These examples might explain the phrase better…
You lent some money to Dan and he didn’t pay you back – that’ll teach you!
My brother got a speeding ticket for driving too fast down the High Street – that’ll teach him!
The footballer got a red card for his bad tackle and now he’ll miss playing in the final – that’ll teach him!
This is The English We Speak from BBC Learning English and we’re hearing about the phrase ’that’ll teach you’ which is said to someone to mean they should learn from the bad effects of what they’ve done. I guess we could also say ’it serves you right!’?
Yes, it’s a very informal but blunt way of saying ’your suffering is your own fault’. And for you it’s true.
But do you know what, Neil – despite my suffering, I had a really good night out.
Oh did you?And who did you have this ’great night out’ with?
Everyone from the office. We all went to the pub and then onto a nightclub. That’ll teach you for leaving the office early, Neil. You left too early and you missed out!
Hmm,that’s enough teaching for one day. I’m off.