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

To miss the boat


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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