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پادکست All Ears English

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If the Shoe Fits

Announcer: This is an All Ears English podcast Episode 1024: “If the Shoe Fits” [Instrumental]

Announcer: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, downloaded more than 50 million times. We believe in Connection NOT Perfection ™, with your American hosts Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’, and Michelle Kaplan, the ‘New York Radio Girl,’ coming to you from Boston and New York City, U.S.A.

[Instrumental]

Announcer: And to get your transcripts delivered by email every week, go to AllEarsEnglish.com/subscribe.

[Instrumental]

Announcer: Today, we get a great question from a listener about a common expression in British English, but what is the translation for “if the cap fits”

in American English? Find out today.

[Instrumental]

Michelle: Hey (hi) Lindsay, how’s it going?

Lindsay: Hey (hi) Michelle, I was so happy today because we got some really nice emails from our listeners and some attendees from the Urban Adventure Number One back in 2017.

Michelle: Yeah (yes), guys, I woke up to such sweet e-mails from Rodrigo and then Pentipa also. And you guys were congratulating me on my pregnancy because you heard our episode where I announced it. So, I just wanted to say thank you so much for that, it totally… And Rodrigo, you did use the phrase “made my day” correctly, and it totally made my day. Like, what a nice thing to wake up to. Number one, I really miss you guys, that whole group was so great, and number two, it was just so nice that you’re thinking of me and excited. I really, really appreciate that. It means so much to me, and please continue to stay in touch.

Lindsay: Yeah (yes), guys. We love to hear from you. I know it’s been a year since our first Urban Immersion Adventure, and guys, we are going to have more live events in 2019, in 2020, into the future. We will be traveling to different countries around the world to meet you guys and to have these events. So, we’ll have more chances to get to know each other. So, stay tuned for those announcements. So cool.

Michelle: Definitely.

Lindsay: Yeah (yes). Awesome. And Michelle, we also had a couple of reviewers in Apple Podcast, but not too heavy on the reviews this week. So, guys, we want to call you to action to go to Apple Podcast and review All Ears English. Alright? I do want to say “thank you”, though, to Mr _____ from Russia. He reviewed us on August 20th, and thank you to someone from Korea on August 25th. And this person asked, Michelle, if you were the same person that plays Amy in the Big Bang Theory. [laughter] Michelle: Wait, what?

Lindsay: So, this person from Korea asked, “Are you the same person that plays Amy in the Big Bang Theory?” Michelle, are you an actress on TV?

Michelle: No. I wish. That’d be cool.

Lindsay: I guess not, that’s not her. Good try, but it’s not Michelle.

Michelle: Ohh no, ohh yeah (yes). That’s… What’s her name? Mayim Bialik, yeah (yes), I’ve gotten that one before.

Lindsay: That’s so funny.

Michelle: That’s funny, that’s funny. No, not me.

Lindsay: So funny, so funny. Alright, guys, so, go over to Apple Podcast, leave your reviews, we love these reviews, and we need more, guys. So, let us know what you think of the show and ask your question in the review, in Apple Podcast or Stitcher or wherever you listen to the podcast.

Michelle: For sure.

Lindsay: Okay, Michelle.

Michelle: Okay, awesome. Okay, great. Well, thank you guys so much. So, today we have really good question from a listener, Omar Mahmoud. So, Lindsay, would you like to read the question for us?

Lindsay: Alright, here we go. So, “Hey, Lindsay and Michelle and Jessica, thank you for all your amazing work and the effort that you and Michelle put in. You really improve my listening skills a lot.” Cool. “And I’m kind of addicted to your podcast now. I nearly listened to 200 episodes in just two months.”

Wow.

Michelle: Ohh wow.

Lindsay: That’s amazing. “I have a question. Recently, I’ve heard an episode from the BBC podcast. They were talking about an idiom that I couldn’t get fully in the end. It is ‘if the cap fits’, and they’ve said that it’s used to tell when a criticism fits someone.” Ahh, a criticism fits someone. “But I really find it hard to use. Can you make it easier and give us more clear examples?

Thanks in advance, Omar Mahmoud.” Okay, cool question. Okay.

Michelle: Okay, very interesting. I love this question, it’s so specific. When I read it, I thought I’ve never heard of “if the cap fits”. Have you heard of “if the cap fits”, Lindsay?

Lindsay: I haven’t heard it, and it sounds like it’s specifically used in British culture when there’s a kind of a criticism, maybe, like, a joke or something.

Michelle: Yeah (yes), yeah (yes). And I looked into it, and apparently then it made sense. It’s more of the British way of saying the American phrase, I mean, while I don’t know whose phrase it was to begin with, but whatever, “if the shoe fits, wear it.”

Lindsay: Okay, okay.

Michelle: I’m not sure, who knows? Maybe it’s changing, or maybe in, I don’t know if they still say “the cap fits”. I guess so, if they heard it on the BBC recently.

Right? So, it makes sense that they would listen to the BBC and they heard “if the cap fits” rather than “if the shoe fits”.

Lindsay: That’s so funny. Interesting, okay. So, sometimes that happens. I mean, idioms want to communicate the same thing, but they take a different vocabulary, for whatever reason. You know?

Michelle: Yeah (yes), I know. Why do we say “shoe” instead of “cap.” Lindsay: I don’t know. Who knows?

Michelle: Yeah (yes). So, I don’t know where this phrase originates, but yeah (yes), it’s very interesting. So, it seems that they mean really the same thing, Lindsay. Don’t you think? I mean, like, about the criticisms fitting.

Lindsay: Yeah (yes). You know, I don’t use this “if the shoe fits” very often, but let’s dig into it. I know it’s very common and a lot of people do use it. So, let’s dig into it.

Michelle: Right. I mean, this phrase is a way of expressing that, even though something may not be very nice or sound very good, it may be true.

Right? So, the shoe or the cap fitting is a way of acknowledging this.

Lindsay: Okay, okay. And why are we focusing on, why are we steering away from “if the cap fits” and talking about “if the shoe fits” today?

Michelle: Because, guys, our podcast focuses on American English. So, we want to teach you the phrases that would be most appropriate for that type of 33

English, but I suppose if you’re in the UK, try out “if the cap fits”. I mean, I don’t know, maybe if we have any British listeners or people who live in England, let us know if you’ve heard “if the cap fits”. But it’s interesting.

So, we’re going to stick with the shoe today. I like shoes.

Lindsay: Yeah (yes), we like to teach what we know, guys, so we can make sure that we are true experts here on American English. And there’s lots of British English teachers out there, maybe some British English teachers listening to the show, who knows? Right? So, guys, tune in and just come back to our blog, AllEarsEnglish.com/episodes, type 1024 in the search bar, let us know. Cool.

Michelle: Okay, great. So, yeah (yes). So, we’re going with “shoe”. So, we’re going to go through some examples and we’ll talk a little bit about it. But, I mean, one thing that I want to point out is, Lindsay, is this… If you say this to someone are you being nice or not nice?

Lindsay: Doesn’t seem very nice to me. Yeah (yes). So, it’s kind of like, it’s saying, kind of affirming something negative that’s already been said. Is that right?

Michelle: Right, yeah (yes). It’s like, “Well, it’s true. Like, you are…”

Lindsay: Yeah (yes).

Michelle: I can’t really, I mean, maybe, but I can’t think of a situation where I would be saying “if the shoe fits” in, like, a nice, about something nice.

Lindsay: Interesting.

Michelle: I think it has kind of a negative tone to it. I mean, I don’t think, you know… I’ll keep another ear out, but I don’t think that I’ve heard it in a positive way; it’s used in a negative way. Right, Lindsay?

[Instrumental]

Announcer: Guys, did you know that you can now listen to All Ears English on your Amazon Echo device using Alexa to share with your family and the home when you’re making breakfast or cooking dinner? If you’re in the U.S. or 34Japan you can do this. In the U.S. just enable the skill and then say, “Alexa, open All Ears English,” and if you’re in Japan, enable this skill on your app and say, “Alexa, All Ears English _____.” Thanks, guys.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Yeah (yes), let’s throw in some examples and see if our listeners can grab on to this.

Michelle: Here we go. “Ohh man, Lindsay, my teacher gave me an F because she said I didn’t do my homework on time.”

Lindsay: “Well, Michelle, if the shoe fits…”

Michelle: “Yeah (yes), alright, that’s true.”

Lindsay: So, what I’m saying is if, you know, I’m saying, “Well, it’s true that you don’t do your homework, that you don’t get it in on time.” Right?

Michelle: Right.

Lindsay: Yeah (yes).

Michelle: Right. So, exactly. Okay, let’s do another one. So, you start this one.

Lindsay: Okay. “Come on, Michelle, come on. She’s not that messy.”

Michelle: “Yes, she is, Lindsay. The house is always a wreck.”

Lindsay: “You have a point.”

Michelle: “Yeah (yes). If the shoe fits, wear it.”

Lindsay: Strange phrase, it’s a weird phrase.

Michelle: It is weird. So, this one, I am not talking about you, Lindsay, I’m talking about whoever is I’m saying is messy. So, this one may be a little bit, like, odd because you, I feel like you’re usually talking to the person, but it can be used.

Lindsay: Okay, okay. You mean usually not talking about a third party? Is that what you’re saying?

Michelle: Yeah (yes). Well, I don’t know. What do you think?

Lindsay: I think you could be.

Michelle: Yeah (yes), I guess you’re right.

Lindsay: I think you could be. Yeah (yes). You could be speaking directly to that one person or talking about that other person.

Michelle: Yeah (yes), that’s true. Okay, okay. I feel better now. When I wrote it, I felt very confident and then I just read it, and I’m, like… Okay, thank you for that. Okay. So, that’s one saying, yes, she is messy. Right?

Lindsay: Yeah (yes).

Michelle: Okay, here we go. “They say I’m not in shape.”

Lindsay: “Well, if the shoe fits.”

Michelle: “Yeah (yes), I guess I don’t exercise.”

Lindsay: I’m so mean. Gosh. I think the reason I don’t really use this, I don’t necessarily even really know how to use it, honestly, is just that it’s kind of mean.

Michelle: It is mean.

Lindsay: I don’t like to be mean. I don’t know. I don’t know if we recommend this very much, honestly. I mean, it’s good to know what it means, guys, but it’s kind of rude.

Michelle: Yeah (yes). It’s definitely good to know what it means, but yeah (yes), I wouldn’t run around if somebody’s saying, like, “I went to the doctor’s and they said that I need to lose twenty pounds.” And then you’re, like, “If the shoe fits.”

Lindsay: [laughter] That would be really rude.

Michelle: That would be really rude. Guys, this is a rude phrase. I mean, if you’re having, I suppose this will be reserved for if you’re having an argument.

Maybe if you’re joking around with someone, you’re being a little sarcastic and fun. Right?

Lindsay: Just make sure they know you’re sarcastic, with the tone of voice.

Michelle: Exactly.

Lindsay: Right? Yeah (yes).

Michelle: Exactly. You want to be careful with this one, definitely. It is not a nice phrase. Right? You might offend someone if you use it, and if you’re joking and it could be misconstrued. You know, just be sure that if you are going to be joking, that you really, you know, are careful about how you say it and make sure, you know, that they know.

Lindsay: Mhh hmm, yeah (yes), for sure, for sure. Yeah (yes), we need to choose…

It depends on your personality. Right? I mean, we want to give you guys the tools to act out your own personality in English so you don’t, so you can enjoy speaking English more and connecting. Right? It’s boring when we can’t be ourselves. So, if you’re, like, a person who likes to argue and likes to push people in this way, then maybe you have to use this, but we don’t. I don’t necessarily use it. I like to keep the peace.

Michelle: Right, right, right. Yeah (yes), so, but, I think it’s a very dynamic phrase, for sure. And I think, yeah (yes), I mean… Ohh, another thing that I want to point out about it is, and we talked about this, I think, and one of the phrases that we did maybe last episode about how sometimes a phrase is so well known that you don’t need to complete it. We talked about it in one of the last couple episodes. I forget what the phrase was now.

Lindsay: For sure.

Michelle: This one is, the whole phrase is “if the shoe fits wear it”. Right?

Lindsay: Right, right, right.

Michelle: But it’s so famous that if you just say, like, “If the shoe fits…” people know the end. You have to kind of do that intonation, “If the shoe fits…”

Lindsay: Yeah (yes), the intonation’s important, guys. Go get the transcript, go and read this and mirror what Michelle is saying. “If the shoe fits…” Right?

You’re leaving it, making it clear that there’s something else that comes after, but you’re not going to say it. And this happens a lot. I mean, we could probably do an entire episode on common phrases where we drop the second half just because we know what comes after.

Michelle: Yeah (yes), yeah (yes). Yeah (yes), I want to look into that, that’s an interesting topic for sure, for sure. And very helpful. Yeah (yes), because people know in their head that the rest of the phrase is “wear it”, but you may or may not say it. I think mostly people probably won’t say it.

Lindsay: Exactly. I agree with you, yeah (yes). Cool.

Michelle: So, yeah (yes), so, this is “if the cap fits”, “if the shoe fits”, those are some other ways that you can use it. But guys, you know, keep in mind this is not a nice phrase. Be careful who you say it with or to, because it could be offensive. And if you want to say it in a joking way, be sure that it’s obvious. Because it’s hard not to make this phrase a little sassy sounding, I think. Even if you’re joking.

Lindsay: It’s sassy. Sassy’s the word.

Michelle: Add a little attitude to it, even if it’s a joke. It’s, like, to every joke there’s some truth. Right?

Lindsay: Exactly, exactly, Michelle. Yeah (yes), that’s so true. This is good. So, guys, but we’re here to give you the tools to act out your own personality. So, whatever that is, make sure it works. Like, express yourself. Okay?

Michelle: Right, right, exactly.

Lindsay: Yeah (yes), as long as we know what we’re saying here. So, Michelle, I think we can finish it off right here because I’m going to go and stick my head in the freezer because we’re in a heat wave, Michelle, here. It’s so hot. I’m so hot right now.

Michelle: Go stick your head in the freezer and then let us know how that goes.

Lindsay: Okay. Yeah (yes), we are in a heat wave. It’s going to be, like, what? 97 degrees today in Boston.

Michelle: Something like that.

Lindsay: That means maybe 100 in New York or something in the next couple days.

Michelle: Yeah (yes). Ohh my gosh. It was getting much cooler, but now it seems to have…

Lindsay: Yeah (yes).

Michelle: That again.

Lindsay: You’re going to have to ride the subway all day or something.

Michelle: Yeah (yes), yeah (yes).

Lindsay: I don’t know what you’re going to do. Yeah (yes).

Michelle: Ohh my gosh. Ohh well, ohh well. That’s what AC is for, and luckily there’s no shortage of that. Walking around New York, I think I’ve talked about how all the stores have, like, AC. So, like, if you’re hot, just, like, jump into a store and…

Lindsay: Exactly, yeah (yes), that’s the way to do it.

Michelle: And then you can be freezing.

Lindsay: Yeah (yes), yeah (yes). I guess by the time this episode comes out, hopefully by then it will have cooled down a bit. Right, Michelle?

Michelle: Yeah (yes).

Lindsay: Because this will be the middle of September. For now we are heating up here in Boston and New York. So, let’s get off the mike for today, Michelle. Thanks for hanging out, it’s been fun.

Michelle: Thanks, Lindsay, have a good one. Thanks for listening, guys, and thanks for this great question.

Lindsay: Good question. Thanks, guys. Take care. Bye.

Michelle: Alright. Bye.

[Instrumental]

Announcer: Thanks so much for listening to All Ears English. And if you need a seven or higher on your IELTS exam to achieve your life vision, then our “Insider Method” can get you there. Start with our free video series master class.

Get video one now at AllEarsEnglish.com/INSIDER. And if you believe in Connection NOT Perfection ™, then subscribe to our show on your phone or on your computer. See you next time.

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