Things are Looking Up
Chris: Hi, I'm Chris, and welcome to The English We Speak. It's a nice day here in London, so I've come outside to meet Helen. Ah, there she is! Helen, how are you?
Helen: I'm... fine... thanks.
Chris: What are you doing? What are you looking at?
Helen: I'm looking up.
Chris: R-Right. But I can't see anything.
Helen: Neither can I.
Chris: Have you seen an aeroplane or something?
Helen: Not sure...
Chris: Maybe a bird?
Helen: Well, apparently things are looking up.
Chris: Things are looking up?
Helen: Yes, Rosie told me that the weather has been sunny for the last three days, so things are looking up. I thought I'd come and see for myself... But there's not much going on to be honest.
Chris: Ah, I think you've misunderstood. Rosie didn't mean there are things up in the sky.
Helen: Really? What do you mean?
Chris: It's an expression. You use the phrase 'things are looking up' when you want to suggest that conditions are getting better or more positive.
Helen: Oh, right...
Chris: Here are some examples:
Chris: Yes, she's suggesting that it looks like the weather in general is improving. So what do you think? Do you think the weather is getting better?
Helen: So far, yes, yesterday was really hot. I hope it lasts for the weekend… But if things get worse, would you say, 'things are looking down'?
Chris: Not really. Instead, you could say: "It's taken a turn for the worse".
Helen: It's taken a turn for the worse. That's a useful phrase.
Chris: Oh, but hang on... look at that black cloud in the sky. It looks like it might rain after all. That's typical English weather!
Helen: Oh great. Things really have taken a turn for the worse! Quick, let's get back to the office before it rains.
Chris: Let's go! Do join us again for another edition of The English We Speak and visit our website, bbclearningenglish.com. Bye!