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The English We Speak

Intermediate level

Tell me about it

Episode 220523 / 12 May 2022

Summary

Sometimes people say something that you can’t help but agree with. Maybe it’s because you have a shared experience, or because you share the same opinion or feelings about something.

Rob and Jiaying use an informal phrase for this very situation.

Transcript

Jiaying
Hello, I’m Jiaying. This is The English We Speak.

Rob
And hello, I’m Rob. I am so exhausted today! I feel like I could fall asleep right now.

Jiaying
Tell me about it!

Rob
Well, I kind of just did. You see, I have been watching a TV series, and last night I watched it for so long that I didn’t get much sleep and now I’m really tired.

Jiaying
No, Rob. I said ‘tell me about it’, but I didn’t want to hear more about why you were tired. ‘Tell me about it’ is a fixed expression we use to mean we agree with something that someone has just said, or to say you’ve had a similar experience. It can also be used to acknowledge a shared feeling or opinion about something. So, in this case, I meant to say that I’m also tired.

Rob
Right, so when you said ‘tell me about it’, you didn’t want me to tell you about it…you were saying you felt the same. That’s a bit strange, isn’t it?

Jiaying
Well, Rob – language can be a bit strange at times – especially with fixed expressions!

Rob
Tell me about it! Right, we can talk more about it after these examples.

Examples
When I told my boss I was working too much, she just said ‘tell me about it’.

You’re not happy with the new trilogy of films? Tell me about it.

Tell me about it! I know exactly what you mean when you said the cricket team wasn’t performing.

Jiaying
This is The English We Speak from BBC Learning English. We’re talking about the expression ‘tell me about it’. We use it to say we agree with exactly what another person has said, to say we’ve had a similar experience, or that we have the same opinion or feeling about something.

Rob
Yes! So, seeing as I’m feeling really tired, I think I might apply for a holiday. I need a nice break to help me to relax.

Jiaying
Tell me about it! I think I’d go for a week to a spa, turn off my phone and just disconnect from everything. What would you do?

Rob
Well, you know that I mentioned that TV series that I just can’t stop watching?

Jiaying
The one you watched for so long last night that caused you to be tired today?

Rob
Yes! Well, I think I’d like to spend one week watching all of the episodes, and not go to bed once.

Jiaying
But Rob, if you do that, you’ll be even more tired than you are now!

Rob
Tell me about it! The thing is, I just can’t stop watching it! It’s brilliant!

Jiaying
Oh, well, good luck with your holiday! Bye.

Rob
Bye.

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