The English We Speak
Don't give up the day job
Episode 150915 / 15 Sep 2015
Rob's got a second job but Feifei doesn't think he's good at it. What can she say to gently suggest he shouldn't do it? Find out the authentic English to use in this programme.
Note: This is not a word-for-word transcript
Hello, this is The English We Speak, with me Feifei…
[singing badly] And me Rob. Hello!
Err Rob, what is that terrible noise?
Noise? This is my best singing voice - I need it for my new job.
You didn't tell me you were leaving the BBC and going to a new job.
I'm not - I've got a new part-time job in the evenings to earn a bit of extra cash [tries singing again].
Hmm - and this second job involves singing, does it?
Yes, that's right. I'm going to be a cabaret singer in a nightclub. Good news, isn't it?
Well, Rob, don't give up the day job!
Oh - that's an expression which means someone's not very good at doing something and isn't likely ever to be successful at doing it.
Yes - but it's used in a humorous and light-hearted way Rob. Sorry, I was trying to be nice.
OK. Well, I think we'd better hear some examples of this phrase in action while I continue to practice my singing [starts singing again].
I wouldn't give up the day job - you're never going to be an actor!
Do you really want to be a writer? I've read your first book and my advice is 'don't give up the day job'!
Don't give up the day job Pete - you're never going to earn a living as a singer!
So 'don't give up the day job' means you should continue doing your normal job, rather than trying to turn your hobby into a career. So Rob, have you got the message?
Oh yes, I should stick to what I'm good at - so I'll concentrate on doing the day job shall I?
Yes, good idea.
OK, so why we don't we sing together and entertain our listeners [starts singing]?!
Oh Rob, perhaps you should give up the day job as well.
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