Everyday phrases

Big deal

This is a sarcastic expression to say that something (especially another person’s accomplishment) is not as important as it seems to be. Don’t use this expression in a professional context – it would be considered rude.

Situation: You and your friend are talking about a classmate who recently got a very high-paying job at a big company.

Your friend: Did you hear that Jeremy got the job at TechCorp? Apparently he’s making $200,000 a year.

You: Big deal. He only got that job because his uncle is vice-president of the company.

Just my luck!

“Just my luck!” is a sarcastic phrase that expresses especially unfortunate bad luck.

Situation: You have been single for a long time, and you really want to get married. You meet a beautiful, funny, intelligent, successful woman and you start to fall in love with her – but then you find out she is engaged.


You: Just my luck! I finally meet a woman I’m very attracted to, and it turns out she’s taken.
(“taken” = in a relationship with someone else)


Now, where was I? / Now, where were we?

You can say this to get back on topic after a distraction or interruption. “Now, where was I?” is generally said when it is just one person talking (such as during a lecture or presentation). If it is two people who are talking or doing an activity together, you can say “Now, where were we?” After you say this, the other person can remind you about the topic of conversation before the interruption.

Situation: You’re helping your friend install a computer program, and you get a call on your cell phone. You answer the phone and talk for a few minutes. After finishing the call, you can’t remember what part of the installation you were doing before the distraction.

You: Now, where were we?

Your friend: We just installed the software, but we haven’t registered yet.

You: Oh, right. OK, you can click here to start the registration process.


No need.

“No need” is simply a short way to say “it’s not necessary.”

Situation: You are planning a ski trip with some friends, and one person doesn’t have their own ski equipment.


Your friend: I’d love to go, but I don’t have any ski equipment

You: Oh, no need – you can rent the equipment at the ski lodge.


Join the club.

You can say this when another person says something that applies to you too. It is generally used for negative things.

Your friend: I’ve got so much work to do – I’m so stressed out.

You: Join the club.
(= I have a lot of work and am stressed out too.)


No hard feelings

You can say this after someone apologizes to you, to express the fact that you won’t stay angry. This phrase is generally used after apologies for social conflicts that are more serious (or have the potential to be serious) – not small accidents like stepping on someone’s foot.

Situation: Your friend said something rude about you during a conversation with a group of people, and everyone laughed at you. At the time, you felt very embarrassed and angry at your friend. But later, your friend realizes that what he did was wrong, and comes to apologize.

Your friend: I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have made that kind of remark about you, and I feel terrible about it.

You: That’s OK – no hard feelings.


It’s a small world!

You can say “It’s a small world!” (or “What a small world!”) in reaction to an unexpected coincidence.

Situation: You are meeting a new colleague for the first time.

You: I heard you have a degree in physics. Where did you go to school?

Colleague: At Stanford University.

You: What a small world! I studied there too. What year did you graduate?


Make yourself at home

You can say this to welcome someone who comes to your home for a visit. It means they can sit down, get comfortable, and relax.

Situation: You invited your colleague and her husband over for dinner, and they arrive.

You: Hi! Please come on in – make yourselves at home.

Your colleague: Thank you! You have a lovely apartment.


Good call

When you respond to a statement with “good call,” you are saying that the other person made a good decision or a smart observation.

Situation: You and your friend are trying to decide whether to go to the mall or to the movies.

Your friend: Let’s go to the mall – they’re having a big sale this weekend. We can go to the movies anytime.

You: Good call.


I rest my case

You can say this when you are expressing a fact or opinion, and then something happens to prove your point perfectly and show that you are completely correct.

Situation: You and your friend are talking about cooking.


You: You can’t cook at all.

Your friend: I can cook! I always make those instant noodle soups. 

(the fact that instant noodle soups are meals for people who don’t really know how to cook, shows that your first statement about your friend’s lack of cooking abilities was correct)



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