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Last updated at 11:05 GMT, Tuesday, 31 December 2013

To have a word


Finn arrives in the office and finds Feifei is doing a crossword puzzle. He is not happy. Find out why and learn a useful expression for when you need to have a serious discussion with someone about a sensitive topic.

a crossword puzzle

The more clues the better for puzzle-solving

The script for this programme

Finn: Welcome to The English We Speak, I'm Finn and I'm waiting here in the studio for Feifei, who is late - again. I'm really getting fed up with her. I think I'll need to speak to her about this.

Feifei:(Door closing) Hi Finn, sorry I'm late. You know how I love crosswords? Well, I was just doing one, and I forgot the time…

Finn: We need to have a word, Feifei.

Feifei: We need LOTS of words, Finn.

Finn: What?

Feifei: To complete a crossword successfully, we need lots of words.

Finn: No, I'm not talking about your crossword, Feifei. I'm talking about your lateness. When I say 'we need to have a word', I mean we need a short, serious discussion about this sensitive topic.

Feifei: Oh, I see. You're upset that I'm late, so you asked me for a word.

Finn: That's right. Here are some examples

  • Woman: The noise from the upstairs flat is SO loud. It's late now and I can't sleep!
  • Man: I'll have a word with them in the morning. This can't carry on.
  • Man: I'm exhausted. I've been working 15-hour days for three weeks now. I think I might collapse.
  • Woman: You should have a word with your boss. He might not realise how this is affecting you.

Feifei: OK, Finn. I understand. I'll make an effort to be on time from now on.

Finn: It's always better to have a word than just get angry.

Feifei: Yes, you're right.

Finn: Good. Shall we get on with the programme, then?

Feifei: Well, actually Finn, I would like to have a word from you too.

Finn: A word with you. The expression is a word with you.

Feifei: No, no – I want a word from you, Finn. You see clue 6 in the crossword is so tricky!

Finn: Feifei, I don't want to do your crossword!

Feifei: Oh just this one clue! It's an animal with… five letters. What could it be? A horse? No…

Finn: Look, Feifei. I'm going to need to have another word with you! We need to record the programme!

Feifei: Donkey? No that's six letters…

Finn: Feifei, come on!

Feifei: Maybe it's a whale?

Finn: Stop it!

Feifei: Giraffe? No.


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