Session 6

Listen to find out how to use an everyday English expression.
ከመይ ጌርኩም ንመዓልታዊ መግለጽ-ሓሳብ እንግሊዘኛ ከም እትጥቀምሉ ንምፍላጥ ተኸታተሉ።

Wayiitiwwan marii boqonnaa kana keessaa

Wayitii marii qabxii 6

0 / 3

  • 0 / 3
    Activity 1

Activity 1

A can of worms

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

  • an earthworm/ a worm
  • a can
  • to deal with

Listen to Finn and Feifei talking about worms. As you listen, think about these questions:

1. Is Finn interested in worms?
2. Who knows more information about worms - Finn or Feifei?

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

Barreeffama agarsiisi Barreeffama dhoksi

ኣቕራቢ ቋንቋ ትግርኛ
ሰላም፣ አዚ ናይ ቋንቋ እንግሊዝኛ ኣገባብ ኣዘራርባ ንክትመሃሩ ዝሕግዝኩም መደብ English Expressions እዩ። እንቋዕ ብደሓን መጻእኩም።ሎሚ ‘a can of worms’ ዚብል መግለጺ-ሓሳብ ክንፍትሾ ኢና... ቃል-ብቓሉ ግን ‘ታኒካ-ሓሰኻ’ ከም ማለት’ዩ። እቲ ልክዕ ትርጕሙ ግን እንታይ ኮን ይኸውን? ምሳና ሓቢርኩም ክትከታተሉ ንዕድመኩም።ኣብ ሞንጎ ፊንን ፈይፈይን ዝተገብረ ዕላል ተኸታተሉ። ፊን ብዛዕባ ‘worms’ ክመራመር ስለ ዝቐነየ ንፈይፈይ ብዛዕባ ውጽኢት ምርምሩ የዕልላ። ካብ ምርምሩ እንታይ ከም እተማህረ ንምፍልጥ’ምበኣር ተጠንቒቅኩም ስምዑ።

Worms are great – don't you think they're really interesting?

Erm, yeah, kind of. But what's today's phrase?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we'll come to that in a minute. But, did you know earthworms, the kind
you normally find in the soil, are both male and female in one body?

That is quite interesting.

And earthworms can be really short – from only one millimetre – to a massive three metres!

ኣቕራቢ ቋንቋ ትግርኛ
ፊን ብዛዕባ ጎንደራ ‘earthworms’ ይዛረብ ኣሎ። ኣካል ጎንደራ ሓደ ሸነኹ ተባዕታይ ‘male’ እቲ ካልእ ሸነኹ ድማ ኣንስታይ ‘female’ ምዃኑ ክፈልጥ ክኢሉ። ስለምንታይ ብዛዕባ ሓሳኹ ይዛረብ ከም ዘሎ ንምፍላጥ ጽን ኢልኩም ተኸታተሉ።

Finn, hang on a second, why are we talking about worms so much?

Sorry, yes, I was doing some research for today's programme. The phrase, today, is: 'a can of

Right. Well, 'a can of worms' is a phrase we use to describe a situation that causes a lot of
problems when you start to deal with it.

Yes, sometimes you want to deal with a problem, but you realise that by dealing with that
problem it will open up a whole set of new problems.

ኣቕራቢ ቋንቋ ትግርኛ
ፊን ብዛዕባ ሓሳኹ ከጽንዕ ስለ ዝቐነየ ኣገደስቲ ዝዀኑ ሓቅታት ክእክብ ክኢሉ። ፈይፈይ ግን ስለምንታይ ብዛዕባ ሓሳኹ ይዛረብ ከም ዘሎ ኣጸቢቑ ኣይተረድኣን፣ ማለት ክሳብ እዛ ናይ ሎሚ ‘ታኒካ-ሓሳኹ’ ትብል ሓርግ ‘a can of worms’ ዝበርሃላ። ፈይፈይ ከም እትብሎ፡ ‘a can of worms’ ብዛዕባ ሓደ ጽዑቕ ሓደጋ ክፈጥር ዝኽእል ኵነት ንምግላጽ እንጥቀመሉ ሓረግ’ዩ። ነታ ታኒካ ‘can’ ከም ሓደ ኵነት ገርኩም’ሞ ሕሰቡዋ፡ እቶም ሓሳኹ ‘worms’ ኸኣ ከም ጸገማት። እታ ታኒካ ምስ እንኸፍታ - ኣብ ሓደ ጕዳይ ምስ እንኽተት ማለት’ዩ - ሽዑ እቶም ሓሳኹ ይወጹ’ሞ ናብ’ታ ታኒካ ንምምላሶም ኣሸጋሪ ይኸውን። ስለዚ እታ ሓረግ ክንጥቀመላ ኸሎና ብዛዕባ ሓደ ፍሉይ ኵነት ንምግላጽ’ዩ - ንሱ ኸኣ እቲ ኵነት ናብ ዝኸፍአ፡ ማለት ክንፈትሖም ዘሸግሩ፡ ናብ ዝተፈላለዩ ኵነታት ከም ዘምርሕ ገርኩም ሕሰቡዎ።

ኣብነታት ናይ’ዚ ዓይነት ኣዘራርባ’ሞ ስምዑ ሽዑ ኣየነይተን’ያ ‘ታኒካ’፡ ኣየናዮም’ዩኸ ‘ሓሳኹ’ ኢልኩም ፈላሊኹም ከተስተብህሉዶ ትኽእሉ?

When Frank asked why his brother arrived late to the party, his brother started telling Frank all about the problems in his life: his car, his health, problems with his friends… Frank realised he'd opened a can of worms.

A: Charles, have you finished writing that report about our fantastic sales figures this month?
B: No, because actually I realised our sales figures are all wrong. Someone has been giving us false information for months…
A: Oh no, what a can of worms.

Yes, well anyway – I hope everyone listening understands the phrase now. I think I'll get back
to my reading. 34,000 different kinds of worm, wow… They can live for up to 10 years!
Fascinating… They eat their own weight every day…

OK, well I think we've lost Finn there. I think I've had enough of worms for one day.

ኣቕራቢ ቋንቋ ትግርኛ
ንሕጂ ንፊን ብሓሳኹ ምርምሩ ክቕጽል ንግደፎ፣ ንስኹምከ ‘ታኒካ-ሓሳኹ’ ‘a can of worms’ ከፊትኩምዶ ትፈልጡ? እንታይ ከም ዘጓነፈኩምዶ መብራሃኩምዎ? ገለ ሓደ ግናይ ሃንደበትዶ ኣጓኒፉኩም ይኸውን?ኣብ ዝስዕብ መደብ English Expressions የራኽበና። See you next time!




1.Yes, very interested.

2.Finn knows more information about worms.


How do I use it?

When using the expression 'a can of worms' be sure to include 'a' before 'can', as 'can' is a countable noun and is usually singular here. Also, remember that 'worms' is always plural in this expression.  ‘A can of worms’ is used with the verb ‘to open’, which is a regular verb, so we add 'ed' to make the the past simple and past participle forms. Look at these examples:

Careful! You'll open a whole can of worms if you try to make any suggestions about the way Peter works. He's done things the same way for years and making any changes will just cause more problems.

I opened a can of worms when I asked my boss a simple question about the company's finances. He discovered that somebody has been lying about our expenses for months!

Cindy only went to the dentist to have one of her teeth checked, but she's opened a can of worms. The dentist says she needs to fix two other teeth, as well, and it will cost her a lot of money. 



A can of worms

3 Questions

Choose the correct answer.
እቲ ቅኑዕ መልሲ ምረጹ።

Baga gammadde! Qormaata xumurteetta
Excellent! Great job! Carraa badaa! Qabxii argatte:
x / y

Over to you!

Have you ever opened ‘a can of worms’? 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.
ኣብቲ ጠቓሚ ቋንቋ እትመሃርሉን ናይ ምስማዕ ክለትኩም እትለማመድሉን ዝቕጽል መደብ English Expressions የራኽበና።

Session Vocabulary

  • an earthworm/ a worm
    ሓደ ጎንደራ


    a can
    ሓንቲ ታኒካ

    to survive

    to deal with
    ምእላይ / ምትሕሓዝ