The English We Speak – A close shave

This is an expression that describes a dangerous or unpleasant situation that has only just been avoided. It almost happened… but it didn’t.

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The English We Speak from BBC Learning English
Feifei: Hello and welcome to The English We Speak with me Feifei..
Rob: ..and me Rob. Hello.
Feifei: Erm, Rob, are you OK? You’ve got some cuts on your face.
Rob: Oh well, yes, I’ve had a bit of a bad morning.
Feifei: I’m sorry to hear that. What happened?
Rob: I was cycling into the office and some idiot ran out in the road, right in front of me.
Feifei: Crikey – did you hit him?
Rob: No – but it was a close shave.
Feifei: A close shave? Did he have a razor?!
Rob: No Feifei – that would have hurt. This is an expression that describes a dangerous or unpleasant situation that has only just been avoided. It almost happened.. but it didn’t.
Feifei: Lucky for you! So you’re saying you nearly had an accident but you didn’t?
Rob: Exactly. Let’s hear some more examples of this phrase.. ~
We ran to catch the train – it was a close shave but we just managed to get on.
I had a close shave when a fast car just missed me as I was crossing the road.
It was close shave but I don’t think my mum saw us smoking. ~
Feifei: So, a close shave describes a situation where you have a narrow escape from something bad. So you had a narrow escape this morning Rob?
Rob: Yes I did. Why don’t people look when they cross the road?! I could have ended up falling off my bike and being hit by a bus.
Feifei: But hold on Rob – if you didn’t fall off your bike, why have you got those cuts on your face?
Rob: Oh.. these! Well, I had a shave this morning and used a blunt razor.
Feifei: Ouch! So you really did have ‘a close shave’!
Rob: Ha ha. You’re as sharp as a razor Feifei! I mean intelligent or sharp-witted.
Feifei: Unlike your razor.
Both: Bye!


















 

BBC The English We Speak


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