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:
My wife and I both found great new jobs last month, so things are looking up.
Things are finally looking up now that he's recovered from his illness.
Helen: So when Rosie told me that things were looking up, she meant that the weather has been getting better at the moment. 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! Helen: Bye!