Very British Problems - Saying goodbye




Very British Problems, a TV series on Channel 4, is fun to watch and great for practising English listening and speaking skills. It is especially useful to those preparing for IELTS, Cambridge FCE, CAE and CPE.


This clip is from the first episode of Very British Problems (Season 1 - Episode 1 - Other People).

The great British tradition of the long goodbye...
So given how much we Brits hate all forms of social interaction, you'd think the thing we'd look forward to most would be saying goodbye. But no, we can't even do that with any sort of competence.

The Italians are such a friendly people, they don't bother with a word for goodbye. They just begin and end all conversations with, "Ciao."

Of course, things aren't that simple in Britain.

When you both agree that you'll wind down the conversation, this is on the phone or in person, you then go through a ritual that takes forever.

"Great. OK, let's maybe speak next week." "Yeah, OK, I'll give you a call."

"Oh, this has been so great. Thank you so much. I'll see you soon. Yeah"

"Listen, have a great weekend. No, you too, have a brilliant weekend."

"No, no, no. Yeah, 100%. Well, you send me that e-mail and then I'll..." "Yeah. Thank you."

And then when they hang up, they say this goodbye... in a way that makes it sound like their car has just... gone off a bridge. "Byeeeeeee! Byeeee! Byeeee!"

"Bye-bye. Bye. Bye. Bye."

And it leaves you on the other end thinking, "I think that person just died."

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