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Last updated at 12:27 GMT, Tuesday, 05 February 2013

Go to town

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Why does Abigail keep saying she's 'going to town'? And what has it got to do with red food? Find out more in this programme.

Red food - berries, apples, strawberries, tomatoes

Is Abigail going to 'go to town' with red food at her dinner party?

The script for this programme

Abigail: Hi. You're listening to The English We Speak. I'm Abigail and... actually Neil, sorry, I can't stay long, I've got a lot to do.

Neil: Hi, I'm Neil. And - what do you mean you've got a lot to do?

Abigail: Oh, well, you know I'm having that dinner party this evening.

Neil: I know you're having a dinner party, I'm coming. So? That's this evening, why do you need to start now?

Abigail: Oh no but I have really big ideas. I'm really going to town.

Neil: You're going to go to town? We're in town already. Just go to the supermarket and buy a ready meal. No one will know.

Abigail: A ready meal?! No, I'm really going to town.

Neil: Will you stop saying you're going to town? You're supposed to be working.

Abigail: Come on, you know - 'Going to town'. As in... going to a lot of trouble, making it really special.

Neil: Oh I thought you were just making some simple snacks. Actually, I was going to eat before I came round to your house.

Abigail: Eat before my dinner party? That's so rude! No it isn't going to be a snack. As I say, I'm going to town. And I'm not the only person to use this very useful expression. Have a listen to these people:

  • The wedding was beautiful, they really went to town. Everything was decorated pink and white.
  • This is lovely food – they've really gone to town.
  • Have you seen the admin team? They're really going to town on that paperwork.

Neil: Well, I can see you can go to town on a party, a wedding, a big meal... But how can you go to town on paperwork?

Abigail: Hmm - good point. I suppose they're going to a lot of trouble, making a special effort?

Neil: Being very thorough perhaps. So, if you're not doing paperwork tonight - in what way are you 'going to town' at this dinner party?

Abigail: I still have to think about it. Maybe I'll buy flowers. I could make cocktails. Oh, I know - all the food could be red!

Neil: All the food will be red! When you go to town you really go to town!

Abigail: Oh, wait, no. All the food could be silver!

Neil: Silver food? You keep planning, I'm just going to get some ready meals.

Abigail: Oh, no, wait, everyone could dress as animals! We could eat on the roof!

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