Learn New English Expression – To Start from Zero



Hola amigos y amigas! Today you will learn 3 English Expressions: start from scratch, back to the drawing board and to begin to see the light. Enjoy :)

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Hey amigos y amigas, you are listening to English Made Simple, this is episode number 1-4-3, number one hundred and forty-three, numero ciento cuarenta y tres

Haaa? Is that right? Numero ciento cuarenta y tres – Must be! Must be right! Welcome amigos y amigas to another episode of the English Made Simple show, my name is Milena from www.englishmadesimple.net, www.englishmadesimple.net

Ha! I was waiting for you to finish that sentence hahaha www.englishmadesimple.net

The new listeners who have just tuned in, must be wondering, is this woman ok? Is she alright?
Yes I am ok. I am a bit cheeky, have silly jokes. Right enough gibberish Milena. Let’s begin.

So let me begin by asking you a question.

What do you do when you arrive in a new place? How often do you arrive in a new place anyway.

What do you do when you are in a new place? A new city or a new country… What is one thing you have to do? Hmm?

I will tell you what that is.

You have to start off from the beginning. You have to start from scratch.

We learnt this expression in the last episode – to start from scratch, to start from the beginning.

Great. I am going to expand on this a bit more in today’s episode. Today I will share a couple of more expressions to do with starting things from the beginning.

The way I explained this one in my last episode was…I said To start from zero. This one is self-explanatory, to start from the beginning.

To start things from scratch is to start from zero.

As I mentioned then, in the last episode, being new in Adelaide means I have to start a new routine, look for new cafés that serve the best coffee (because I am spoiled), find a nice place to go for a walk, and if I had to look for a new job then I would do that as well. You have to start from scratch.

So, what are other expressions related to starting things from scratch, some expressions that I tend to use as well …hmm one of them is…

Back to the drawing board. That’s your first expression.

I use this expression when plans don’t work out for whatever reason. So if I had an idea or a project and it didn’t work, in other words if it failed, then I would need to go back to the drawing board.

This expression means it’s time to start from the start… plan something all over again.

For example, let me give you a quick example, a simple example:

I failed the English exam, I think it’s time for me to go back to the drawing board. Start again. Start studying again, practising again, etc all the fun things, right haha not!

A drawing board is like a whiteboard or a blackboard, if you were in school remember you had those blackboards or whiteboards, where you can draw, write, draw lines with a special pen, like a marker (if you have a whiteboard) in New Zealand they call it a felt. Using a marker or a felt, you can draw a stickman, everyone likes to draw a stickman on the board. It’s fun to do! What’s a stick man? Some people call it a stick figure. I will share it inside the Facebook group, that’s the best way to explain it. I am really bad at drawing stickmen. Stickman is like when you have a circle for the head,then you have lines for the legs and two lines for the arms. It’s called a stickman. I don’t know how to draw that, I am not that talented.

Another expression related to Back to the Drawing Board is Back to Square One. You must have heard this one before in the movies maybe or in some business meetings at work.

People at work might say, right we are back to square one!

For example, The project didn’t get enough support from the management, so now we are back to square one.

Oki doki? Easy peasy japanesy? Great. Let’s move on!

You know guys, I’ve been thinking, I think it’s time I stop comparing Adelaide to Melbourne and maybe soon I will begin to see the light about Adelaide.

Maybe soon, I will start to like it. Maybe soon I will see the reason why this city has been ranked #5 in the world as one of the most liveable cities in the world. Maybe, just maybe…

Right amigos! Your next expression here – begin to see the light

To begin to see the light, what does it mean exactly? Well, funny you should ask… According to Weon Inteligente or the Online Dictionary, to begin to see the light means to start to understand something you didn’t understand before.

Qué? Did you get that? Did you understand that? Great, I hope it’s understood.

So the definition was: if you see the light, you suddenly understand something you didn’t understand before.

Aaaa a-ha. Cool! Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

So in my example, I said, so maybe I will begin to see the light about Adelaide, maybe soon I will start to like it.

Once I begin to see the light, I will start to turn over a new leaf.

To turn over a new leaf means – to begin to behave in a more responsible manner, to behave in a better way. Which would mean that I would stop complaining about Adelaide…

Hmm…Not so sure about that. Not sure when that will happen. Stay tuned. You are on this journey with me now haha.

Stick around for more complaining!

Hope you enjoyed today’s show, hope you learnt some new phrases and expressions that you can practise by yourselves.

We will start a new topic next week. It’s time for me to be more serious next week.

Thank you for joining me today, you’ve been a fantastic audience as always, let’s do this again. You’ve been jamming with Milena, until next time, hasta la próxima!

Learn English With Milena

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