Session 8

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

Wayiitiwwan marii boqonnaa kana keessaa

Wayitii marii qabxii 8

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Beat around the bush

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

  • outdoors
  • camping
  • bush

Listen to Rob and Li on a camping trip. As you listen, think about these questions:

1. Why is Li unhappy?

2. Does she want to tell Rob?

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

Barreeffama agarsiisi Barreeffama dhoksi

Yooyyaa, qophii jechoota Afaan Inglizii keessaatti of ibsuuf si fayyadan English Expressions akkasumas haara ta’n akka bartuuf si gargaarutti baga nagana dhufte.

Har’a, Afaan Inglizii keessattii of ibsuuf kan si fayyadu ‘beat around the bush’ naannawa miciree fi tuufoo rukkutuu jedhu ni barana. Maal jechuudha jette yaada? Wal’aaltee? Tole ittifufii caqasi.

Robiifi Liin amna imala bashannanaarra jiru. Reefuu bakkicha gahanii waan keessa bulan dunkaana dhaabbachuuf jedhu.Yeroo bashannana gaarii qabaachuuf jedhuu laata? Mee haa ilaallu.

Ah, I love the outdoors! And this is the perfect spot for us to start our camping adventure, Li.

Oh… yes… nature, Rob. You said this camping trip was an invitation I couldn't refuse. Well, I really couldn't as you were so insistent...

Well, we can put the tent over there, next to that bush…

It would be a good place if it wasn't so close to an ant nest…

…and we can light a fire near that rock…

…the wind might put out the fire…

It's just a breeze.

But it's bringing in the clouds. It's going to rain...

Liin hafannaa amna bashannanaa kanarraatti waa yaaddofteetti. Waa’ee kwiisa goondaa ‘ants’ nest’, bubbee ‘winds’, akkasumas waa’ee ‘rain’ roobaa yaaddoftee jirti.  Waan ishiin jette hubachuuf caqasi.

Li, nothing seems to please you, does it? Are you trying to tell me something?

Well, the thing is...

Yes? What's the problem Li?

It's just that the tent is a bit small and… well… you know what I mean…

Li, I don't know what you mean! Now just come on, just tell me what's wrong - don't beat around the bush!

Beat around the bush? I'm not even touching the bush.

I know. In English, when you tell someone not to 'beat around the bush' you're telling them to stop avoiding saying things directly.

Rob rakkoon maal akka ta’e Liitti himuu barbbadeera garuu Liin waan barbaadde hinfakkaattu. Rob, Liin ‘beat around the bush’ akka hintaane gaafata. ‘beat’ jechuun rukutuu/dhawuu, ‘around’ jechuun naannawa, akkasumas ‘bush’ jechuun miciree ykn tuufoodha.  Namni wayita waan dubbachuu barbaadan irraa bira qabanii yeroo dubbatan ‘beat around the bush’ jedhama, namoonni beat around the bush sababni isaas tarii waanti isaan jedhu barbaadan nama biraa tarii miira tuqu, mufachiisu ykn dallansiisu danda’a. nama tokkotti kallattiidhaan akka dubbatu ukn dubbachuu yoo barbaaddee, don’t beat around the bush jechuun jechoota of ibsuuf fayyadamnuu nama qeeqquuf illee fayyadamuun ni danda’ama.

Mee jechoota of ibsuuf itti fayyadamnu namoonni akka dhimma itti bahan fakkeenya muraasa haa dhageenyu.

My boss didn't beat around the bush this morning – he just told me straight: I was fired!

Do you like my new haircut? Don’t beat around the bush, I want the truth!

Peter couldn't find the words to tell Kelly he wanted to break up. He took her out to dinner, took her to the cinema, he spent the whole date beating around the bush. In the end, he broke up with her by text.

OK, now you know. So Li, stop beating around the bush and tell me what the problem is.

The problem is... I hate camping!

Why didn't you say that before?

You were so enthusiastic, I couldn't say "no" to your invitation.

I'm sorry, Li.

And I'm sorry for beating around the bush. I should have just told you.

(Sound coming from the bush)

And by the look of things we are both going to be sorry if we don't run to the car and get the hell out of here!

(A roar)

Oh there is a bear just behind the bush!

A bear?! Let's run, Rob! Bye.

And it sounds like a really big bear! Let's go!

Yeroo muraasaaf Liin ‘beating around the bush’ erga goote booda, waa’ee manaa fagaatanii afannaa ijaaranii keessa bulanii irrattii waan itti dhagahame Roobiif himtee. Jechoota Afaan Ingliziin of ibsuuf si fayyadan English Expressions dabalataaf yeroo itti aanu walitti deebina.    



1. Because she doesn't like camping

2. No she doesn't, because Rob is very enthusiastic about camping.



How do I use it?

'Beat' in 'Beat around the bush' is an irregular verb, which changes according to tense and person. The past simple form is 'beat' and the past participle is 'beaten'. In this phrase, we can either use the preposition 'around' or 'about'. Also, remember that this expression always uses 'the' before the noun 'bush'. Look at these examples:

I've beaten around the bush for too long about this, I need to tell you that I can't come to your wedding.

He beat about the bush for ages and then told me he forgot to book the restaurant.

Make sure you get an answer from Dave - he always beats around the bush when there's bad news. 



Beat around the bush

3 Questions

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

Baga gammadde! Qormaata xumurteetta
Excellent! Great job! Carraa badaa! Qabxii argatte:
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Over to you!

Have you ever ‘beaten about the bush’ about something? Has anyone ever done it to you? What was the situation? What happened? 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

  • outdoors

    diidatti hafachuu

    an adventure
    sodaa dhabuu

    a tent

    an ant nest
    man’ee goondaa/mixii

    a bush

    a bear