Speak British English-Top Similes You Can Use Everyday Ep 684

A smiling woman taking a selfie. Feel Like a Native Speaker: Uncover the cultural nuances of British English through examples related to weather, history, and everyday life.

📝 Author: Hilary

📅 Published:

💬 3897 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 20 min

📥 Download MP3 & PDF 12.6 Mb ▪️ 👓 Read Transcript ▪️ 🎧 Listen to Lesson

English Phrases - Ready to Unlock the Secrets of English Similes and Metaphors?

Want to sound like a native English speaker? Dive into a sea of similes, metaphors, and everyday English phrases that will elevate your fluency! Welcome to a one-of-a-kind Adept English lesson where we decode the poetry of the English language, right from ‘as snug as a bug in a rug’ to 'as fresh as a daisy.’

💡 Why You Can't Afford to Miss This Lesson:

  • 🎯 Tackle real English grammar head-on—get fluent in similes and metaphors!
  • 🔄 Listen & Learn System boosts your understanding. Listen multiple times; gain confidence.
  • 🇬🇧 Immerse in British English and culture—know the difference between 'as cold as ice' and 'snug as a bug in a rug.'
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  • 💬 Get instant usage examples—know when to say someone is "as white as a sheet" or "as deaf as a post."

✔Lesson transcript: https://adeptenglish.com/lessons/english-phrases-learn-common-similes-in-english-with-examples/

Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.
⭐ Orson Scott Card

Are you craving a deeper understanding of English? Struggling to distinguish a simile from a metaphor? You've found an English lesson that's a game-changer. Hilary from Adept English unveils the power of these literary devices in everyday English, all while embracing the 'Listen & Learn' method you've been searching for.

Uncover commonly used similes like 'as dark as night' and metaphors that will make your conversations come alive. Ready to transform your English? Listen now and become the eloquent speaker you've always aspired to be.

A metaphor is like a simile.
⭐ Steven Wright

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More About This Lesson

Want to speak English like a pro? Join Adept English for a game-changing lesson on British similes. Our Listen & Learn approach helps you grasp commonly used English phrases that make you sound like a native speaker. Unleash the magic of phrases like "as snug as a bug in a rug" and "as cheap as chips" in your daily chats.

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Things you will learn in today's English vocabulary and phrases lesson:

  1. Real-World Language: The lesson focuses on common phrases and similes, helping you grasp everyday English.
  2. Immersion in Culture: Learn similes and phrases that are uniquely British, providing cultural context.
  3. Listening Practice: The 'Listen & Learn' format sharpens your listening skills, essential for fluency.
  4. Vocabulary Expansion: The lesson dives into the meaning behind words like "simile," "metaphor," and various phrases.
  5. Pronunciation Guidance: Hearing the words spoken helps you practice pronunciation.
  6. Interactive Questions: The lesson asks questions, prompting you to think and engage with the content.
  7. Grammar Insights: Learn the subtle differences between similar concepts like "simile" and "metaphor."
  8. Context Clues: Examples given in the lesson provide context, making it easier to remember phrases.
  9. Repetition for Mastery: The advice to listen multiple times helps reinforce learning.

Benefits of our listen & learn approach to learning

  • Speak with Style: Learn to use similes and metaphors that add flair to your English.
  • Get Cultural Insights: Understand how these phrases offer a peek into British culture.
  • Easy Learning: With our Listen & Learn method, you can absorb the lesson easily and apply it in real-life scenarios.

Master the Art of Similes and Metaphors: Elevate your English with poetic flair!

  • What Are Similes?: Similes add color to your English. They are phrases that compare two different things using 'as' or 'like'.
  • Cultural Context: These phrases often hint at British culture. For example, "as cheap as chips" is about British food habits.
  • Listen & Learn: The best way to learn these phrases is by listening to our podcasts, which help you understand how to use them naturally.
  • Too Complex?: Don't worry. Start simple and you'll learn fast.
  • Not Useful?: These phrases are used often, making your English sound natural.
  • Fear of Mistakes?: Everyone learns by trying. The more you practice, the better you'll get.
I like similes. They say more in 5-10 words than a whole paragraph. They are like spice in a stew—potent, earthy, appetizing.
⭐ Anne Rice

Continuous Learning: With a trove of past episodes, the learning never stops!

  1. Become Fluent: Understanding similes can help you speak English more fluently.
  2. Feel More Confident: Know exactly when and how to use these phrases.
  3. Deepen Cultural Understanding: Get more than just vocabulary; understand the culture behind the phrases.

Don't miss this chance to elevate your English to the next level. Follow and subscribe to the Adept English podcast now and enrich your language skills today!

Questions You Might Have...

Diving into Adept English's Listen & Learn podcast is like unlocking a treasure chest of British culture and language. It's not just a guide—it's a vivid landscape that walks you through the meandering lanes of English similes. Picture learning "as snug as a bug in a rug" or "as cheap as chips." These aren't just phrases; they're tickets to speaking English with the natural ease of a local. The Listen & Learn system isn't your average classroom lesson—it's a journey through the very fabric of British life. Get on board and watch your English fluency soar!

  1. What Is the Listen & Learn Approach? The Listen & Learn approach by Adept English is designed to help you speak English fluently through consistent exposure to audio and video lessons. This method relies on immersive learning, encouraging you to repeatedly listen to real-world conversations and lessons. This way, your brain gets accustomed to less familiar words, enhancing your fluency.
  2. What's the Difference Between a Simile and a Metaphor? Understanding figures of speech like similes and metaphors can greatly enrich your English fluency. A simile describes something as being 'like' something else, using words such as 'as' or 'like'. For instance, "as snug as a bug in a rug" is a simile. A metaphor, however, describes something as if it were something else entirely. Knowing the difference allows you to comprehend and use descriptive language effectively.
  3. Why Are Common Similes Important to Learn? Learning common similes like "as cheap as chips" is crucial because they are frequently used in daily conversations and add nuance to your language. These expressions are a part of British culture and using them can make your English sound more natural and fluent.
  4. How Can I Use Similes to Describe Conditions or States? Similes are versatile. For instance, "as white as a sheet" can describe someone's pale face when they're ill or shocked. By incorporating similes, you not only make your language more descriptive but also engage in a form of cultural immersion. This aligns perfectly with Adept English's Listen & Learn approach, where immersion plays a key role in language acquisition.
  5. Are There Any Similes That Are Specific to British Culture? Absolutely. Take "as cheap as chips," for example. This simile refers to something being inexpensive and is deeply rooted in British culture, particularly relating to the classic British takeaway, fish and chips. Knowing such culturally specific similes can help you understand the nuances of British English and blend in more naturally.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Simile: A way to describe something by comparing it to something else using "like" or "as."
  • Metaphor: A way to describe something by saying it is something else for effect, without using "like" or "as."
  • Chariot: A type of vehicle from ancient times, usually pulled by horses.
  • Exaggeration: Making something seem bigger, better, or worse than it really is.
  • Implicated: To suggest that someone or something is involved in a situation, often a bad one.
  • Viable: Something that can work successfully.
  • Curiosity: A strong desire to know or learn something.
  • Obedient: Following rules or instructions well.
  • Snug: Comfortable, warm, and secure.
  • Coal: A black rock used as fuel, often in fires.

Most Frequently Used Words:


Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

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Transcript: Speak British English-Top Similes You Can Use Everyday

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

An essential English lesson on similes

Hi there. Today let’s do a proper English lesson. I did a ‘Listen & Learn’ podcast about the weather and climate on Monday, so that you could practise your English understanding. So let’s go with a more traditional topic today - a lesson! Except that this is better than a traditional lesson, as it’s presented ‘Listen & Learn’ style, in English, which hopefully you can understand. But don’t forget to listen a number of times to make sure you understand it all and ensure that your brain gets practice hearing those less familiar words.

Don’t forget there are lots more podcasts to download

Don’t forget the rest of our podcasts. There are lots of them - and if you find that you’ve exhausted the ones that you can listen to online, we have many more podcasts available as downloads on our website at adeptenglish.com. Just go to our ‘Courses’ page to find those downloads - we call them ‘podcast bundles’. And if you like what we’re doing, please subscribe to Adept English. Give us a positive review. Or if you’re on Spotify, please ‘share’ our podcasts, with other people that you know who are learning English.

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Do you know ‘similes’ and ‘metaphors’?

OK so some English grammar knowledge today. Do you know the difference between a ‘simile’, SIMILE and a ‘metaphor’, METAPHOR? Both of these are devices we use in English, to make what we say more descriptive. Can you think of the difference, if you learned it on your language course? It’s the kind of thing that British children learn in school, the difference between ‘simile’ and ‘metaphor’. Well, the answer is a ‘simile’ is when you describe something as ‘like’ something else. And a ‘metaphor’ is when you describe something as if it were something else, for dramatic effect, even though that’s not true. So you might say ‘My car is a chariot, that carries me home safely’. That would be a metaphor - clearly your car isn’t actually a chariot, that’s CHARIOT - what you mean is ‘it’s like one’. But because there’s no ‘like’, LIKE or ‘as’, AS in that sentence, that makes it a metaphor. Whereas if you say ‘My car is like a chariot. It carries me home safely’ - that’s a simile. Another example? Someone might say ‘My husband is a rock’. That would be a metaphor. Whereas if you say ‘My husband is like a rock’, that would be a simile. And sometimes similes contain the word ‘as’ as well, because they make a comparison. So if the person said that ‘My husband is as strong as an ox’ - that is also a simile.

And we use metaphors and similes a lot in English. And with similes, there are some that are very common, so it’s worth you learning them because they’re commonly used. And there are a lot of similes in English which are quite outdated and old fashioned, but these may be included in lists of similes online or in textbooks. But you only need to know the ones which are frequently used. Let’s focus today on commonly used ones, which contain the word ‘as.


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Similes for ‘dark’, black’, ‘pale’ and white

So ‘as dark as night’ might be used. You wouldn’t use it if it actually was night, because that wouldn’t be a simile! But you might hear ‘It was dark as night in that cave’. Or ‘It was dark as night in the cellar because I couldn’t find the light switch’.

Another simile for something being dark, or black. You might hear ‘It was black as coal’ - that’s COAL. ‘Coal’ is what people used to mine from the ground and burn in their fireplaces for fuel. Obviously coal is black.

What about if something is white or pale? Then one of the similes you might hear used ‘As white as a sheet’. A ‘sheet’, SHEET - means ‘a bed sheet’ here. Think of the sort of white cotton sheets that you might see in a hotel room on the bed - or you may have them on your bed at home. And ‘as white as a sheet’ is commonly used to describe someone’s face being pale, PALE because they’re either shocked or ill. So that’s ‘as white as a sheet’.

Another simile you might hear - ‘As white as snow’. ‘Snow’, SNOW is what falls from the sky in winter sometimes - and what you use to make a snowman or snowballs. And this could be anything that’s ‘as white as snow’.

Similes for not seeing well and not hearing well!

Another phrase, another simile that people use even though this is an exaggeration - ‘as blind as a bat’. So someone whose eyesight is not what it used to be may say - ‘Can you thread this needle for me? I’m as blind as a bat’. Or ‘Can you read that label for me? The print is far too small - and I’m blind as a bat without my glasses’. So a ‘bat’, BAT here is an animal. ‘Bats’ hang upside down in caves and they were implicated in coronavirus - and bats are very much protected in the UK. If you want to do a loft conversion and bats are found in your roof - forget it! The bats take priority. I complain sometimes that animals aren’t sufficiently protected in the UK, but bats are one species that probably are. So that simile again? ‘As blind as a bat’ - because bats presumably don’t have great eyesight, but they do hear well.

And what if you’re hard of hearing’ - that means that you don’t hear very well. In that case, you might use the simile ‘I’m as deaf as a post’. That’s ‘deaf’, DEAF meaning you can’t hear, or your hearing is compromised. And ‘a post’ here, POST is a noun - and it doesn’t mean ‘the mail’. Here it means here like a fence post, or a sign post - traditionally a wooden post, which is upright, firmly sited in the ground. Usually with a purpose - like holding up a fence or a sign. So that saying is ‘as deaf as a post’. I don’t know why particularly we’ve chosen ‘a post’ here - it could’ve been any object that doesn’t hear, really!

Simile for waking up refreshed and ready for the day

Another simile - ‘As fresh as a daisy’ is something else we say. I guess you could use this simile of anything that is ‘fresh’, FRESH. The adjective ‘fresh’ is usually used of things like food - ‘fresh eggs’, ‘fresh milk’. But often when we say ‘as fresh as a daisy’ - it’s when someone’s had a good night’s sleep - and they wake up in the morning, feeling good and ready for the day. A ‘daisy’, DAISY - apart from being a lovely girl’s name - I really like that name! (One of my dogs was called ‘Daisy’ - and now one of my daughters has ‘Daisy’ as her middle name). A ‘daisy’ is a flower, usually with petals and a central button - dahlias and lots of other garden flowers can be ‘daisy-like’. But real daisies are those that live in your grass, tiny with white petals, tinged pink if the weather is cold and a yellow centre. At least that’s what they look like in the UK - those are ‘daisies’. And why ‘fresh’? Why associated with ‘freshness’? Well, I guess it’s because daisies close up at night and open in the morning when the sun comes up. And often they’re covered in morning dew, DEW, so they’re ‘fresh’.

A simile for ‘inexpensive’

Another simile that we use frequently? ‘As cheap as chips’. That’s ‘cheap’, CHEAP meaning ‘not costly, not expensive’. And the chips we mean here, CHIPS? Those are the ones that come with fish when you eat that famous British takeaway, ‘fish and chips’. And it’s not the microchip that you’ll find in your computer! And ‘as cheap as chips’ is used often when someone has invented something new as a solution to some problem in the world - and it can be manufactured ‘as cheap as chips’. Always good news - rather than something that’s expensive to make and isn’t viable. Why do we say ‘cheap as chips’? Probably because chips are easily made from potatoes and oil - and they’re usually the most inexpensive part of a meal. And just be aware - ‘chips’ in the US means what British people call ‘crisps’ or ‘potato crisps’. And in the US, they call what we know as ‘chips’, ‘French fries’

There are lots of similes - I’ve a long list - but we need to keep this podcast to a reasonable length, so let’s just choose a couple more!

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Similes often used of children!

Here are a group of similes that you may hear said of children. You know when you’ve a young child, who’s obviously intelligent and they’re just full of joy and curiosity? Well, it’s often said of children like this that they’re ‘bright as a button’. Meaning that they’re intelligent, curious, ‘on it’ as we might say in slang English - they don’t miss much and they ask lots of questions. And a ‘button’, BUTTON? Well, although there’ll be buttons on the dashboard of your car, and your TV remote, the original meaning of the word ‘button’ are those fastenings on your clothes. Traditionally, nice buttons were bright or shiny. And ‘bright as a button’ is used of children. It can be used of adults too - where you’re saying they’re intelligent.

Another ‘as’ simile’ used of children - if they behave well, they’re ‘good as gold’. That’s ‘gold’, GOLD as in the precious metal. You might have jewellery that’s made of ‘gold’. Or possibly a gold tooth, if you have a certain style. We say this because historically gold was a good investment - gold had its own value, before people really believed in banknotes or ‘paper money’. So I guess ‘good as gold’ because gold’s an investment which ‘behaves itself’. But we use ‘good as gold’ for well-behaved and obedient children.

And a last one which is said to children. If it’s a really cold day - that’s not happened here in the UK just yet this year! But when autumn finally does arrive, say you’re out for a walk with your child, or they’re tucked up in bed to go to sleep and it’s a cold night - you would like to know that they’re ‘snug as a bug in a rug’. That’s a lovely phrase, isn’t it? And it means ‘they’re warm enough’ - ‘as warm as toast’ is another simile we might use. But ‘snug as a bug in a rug’! What does this mean? Well, ‘snug’, SNUG as a noun means ‘a little cosy sitting area next to a fire’. The adjective ‘snug’ means ‘a tight fit’ if you’re talking about clothes, but it also means ‘warm’ - and that’s its meaning here. A ‘bug’, BUG is an animal, usually an insect. And ‘a rug’, RUG is something woven, like a carpet that you put on your floor. So ‘a bug in a rug’ may mean some sort of insect that probably you don’t want in your rug - like a carpet moth that’s eating your rug! But in this phrase, ‘snug as a bug in a rug’ - sounds quite cute, like something out of a children’s book. But it means you’re warm enough.

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Summary of Similes!

So hopefully this winter, you’ll not be ‘as cold as ice’ - you’ll be ‘as snug as a bug in a rug’!

So that’s it today. We covered black as coal, dark as night, white as a sheet, white as snow, blind as a bat, deaf as a post, fresh as a daisy, cheap as chips, bright as a button, good as gold and snug as a bug in a rug. There are plenty of other similes using ‘as’. Let me know if you’d like some more of these similes that British people say all the time.


Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com




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