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Last updated at 09:31 BST, Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Cold feet

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Rob deserves a pay rise but he won't get one if doesn't ask for it. Unfortunately he gets 'cold feet' asking for one. Li offers him some socks to warm his feet up. But is this the solution? Find out in The English We Speak.

A foot with socks and shoes

Are warm socks a solution for 'cold feet'?

The script for this programme

Li: Hi Rob. How are you today?

Rob: Hello Li. I'm really angry.

Li: Why?

Rob: Well, because I work very hard, I get results, I do much more than I really should, and nobody notices - I don't get any recognition.

Li: Yes, you do work hard, Rob. You should earn a fortune!

Rob: I know. You see - that's it! I'm going to go and see the boss right now! I am going to ask for a pay rise!

Li: Good on you, Rob. Right now?

Rob: Yes, right now!

Li: Rob... you're not going anywhere?

Rob: Yes, I know.

Li: So what are you waiting for?

Rob: Well, actually, I'm getting cold feet.

Li: That's no problem at all. Let's see... I have a solution right here... There you go. Take these.

Rob: Thick, woolly socks?

Li: Yes. You should feel warm when talking to a tough boss like ours! Come on, use these.

Rob: It's OK. There's nothing wrong with my feet, Li. In English, when we say we've got cold feet we mean we lack the confidence or courage to do something.

Li: So you're afraid of going into our boss's office.

Rob: Yes, I must admit I am a bit. Let's hear some examples of how to use today's expression 'cold feet', in The English We Speak.

  • Mary knew Tony had bought her engagement ring and was planning to propose on Valentine's Day. She just hoped he wouldn't get cold feet before then.
  • The company directors were getting cold feet about a deal which could make or break their business.

Rob: So, no need for these socks. But thank you anyway, Li.

Li: Maybe next week you can approach the boss and remind him what a good worker you are.

Rob: Good idea. Maybe that's the right way to do it.

Li: One thing is true: your cold feet saved you from your hot head.

Rob: Yes indeed.

Li: Bye bye.

Rob: Bye.

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