Session 12

Listen to find out how to use an everyday English expression.
Jechoota Afaan Ingilizii guyyuu of ibsuuf nu fayyadu akkaataa itti fayyadamnu hubachuuf caqasi.

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Cold feet

Look at the Session Vocabulary – make sure you know what these words mean:

  • Recognition
  • Confidence
  • Pay rise

Listen to Rob talking to Li about his job. As you listen, think about these questions:

1. Is Rob happy at work?

2. Does he want to speak to his boss?

3. Does he speak to his boss?

Listen to find out the answers. Then check them on the transcript below.

Show transcript Hide transcript

Yooyyaa! Qophii jechoota Afaan Inglizii keessatti of ibsuuf si fayyadan ‘English Expressions’ akkasumas haaraa ta’an akka bartuu si gargaarrutti baga nagana dhufte. Har’a, Afaan Inglizii keessattii of ibsuuf kan si fayyadu 'Cold feet' jedhu ilaalla. Maal jechuudha jette yaadda? Hinbarree? Tole itti fufii caqasi. Haasawa Robiifi Lii gidduutti taasifame caqasi. Otuma caqastuu caqastutti, Roob maaliif akka aaree hubachuu yaali. Akkasumas wanta isa aarse ilaalchisee Rob maal gochuuf akka deemu caqasi hubadhu.

Hi Rob. How are you today?

Hello Li. I'm really angry.


Well, because I work very hard, I get results, I do much more than I really should, and nobody notices - I don't get any recognition.

Yes, you do work hard, Rob. You should earn a fortune!

I know. You see - that's it! I'm going to go and see the boss right now! I am going to ask for a pay rise!

Good on you, Rob. Right now?   

Yes, right now!

(brief silence)

Rob aare jira. Sababiin isaas hojii hojjetutti beekumtii 'recognition' akka hinkenaminiif waan itti dhagahamuufi. Gara hogganaa 'boss' kiyyaa deeme kaffaltiin akka naaf dabalamu 'pay rise' gaafadha jedhe. Dhuguma kana gochuussaa baruuf caqasi.

Rob... you're not going anywhere?

Er, yes, I know.

So what are you waiting for?

Well, actually, I'm getting cold feet.

That's no problem at all. Let's see…I have a solution right here… There you go. Take these.

Thick, woolly socks?

Yes. You should feel warm when talking to a tough boss like ours! Come on, use these.

It's okay.There's nothing wrong with my feet, Li. In English, when we say we've got cold feet we mean we lack the confidence or courage to do something.

Rob waa’ee mindaa (kaffaltii) dabalataa gaafachuuf gara hogganaa isaa deemuuf ture. Haa ta’u malee muranno dhabuun 'Cold feet' itti dhagahame. Wayita 'Cold feet' jennu, kun jechuun waan hojjeechuuf karoorfanne tokko gochuuf ofitti amanta yookaan muranno hinqabnu jechuudha. Waan tokko hojjechuuf jenne wayita Cold feet namatti dhagahamuu jechuun miirawwan soda fi dhiphuu waliinis kanwalqabatuudha. Keessatu wayita namoonni waan akka cidaa qabaachuuf yookaan hojii jijjiraachuuf jedhan miila qabanaawaa qabaachuu danda’u. Miilla qabbanaawaan yeroo baay’ee jecha 'get' jedhuu waliin ta’uun 'get cold feet' kan jedhu fida. Akkasumas jecha 'have' waliinis ta’uun 'have cold feet' fida. Gaaleen kun akkamitti hojjiirra akka oolu fakkeenyawwan muraasa haa caqasnu.

After making an offer to buy a new house, Jack and Jill had cold feet about going ahead with it as they were worried about the small size of the house.

The company directors were getting cold feet as many experts expressed their concerns about the financial benefits of the deal.

Mary knew Tony had bought her an engagement ring and was planning to propose on Valentine's Day. She just hoped he wouldn't get cold feet before then.

So you're afraid of going into our boss's office.

Yes, I must admit I am a bit.

Maybe next week you can approach the boss and remind him what a good worker you are.

Good idea. Maybe that's the right way to do it.

One thing is true: your cold feet saved you from your hot head.

Yes, indeed!

Tole, Rob waajjira hooggaa isaa deemara otoo ta’e maal akka ta’u danda’u mee haatilmaamnu.  Akkuma Liin jedhe, 'cold feet' itti dhagahamuunsaa 'hot head' qabaachuurraa   isa oolche. 'Hot head' jechoota lama irra kan ijaarameedha; ‘ho’t’ fi ‘head’. Hiikaan gaalee kanaas aariidha. Wayita namni tokko aaru. Rob tari aareera ta’a, haa ta’u maleemoo gara hoogganaa isaa deemee rakko qabu itti himuuf murannoo hinqabu ture. Jechoiota Afaan Ingliziin of ibsuuf si fayyadan 'English Expressions' dabalataaf yeroo ittaanutti walitti deebina.


1. No, Rob is not happy at work.

2. Yes, he wants to speak to his boss.

3. No, he does not enough confidence to do this.

How do I use it?

We usually use the verbs get or have with cold feet. They both have irregular past simple and past participle forms. Look at these examples:

He really wanted to ask her out, but got cold feet at the last minute.

Weren't you going to move house?
had cold feet - I stayed where I am.

I really want to climb that mountain, but I'm getting cold feet now I can see how high it is.

Cold feet

3 Questions

Choose the correct answer.
Deebii sirrii ta’e fili.

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Over to you!

Do you sometimes get cold feet? When does it happen? Come and tell us on our Facebook group.

Join us for our next episode of English Expressions, when we will learn more useful language and practise your listening skills.
Barnoota English Expressions ittaanu kan dandeettii caqasuukee ittiin shaakaltuufi qooqa barbaachisoo barannutti walitti deebina.

Session Vocabulary

  • recognition


    pay rise
    kaffaltii dabalataa


    ofitti amanuu