5 phrases to make you sound bilingual!


Hi!  How are you?  This week we are looking at 5 phrases native speakers use which can be useful in making your level sound much more advanced!

  1. to go Dutch
  2. to be framed
  3. a stitch in time saves nine
  4. not half
  5. to whet someone’s appetite


1 To go Dutch

To go Dutch, kimgriffithsenglish.com, the blog to learn and practice your English

This expression means to split/divide the bill in restaurants etc. evenly between the people.

For example:

  • Tom: Let me invite you. I’ll pay.
  • Jack: No, no, I insist we go Dutch!
  • Tom: Ok, if you insist. The meal cost 60 euros, so 30 each.
  • Jack: Fine. It was really tasty*, wasn’t it?

*tasty = it tasted good, the flavour was nice.


2  To be framed

To be framed, English phrases for o make you sound bilingual! Kimgriffithsenglish.com

Typically we hear this in detective and crime movies.  Evidence (real or false) organised by someone else makes you look guilty of doing something.  It’s great to understand it and you could use it jokingly or seriously if someone is blaming* you for something.

*to blame someone = to say someone is guilty of doing something.

For example:

  • Tom: I’m sure John took the money. Everybody there says he did.
  • June: No, I don’t think so. It looks like he was framed by the others in the office. They have shown evidence against him which may not be real. We need to keep investigating.



3  A stitch in time saves nine

A stitch in time saves nine, kimgriffithsenglish.com Improve your English!

This expression was one of my mum’s favourites when I was younger. She wanted to encourage me to fix/repair things as soon as I noticed a problem and not let the damage get worse.  The word stitch is the singular noun for what we do with a needle to sew.  Literally the expression means, one stitch can stop a hole in a t-shirt getting much bigger, and if you leave the hole to get worse and bigger it will require/take nine stitches to repair the hole. We don’t only use the expression for clothes, it can refer to all kinds of things which need action taking to make the situation or object better – from clothes to relationships.

For example:

  • Kim: Oh no! There is a problem with the anti-virus in my computer.
  • Mum: You should call them today. A stitch in time saves nine. If you leave it you may get a virus in it that will cost a lot to remove.


4  Not Half

Not half! English expressions to make your level sound bilingual. Learn English. Kimgriffithsenglish.com. The blog to improve and practice your English ESL

This one is really informal.  If someone asks you if you are an adjective, for example hungry/tired, and you answer with “Not half!” it means you are totally this adjective! Completely hungry/tired etc.  Not a quarter, not a half but completely.

For example:

  • John: Are you bored without the internet or computer?
  • Kate: Not half! I can’t wait to get Wifi in the new house and bring my new computer here.


5 To whet your appetite

To whet your appetite, learn useful and interesting English expressions, ESL English. Kimgriffithsenglish.com, the blog to learn, improve and practice your English.

This expression means to give someone a little of something to make them want more. Watch my You tube video for the pronunciation and some more information about the word WHET.  Also, there are examples.



Click here to watch my video with the pronunciation  of whet and more on YouTube.



Try to practice these phrases this week if you get the opportunity!  While reading or listening in English see if you see/hear them and tell me in the comments if you do!

Have a great day and a fun week!



About Kim Griffiths

Hello, I'm Kim. I'm a qualified English ESL teacher with a CELTA A qualification and I have over 25 years of experience teaching English to non-native speakers. I love teaching! I also write about English, sing jazz, paint and make things.

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