A2 Basic US 71 Folder Collection
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Feifei: So, tonight's the night, Neil.
How do you feel?
Neil: A bit nervous, but mostly excited.
I've been practising
my speech all morning.
Feifei: Just go out there, smile, and don't
forget: mind your Ps and Qs!
Neil: Eh? I know how to spell, Feifei.
Feifei: You know what I mean!
Neil: Don't worry! I won't offend anyone.
Feifei: Mind your Ps and Qs
is our phrase in The English We Speak.
If someone tells you
to mind your Ps and Qs, they're telling
you to be polite in a social situation, and
to be careful about what you say or do.
Neil: Feifei, I'm always on my best
behaviour. Now, let me
practise my speech.
Feifei: And I'll play some examples.
Gang, Gang, Gang! How many times
have I told you to mind
your Ps and Qs when you're with
your grandparents? Grandma doesn't
like that kind of language!
Last week's meeting with our new clients
was super frustrating.
But I had to mind my Ps and Qs.
As they say, the customer
is always right!
Lan always says the first thing that comes
into her head. I just hope she minds her
Ps and Qs at lunch today.
Feifei: You're listening to The English
We Speak from BBC Learning English.
In this programme we are looking at
the expression 'mind your Ps and Qs'.
So Neil, finished practising
your speech?
Neil: Not yet. I've been distracted
by today's phrase. I've been
looking it up online.
Feifei: And?
Neil: Nobody agrees where it comes from.
There are so many theories.
One is that printers
back in the 19th Century used
to get confused between
the small letters p and q.
Feifei: They do look similar! So they had
to mind their Ps and Qs. Makes sense.
Neil: And there's another about
bartenders in 17th Century England.
They used to serve beer in
measures called pints and quarts.
Pints with a 'P' and quarts with a 'Q'.
When a customer was
drinking too much...
Feifei: ... They told them to mind
their pints and quarts?
Their Ps and Qs. Yes, makes sense too.
Neil: And there's another...
Feifei: Neil?
Neil: Yes?
Feifei: Your speech is in one hour.
Shouldn't you be practising?
Neil: Oh! So it is.
Feifei: And... Mind your Ps and Qs!
Neil: OK. Bye.
Feifei: Bye.
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What does 'mind your Ps and Qs' mean?

71 Folder Collection
Courtney Shih published on December 12, 2019
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