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Last updated at 12:03 BST, Tuesday, 01 October 2013

Beef

Listen

A passenger is not happy with his airline food. He says he has a 'beef' with the menu, which confuses the stewardess.

Beef

Finn has 'a beef' with his meal

The script for this programme

(Sounds from inside aircraft)

Li: Chicken or beef?

Male customer: Chicken please.

Li: There you go, sir. And madam? Chicken or beef?

Female customer: Oooh, beef please.

Li: There you are.

Female customer: Thanks.

Li: (whispering) Hello and welcome to the programme… and the flight. I'm Li and I'm doing a bit of extra work as a flight stewardess. Lunchtime has just started so I'd better get back to work – lots of hungry customers.

Chicken or beef sir?

Familiar customer:(irritated) Actually, I have a beef with you.

Li: Beef? Ok, there you go.

Familiar customer: No, no – I don't want beef. I have a beef with you about this menu.

Li: You want some beef… with me? Sorry sir, I don't think we can provide that service.

Familiar customer: Listen. My beef is you don't have vegetarian food.

Li: Er… I'm not quite sure I understand.

Familiar customer:(genuinely willing to help) Oh, I'm very sorry, do let me explain. In English, we can use the word 'beef' to mean 'complaint' or 'disagreement'.

Li: Oh I see…

Familiar customer: Yes – we say 'I have a beef with someone or something over or about something else' – a disagreement about something. Let me see if the other passengers can help give us some examples. Would you mind, sir?

Male customer: Not at all. How about: I had a beef with my teacher about the amount of homework we were getting.

Familiar customer: Yes – if you felt you were getting too much homework you might say that! Thank you.

Male customer: Welcome.

Familiar customer: Anyone else?

Female customer: Oh, I can think of one: Mark had a beef with his wife.

Familiar customer: Very good. He had a disagreement with his wife. What was the reason? A full sentence please.

Female customer: Mark had a beef with his wife over… over… parking their car. He thought she always parked it very badly.

Familiar customer: Great. Well I hope she's better at parking now. Is that clear, Li?

Li: Yes, it is now thank you teacher, I mean sir… I mean… you look a bit familiar! A bit like our presenter Finn.

Familiar customer: Shhhh… yes it is me. But I'm on holiday – not working, well only working a bit. After explaining this phrase I'm done!

Li: Well, have a nice holiday!

Familiar customer: Thanks. And I do still have a beef with this menu – why don't you have a vegetarian option?

Li: We do – but you need to reserve it online first, Finn, I mean sir. And while you're online, why not check out our website bbclearningenglish.com for more phrases like this one!

Familiar customer: Yes, it's a wonderful site. Back to holidays now. Bye.

Li: Bye.

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