Last updated at 14:26 GMT, Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Transport idioms: Wheels

The Teacher


In this episode The Teacher introduces you to three idioms connected with wheels:

1. Reinventing the wheel.

2. Asleep at the wheel.

3. The wheels have come off.


Teacher's Homework

Can you think of someone who has tried reinventing the wheel? Or maybe you've been in a situation when the wheels have come off.

This topic has now closed. Thanks for all your homework.


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    • 1. At 5:10pm on 02 Aug 2011, yomnabasuony wrote:

      he is a wonderfull teacher indeed.
      please give me some idioms about PIPER

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    • 2. At 6:40pm on 02 Aug 2011, Alexander wrote:

      Our the Chamber of Deputies every time has tried reinventing the wheel. Every a new low worked long agoo in other countries. So far the Deputies reinventing the wheel, our people has been in a situation when the wheels have come off.

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    • 3. At 8:50pm on 02 Aug 2011, Pietro Ferrario wrote:

      I was driving my new little car in Southern France during the winter holidays when all of a sudden the engine gave out and some menacing, white flume billowed from the bonnet. Few minutes later, it started raining like hell and I picked up the phone calling the assistance company. At the other end of the telephone there was this useless girl completely asleep at the wheel. The best thing she could come up with was advising me not to restart my car. When I pointed out that she was reinventing the wheel, she hang up and wouldn't answer the phone any more. I was in the middle of nowhere, heavy rain was coming down and night was approaching fast; if that was not enough, my hunger was getting even worse. In short, the wheels have come off and my frustration was total.

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    • 4. At 10:11pm on 02 Aug 2011, thedwarfseventh wrote:

      Be frankly, I wanted to reinvent the wheel when I was in university. It was the first time I did a research. Therefore, I didn't know where I should begin. I didn't survey the literatures carefully. So I decided to do a research which already done completely. My professor was so surprise with my idea: "Don't you want to reinvent the wheel?".
      Afterthat, I learnt a worthy lesson and started doing research seriously. I tried my best. But in a nice day, the wheel had come off. Everything stopped working. But I couldn't be asleep at the wheel, I have to stand up again. Now I'm in right track and happy :)

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    • 5. At 02:00am on 03 Aug 2011, wakeupme wrote:

      Hi. I found this page today. This is a good English program. Thank you very much for your great effort.
      I have been restudying English for three month. I would like to have 900 points on TOEIC as this years' gorl. I would like to try to write this comment. I hope you understand what I write.
      I think around me there are no one who has tried reinventing the wheel.
      Recently, in Japan, we have been having a heavy nuclear accident. This made our situation goes bad. I think I can say we have had the time the wheel have come off. I strong hope it will make better soon.

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    • 6. At 04:08am on 03 Aug 2011, vivian wrote:

      When i was highschool , i met a girl who was asleep at the wheel .
      she never did assignment for herself sometimes i saw her who gave her stuff to friends to do it insted of her . Afterthat a techer found the same copyright between her assignment and a friends of her . So she had to go the teacher's room to check it for making sure whether she copied it or not .
      we knew that the wheel had come off to her .
      At the end she was scoled the techer and she needed to self-examination for a while .

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    • 7. At 04:31am on 03 Aug 2011, Farida Arum wrote:

      You know something, my boss is just reinventing the wheel because we, her staffs, think that it's a routine thing to do in our daily work. Well, she's actually often asleep at the wheel. She always talk more and do less. I'm just wondering whether the wheels have come off on her.

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    • 8. At 07:10am on 03 Aug 2011, Vera_Kuzub wrote:

      I have been in a situation when the wheels have come off. One day in the morning I went out and saw our family's car was robbed. The robber broke glass. I was very upset. My husband wasn't at home and I should take him to a train station.

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    • 9. At 09:47am on 03 Aug 2011, kirsti wrote:

      One week ago when I was to use my washing machine I realised the wheels had come off. I was unable to close the drum. No closed drum, no washing, unless I made some hand washing. Not trying to reinvent the wheel, I phoned the after sales service. They promised the technician would phone me before 9 today. At 9 there had been no call, so I thought the technician was asleep at the wheel. But then ten minutes later on he phoned, so by now I am eagerly waiting to wash the heap of clothes gathered during one week.

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    • 10. At 2:13pm on 03 Aug 2011, CuteCactus wrote:

      My father is trying to set up a solar power system without anybody's help. He's so intelligent to do that, but he is just reinventing the wheel. That may have done no harm if he hadn't spend all his time on it. Now, he is completely asleep at the wheel: he doesn't go to work! Moreover, I'm studying abroad for the next years. I'm getting worried about that now cos daddy no longer wants to make any more money. If I don't have enough money to go to the university after my A level, the wheels will have come off! Arg, sometimes, I hate my life because of this! :(

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    • 11. At 2:31pm on 03 Aug 2011, Serhiy Donin wrote:

      This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

    • 12. At 3:18pm on 03 Aug 2011, Elkagirl wrote:

      Have you ever met an 'asleep at the wheel' colleague who always pretends reinventing the wheel in front of the boss ? This kind of person usually has a lot of the wheels have come off situation in their personal life.

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    • 13. At 5:38pm on 03 Aug 2011, Amogh Halageri wrote:

      In my childhood, I was happy and excited after I reinvented the wheel each and every time I learnt to do new things. In my teenage I was asleep at the wheel in my school, but I was so disappointed when the wheels came off :)

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    • 14. At 8:04pm on 03 Aug 2011, Tereza wrote:

      Well, unfortunately, I am reinventing the wheel sometimes. For example: I wrote an essay and then forgot it. So the next day I spent a long time with thinking what I should write. Then, when I thought it up, I sat in front of a computer... and find out that I had already done it!

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    • 15. At 11:35pm on 03 Aug 2011, eman wrote:

      one upon atime i have a sleep at the wheel when i present my presentation about voilant vidio games. It is to hard and i think it was diffucalt time. so, the wheels have come off. I think thinking about past time like these is reinvinting the wheel.

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    • 16. At 08:21am on 04 Aug 2011, Kiki wrote:

      Last night, I went to buy a battery at a convenience store near from my home. But when I went to in front of the register, I found that I left my purse at home.
      The wheels have come off.

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    • 17. At 11:28am on 04 Aug 2011, monalizamoon11 wrote:

      I would like your method in video very much ,
      I think the more one have tried reinventing the wheel is me hhhhhh but you can say i would like to make things in my way even if already there are ways to do it

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    • 18. At 05:02am on 05 Aug 2011, kawara wrote:

      A friend of mine is a strict, but always straightforward man. If I'm asleep at the wheel, he often say to me, 'What are you doing? You're just reinventing the wheel. You should have...' It's really tough on me, but his good advice actually helps me out and prevents the wheels from having come off.

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    • 19. At 09:46am on 05 Aug 2011, Serhiy Donin wrote:

      Yes. It's Leonid Burijak who used to be on of the most famous Ukrainian footballers in The USSR, and who used to be a talentless coach. He doesn't want to learn something new in tactics and physical innovations in football at all! Moreover he doesn't want to go abroad to learn something modern in European football as well. He thinks that Lobanowsky's summaries will be always useful. Thats why both of aforesaid football teams played awful during his coaching and trying to reinventing Lobanowsky's summaries wheels...

      Yeah it really was. Especially at the common elections in my Odessa. When on the 1-s of November last year at the second stage of the election day some people who introduced as Malinowski region office of public prosecutor of Odessa investigators burst into my voting premises at the local election district and blamed me for stealing a stamp of the district. Actually it was a provocation and some kind of window dressing. Because the stamp has been already lying in the safe. Firstly I was shocked and then started answering their questions quietly. But later I woke myself up, and caught those three people red-handed! So luckily I managed to avoid having come off wheels in the end.

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    • 20. At 10:09pm on 05 Aug 2011, lelan wrote:

      I did learn asleep at the wheels at the first semester, so that the final result was really bad. I tried to apply a job after course, but I had come off. However, I did again many time with another applications with different companies. but it seems to reinvent the wheels

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    • 21. At 4:19pm on 06 Aug 2011, Po-Ming Lin wrote:

      Within the organization, everyone should come up with many creative and new idea insted of reinventing the wheel, so the company will have competive advantage over its competitors.

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    • 22. At 9:13pm on 06 Aug 2011, Randy Aparicio wrote:

      Very interesting, i did not know about that, the expressions are interesting, and now i going to uses it, the teacher is very funny, so thank. i like the expressions the wheels have come off.

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    • 23. At 10:17am on 07 Aug 2011, nicoleko wrote:

      I think this teacher is very interesting and funny.He teaches the idioms very clearly and makes me interested about it.Now,i am his fans.I think he can teaches me more idioms in the future!

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    • 24. At 2:39pm on 08 Aug 2011, Po-Ming Lin wrote:

      In university, on of my classmate was asleep at the wheel as we tried to make an effort to finish the group assignment at the end of the semester. As a result, the mark of the report was pretty low. After the discussion with him, he made a promise to me, "the wheels have come off" will never happen again.

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    • 25. At 11:34pm on 11 Aug 2011, Nedajik wrote:

      If the wheel have come off during your life don't reinventing it just use it.

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    • 26. At 1:22pm on 12 Aug 2011, TWENTY wrote:

      - When the wheel have to come off, that means, there'll be danger!
      - Well, there's no point to reinvent the wheel, but sometimes we'll familiarize with the existing one than we want to change!!!

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    • 27. At 7:03pm on 16 Aug 2011, ghazi wrote:

      Today i was viewing some video and i was trying to improve my English.
      But friend of mine called me to go out with him to see a movie. When we was there the ticket was over so we asked the agent and he was asleep at the wheel and he doesn't give us any tickets so the wheel have come off.

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    • 28. At 03:45am on 17 Aug 2011, nguyentranthanhtoan wrote:

      once in a while, i used to reinventing the wheel, i really want to find a new way to be successful that fit with my character. i fact i just want to find an easy way to get to the top in any part of my life. And you know what? I do not only asleep at my wheel but also in a situation the wheels have come up. i had better not reinventing the wheel and adopt the rule.

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