Call it a day

Jen: Hello, and welcome to The English We Speak. I’m Jennifer, and with me in the studio is… yawn… Helen.

Helen: Hi Jen… are you a bit tired?

Jen: Oh yes, I really am. I’ve been here since seven this morning – I think I’m ready to call it a day now.

Helen: What do you want to call it? Monday? Tuesday?

Jen: Oh no, I don’t mean…

Helen: How about Saturday? That’s my favourite day. Or we could call it a new day altogether. What about Cake-day! Or Coffee-day.

Jen: I don’t want to rename the day. In English, if you’re ready to call it a day, it means that you want to finish whatever you’re doing – and usually go home.

Helen: So you want to call it a day now? We haven’t finished the programme yet.

Jen: That’s true. In that case, let’s hear some examples of the phrase in action.

  • We’re getting nowhere with this – shall we call it a day and start again tomorrow?
  • I’m getting picked up from work at five, so I think I’d better call it a day.

Helen: I see… so if you call it a day, you decide that it’s time to finish the work you’re doing.

Jen: That’s right, so let’s call it a day right now.

Helen: Alright then. Do you fancy a quick drink after work?

Jen: Well, I’m feeling pretty tired, but I suppose I could come out for one drink.

Helen: Let’s go then!

Voice: Some time later…

(Nightclub music)

Helen: Jen, look at the time – we’ve been here seven hours!

Jen: I know! I don’t know where the evening went. It’s probably time to call it a night.

Helen: I thought the phrase was ‘call it a day’?

Jen: We can also say ‘call it a night’ if you’ve been somewhere in the evening and you know it’s time to go home.

Helen: Well, I definitely think that you need to call it a night, then. Although look…

Jen: What?

Helen: The sun is coming up already. We’ve been out on the town all night. Perhaps we should call it a day instead?

Jen: That means it’s nearly time for work again! Can I call in sick, please?

Adapted from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/language/theenglishwespeak/2012/04/120417_tews_67_call_it_a_day_page.shtml

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