You, Too, Can Sound Like Shakespeare (Part 1)

If you speak English, you know Shakespeare.

That’s because many of the most well-known sayings in English come from Shakespeare’s plays.

Here are a few very common phrases Americans use:

1. Good riddance – From Troilus and Cressida, Act II, Scene I

We use this phrase when we want to show relief at no longer having to deal with something or someone who is troublesome or that brings us problems.
– If your girlfriend breaks up or ends her relationship with you and you are happy because she has brought all kinds of trouble into your life, then you might say, “Good riddance!”

2. To lie low – From Much Ado About Nothing, Act V, Scene 1

We use this phrasal verb when we are hiding or doing something to not bring attention to ourselves, usually because we have committed (done) a crime or we expect trouble if we’re found.
– If you made a big mistake at work, you might tell your coworker: “I’m lying low until the boss is stops being angry.”

3. Seen better days – From As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII

We use this phrase to mean that something is no longer new. It is old, worn, and/or in poor condition.
– I bought my first used car from my uncle for $100. It was 20 years old, and needed a muffler (device on a car that makes it less loud) and a lot of other repairs. That car had seen better days!

That last example is true. My first car really was very old and purchased (bought) from my uncle for $100.


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