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Last updated at 16:31 BST, Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Smell a rat


Li's been told she's a lottery winner. She thinks she is a millionaire! But Neil has bad news for her. How will Li react? Listen to the programme to find out.

A rodent

Does this look like a 'lottery organiser' to you?

The script for this programme

Li: Hi Neil. How are you today?

Neil: Hello Li. I'm a bit worried. All these bills to pay... there'll be no money left for my holiday.

Li: My problems are over and so are yours, Neil! I'll pay all my bills, and yours, and... where do you want to go for a holiday? How about Dubai? Five star hotel, by the beach, drinking champagne...

Neil: Well, it's very generous of you, Li, but where are you going to get the money for that?

Li: I won the lottery!

Neil: The lottery?! That's brilliant! How much?

Li: Yes. I won US$10m! It's a lot of money, Neil! They sent me an email this morning.

Neil: An email?

Li: Yes. The only thing that the organisers are asking is for me to pay them a small fee and give them the details of my bank account so that they can transfer the money. I'm a millionaire!

Neil: Mmmm... I smell a rat!

Li: A rat?! Where?! I am terrified of rats! Where is it? I can't see a rat!

(Li stands on her chair)

Neil: No, no, no! No need to stand on the chair, Li. There's no rat, no mouse, there're no rodents at all here. In English, when we say we 'smell a rat' we mean we're suspicious of someone: we feel there's something wrong.

Li: So you think there is something wrong with this lottery?

Neil: Yes, I'm afraid so. Let's hear some examples of how to use 'smell a rat', today's expression in The English We Speak.

A: I read an article about a diet which makes you lose six kilos in one week. It says there is no need for exercise

B: Six kilos in one week?! That's impossible! I smell a rat!

Jane smelt a rat when she read a job advert for actresses in the newspaper. It said "no training or experience required", but they wanted someone "good-looking and open-minded".

Oh. No money for me then... but are you sure, Neil? Maybe this one is for real...?

Neil: No, it's not, Li. And you shouldn't send emails around with your bank details. It's very dangerous. Someone might steal your money!

Li: Yes. I should be careful with my email.

Neil: Think: have you ever entered the Australian lottery? Did you buy a ticket?

Li: No. I've never even been to Australia.

Neil: So how could you be the winner? It's a scam, Li. It's a dishonest way to make money by deceiving people like you.

Li: You are right, Neil. I wanted to win the lottery so much!

Neil: So let's go out and buy a proper lottery ticket. One we know is real!

Li: Maybe we will win.

Neil: Maybe we will! Let's go. Bye.

Li: Bye.


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