The English We Speak – To sleep on it

When someone says they’re going to sleep on it, they mean they’re going to spend some time thinking about something before making a final decision.

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The English We Speak from BBC Learning English
Feifei: Hello, welcome to The English We Speak, I’m Feifei..
Neil: ..and I’m Neil. Hello. We’re out shopping today, aren’t we, Feifei?
Feifei: Yes, Neil needs to buy a new bed – his old bed has broken. So Neil, look at all these beds – there are so many to choose from but which one do you want to buy?
Neil: Well, that one there is massive but it wouldn’t fit through my front door!
Feifei: Hmm, that one there is quite cheap but it doesn’t look very well made.
Neil: Hey look at this one.. a water bed! Listen to the sound it makes!
Feifei: Oh, there are too many beds to choose from!
Neil: Well, Feifei, I’ll have to sleep on it!
Feifei: Neil! You can’t sleep on that water bed – you haven’t bought it yet – and anyway, you haven’t brought your pyjamas!
Neil: Relax Feifei – I’m not going to sleep here in the shop – that would be embarrassing! When someone says they’re going to sleep on it, they mean they’re going to spend some time thinking about something before making a final decision.
Feifei: Phew! So you make your final decision later – not now?
Neil: That’s right! So I’m going to think about which is the best bed to buy and come back in the morning, OK? Let’s hear some other examples of the phrase ‘to sleep on it’.. ~
We couldn’t decide which car to buy so we decided to sleep on it – we didn’t want to buy the wrong one!
Thanks for your job offer but I need some time to think about it. Let me sleep on it and I’ll give you an answer tomorrow.
He told me he’d have to sleep on it before he could agree to my request for a pay rise. ~
Feifei: To sleep on it.. hmm.. but why ‘sleep’ Neil?
Neil: Because usually you think about your decision overnight – you literally go to sleep before waking up the next day and deciding what to do, when you’ve had more rest.
Feifei: It sounds like a good idea but hold on Neil..
Neil: What’s wrong?
Feifei: You can’t ‘sleep on it’ overnight because you haven’t got a bed to sleep on!
Neil: Well, let’s not lose sleep over it – you’ve got a spare bed haven’t you?
Feifei: What?!
Neil: It’s another idiom Feifei but I’ll explain it another time. Come on let’s go.
Both: Bye.


















 

BBC The English We Speak


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