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Last updated at 12:54 GMT, Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Take with a pinch of salt

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Kaz and Li are having dinner together in Li's house. But why does Li think that there is a ghost in her house? Find out more by listening to this programme.

Salt

Why does Li add salt to her chocolate mousse?

The script for this programme

Kaz: Hi. You're listening to The English We Speak. I'm Kaz and today I'm having dinner at Li's house.

Li: Hi, I'm Li and I've prepared some chocolate mousse for dessert.

Kaz: Oh thanks. I love chocolate mousse. Mmm, it's delicious.

Li: Good! Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yes, I don't know if I want to stay in this house. I mean, Chris thinks it's haunted and that there are ghosts here! He says he can sense their presence...

Kaz: Really? I can't sense anything.

Li: Shhh... listen? Can you hear something?

Kaz: No Li, I can't hear anything - just the wind outside. If you want my advice, you should take it with a pinch of salt.

Li: OK, I will... Yuck! That's disgusting.

Kaz: Li, what are you doing?

Li: I just ate my chocolate mousse with a pinch of salt, as you suggested, and it's absolutely disgusting.

Kaz: Li, I was talking about what Chris said about ghosts in your house. In English, if you take something with a pinch of salt, it means you don't completely believe it.

Li: Really? What a weird expression. So if I take something with a pinch of salt, it means I doubt whether something is true.

Kaz: Yes, and sometimes Chris does exaggerate, so you shouldn't always believe everything he says.

Li: Let's hear some examples:

  • Apparently they're going to sell the company and make everyone redundant.
  • You should take it with a pinch of salt; it's only a rumour.
  • The other day he told me he speaks 23 languages fluently.
  • I take everything he says with a pinch of salt because I know he likes to exaggerate.

Li: Ah, right. So when Chris told me there were spirits or ghosts in my house, I should take it with a pinch of salt. Maybe he's just making it up to scare me!

Kaz: I'm sure he just said it as a joke. Do you want some more chocolate mousse - without a pinch of salt this time?

Li: Good idea. Mmm, it does taste really nice without salt.

(Sound of banging, creaking)

Li: What was that?

Kaz: It's probably the wind?

(Ghost sounds - oooooo ooooooo)

Li: It's not the wind. Someone's in the house! Look, there's someone coming into the room!

Voice: Ooooo, Oooooooo, I'm a ghost!

Kaz: What the...? Hang on a minute, I recognise that voice.

Li: Chris, Chris? Is that you? Why are you covered in a white sheet?

Chris: I'm a ghost that's come to haunt you... I heard you made some chocolate mousse, Li, so I came over to eat some... Ooooo...

Li: You scared us! I really do have to take what you say and do with a pinch of salt.

Chris: Mmm... delicious!

All: Bye!

Li: Unbelievable!

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