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Last updated at 16:14 GMT, Tuesday, 12 March 2013

To miss the boat

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Finn invites Feifei to his posh uncle's party and he tells her to hurry up, otherwise they will miss the boat. Does Finn's uncle send a boat for them? Find out more with The English We Speak.

a rowing boat, BBC image

Are they going to miss the boat?

The script for this programme

(Finn is picking up Feifei to go to his posh uncle's party)

Finn: Come on, Feifei! We are going to be late - this party is my big chance!

Feifei: I'm almost ready, Finn! Hi, I'm Feifei. Finn has invited me to his posh uncle's party. He knows lots of celebrities!

Finn: Come on! And lots of musicians... I'm a bit of a rocker myself, and this might just be my chance to meet someone famous... Come on!

Feifei: Coming!

Finn: Maybe join the band... live the rock star life... oh, this is my one big chance! Come on or I'll miss the boat!

Feifei: Boat?! Why didn't you say it before?

(Hurried steps, rummaging in a wardrobe and a lifejacket inflating)

Feifei: Here I am.

Finn: A lifejacket!?

Feifei: Of course! We are going on a boat! I am afraid of water - I can't swim!

Finn: Feifei, there's no real boat! In English, when we use the expression 'to miss the boat' we mean that we are too late to take advantage of a good opportunity.

Feifei: No boat at all?

Finn: Not even a canoe. Listen to these examples.

  • If I hadn't bought a new flat last year I would have missed the boat. Properties are more expensive now.
  • I should have travelled the world when I was young. Now I have a family to take care of. I might have missed the boat.

Feifei: Oh, OK, so 'to miss the boat' is to miss an opportunity by being late. It makes sense.

Finn: Yes, but we're not going to make it on time now, unless... we take my uncle's helicopter! It's parked in a field nearby. Come on!

Feifei: Helicopter! Wait a minute, Finn.

(Hurried steps, rummaging in the wardrobe again)

Feifei: Now I am really ready.

Finn: Feifei, is it what I think it is? A parachute?!

Feifei: Well of course it is! I can't swim and I can't fly either. And I'm afraid of heights!

Finn: OK, don't you worry. Let's just go to the party. We don't want to miss the boat, do we?

Feifei: We don't want to miss the boat or the helicopter. Bye.

Finn: Bye.

(Helicopter taking off)

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