Jen tells Helen that she has a few 'irons in the fire' for her fortnight off work. Learn a phrase to describe having lots of options. Find out more with this programme.
The script for this programme
Jen: Hello, I'm Jennifer. Welcome to The English We Speak. Joining me in the studio today is Helen. Hi Helen!
Helen: Hi Jen! I wasn't expecting to see you in the office today; I thought you were on leave?
Jen: No, that's next week. I'm taking two weeks off work and I can't wait!
Helen: Are you going on holiday?
Jen: I haven't planned anything just yet, but I do have a few irons in the fire that will keep me busy across the fortnight.
Helen: Irons in the fire? What do you mean? When did you become an ironmonger?
Jen: No, Helen, I'm not an ironmonger...
Helen: ...because that could be great! I saw a lovely wrought-iron bed in a shop in London, but it was too expensive... Perhaps with your new iron-making skills you can make me one, instead!
Jen: I definitely don't have any iron-making skills!
Helen: But you said you had a few irons in the fire... Oh! I suppose you mean that you've got a lot of ironing to do; you do wear a lot of different clothes so I suppose it would take a long time to iron them all...
Jen: No, that's not what I meant!
Helen: So what did you mean when you said you have 'a few irons in the fire'?
Jen: This is another English phrase which you shouldn't take too literally. If you have a few irons in the fire, it means that you have a few different projects or potential ideas going on at the same time.
Helen: I see. So you have a few irons in the fire because you have different options for your fortnight off?
Jen: That's right - I can't wait.
Helen: So tell me, Jen, what are your irons in the fire - what are you planning?
Jen: Well, I have a friend in Paris who I haven't seen for ages, so I could go there... I'd like to pop up to Scotland to visit my sister and her children for a few days... There's also a cheap deal to Turkey that I've seen and I already have some yoga classes booked in!
Helen: Wow, that's a lot!
Jen: There was one thing you were right about, though...
Helen: What's that?
Jen: I do have a huge pile of ironing to do! Join us again for another edition of The English We Speak from bbclearningenglish.com. Bye for now!