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Last updated at 13:15 GMT, Tuesday, 20 March 2012

To let the cat out of the bag


In this week's programme, Graciela is upset that William won't let his poor cat out of a bag. He's not being cruel - he just wants everyone to learn a new phrase!

a cat in a bag

Should Will let the cat out of the bag?

The script for this programme

Cat: Miaoooowwwwww!

Will: Hello, I'm William.

Graciela: And I'm Graciela. Will, I hope you've brought that poor cat for a very good reason. It's terrified!

Will: Well I wanted to explain an English phrase. And I brought Whiskers to help.

Cat: Miaow.

Graciela: Well he's not very happy about being stuffed into that bag. You'd better hurry up and explain your phrase.

Will: Okay, okay. So, right. I'm going to tell you a very big secret.

Graciela: Oh?

Cat: Miaow?

Will: But you must promise never to let the cat out of the bag!

Graciela: No, we must let him out, he is unhappy, Will.

Cat: Miaow!

Will: No, no. I mean in English, when we say 'you mustn't let the cat out of the bag', it means that something is a secret and that you mustn't tell anyone.

Graciela: Ah, so it doesn't literally mean there is a cat in a bag. It just means that there's a secret that must be kept.

Cat: Miaow.

Will: Exactly. And I brought Whiskers in just to help you remember the expression. If you let the cat out of the bag, it means that you reveal a secret. Listen to some examples.

  • We need to keep this quiet! If anyone lets the cat out of the bag there'll be trouble!
  • We were going to have a surprise birthday for dad, but my silly brother let the cat out of the bag the day before.
  • Well the cat's out of the bag now. Everyone knows Amy will be given the lead role.

Graciela: Okay I get it.

Cat: Miaow.

Graciela: But I'm not at all interested in secrets until we get this real cat out of this real bag. I'm going to let it out!

Cat: Miaoooowwwwww!

Graciela: Owwwwww!

Will: I actually meant it when I said don't let the cat out of the bag. Whiskers is a bit crazy.

Graciela: Your cat is berserk, get him off me!

Cat: Miaooowww!

Will: Well, now you'll remember not to let the cat out of the bag next time!


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