Fat chance


2019-07-29 00:00

Summary

Rob has entered a competition but Feifei isn’t sure if he can win. Listen to this episode of The English We Speak to learn about the informal phrase 'fat chance'. 

Transcript  

Feifei
Hello and welcome back to The English We Speak. I’m Feifei.

Rob
And I’m Rob. Have I told you about the competition that I’ve entered, Feifei?

Feifei
No, Rob. What is it?

Rob
It’s a singing competition! You have to perform a popular song from your favourite band – and I’m going to win!

Feifei
You? Are going to win? No offence, Rob, but I’ve heard your singing voice, and, well, I’m not sure…

Rob
What are you trying to say, Feifei?

Feifei
All I’m saying is that there is a fat chance of you winning the competition!

Rob
Right! So first you make fun of my singing and now you’re calling me fat! How cheeky!

Feifei
No Rob, no. I’m not calling you fat – I’m saying that the likelihood of you winning the competition is very small.

Rob
Oh right, yes. ‘Fat chance’ is an English phrase to say something is not very likely – I remember now.

Feifei
Right, well while you calm down, let’s hear some other examples of this phrase.

Examples
A: I bought a lottery ticket for tonight’s draw – and these are my lucky numbers! I’m definitely going to win!
B: Fat chance!

A: I hope it’s warm this weekend – I want to go fishing.
B: Well, fat chance of that. It’s the middle of November!

I auditioned for a role in a movie, but there is a fat chance of me getting the role – I saw loads of famous actors auditioning too.

Feifei
This is The English We Speak from BBC Learning English and we’re talking about the phrase ‘fat chance’. This is a noun phrase that means a small chance, or possibility, of something happening. It can be used in a full sentence, and also as a standalone phrase. For example, when Rob said he was going to win the competition, I could have just said ‘fat chance’!

Rob
Hey! I think I’ve got a really good chance! I’ve been practising hard and I’ve even taken a few lessons!

Feifei
OK, Rob. Well… good luck? I suppose…

Rob
Well Feifei, when I win the £5000 prize money, there’s fat chance of you getting any of it.

Feifei
Wait, £5000? Rob, hold one! I didn’t mean it!
Thanks for joining us – I’ve got to go and apologise to Rob. Hopefully he’ll share his winnings! Bye!