Learn English Idioms and Vocabulary With Funny Video

Just take a look at the fantastically funny video below. The dog running on the roundabout is sure to bring a smile to your face no matter what day of the week it is.

The clip also brings to mind (literal meaning – 'makes you think of') lots of English idiomatic phrases or what we call 'chunks of English'. They are words that are commonly used together in a fixed sequence by mother-tongue English speakers in normal conversation.

Can you think of some ways to describe the actions in the video using your current vocabulary knowledge?

If your learning goal is to be advanced or have a vocabulary like a native English speaker, then you should definitely learn the common phrases below and try to use them when you communicate in English.


Learn English idioms

Here are the phrases that immediately sprang to mind when I watched the video. As you can see, the common theme are the words round, around or circle.

Below the video you can see a full explanation of the vocabulary.


It's all swings and roundabouts

We've come full circle

We are just going round in circles

It's a vicious circle

He's running around like a headless chicken

How do you square that circle?


1. It's all swings and roundabouts

Explanation: A situation with an equal amount of advantages and disadvantages

Example: If you move out of the city centre, you will pay less rent, but you have to pay more to travel into town for work every day. You might be able to have a garden, too, but then you have to maintain the garden and buy lots of special tools like a lawnmower. It's swings and roundabouts, isn't it?


2. We've come full circle

Explanation: A situation where you finish up back where you started

Example: But that's what we said 2 hours ago. We are right back where we started. We've come completely full circle


3. We are just going round in circles

Explanation: Continually ending up back at the original starting position (or situation) after trying to solve a problem

Example: You keep saying that you know where you are going, but we have already been down this street twice – we're just going round in circles. We are never going to find that restaurant.


4. It's a vicious circle

Explanation: A situation where trying to solve problems creates more problems, so that you end up back at the original situation.

Example: She went into hospital because of the illness and then she got an infection. Now the antibiotics for the infection mean that her normal medication won't work, so she is getting more and more ill. It's a vicious circle.


5. He's running around like a headless chicken

Explanation: Used to describe someone who is trying to do a lot of things quickly in an out of control way and not being effective.

Example: He's got so much work to do before the end of the week that he's running around like a headless chicken. He's never gonna finish before Friday!


6. How do you square that circle?

Explanation: to try to solve an unusual and difficult problem

Example: She has to be at the meeting in London at 10am, but then she needs to be at Heathrow to catch her plane at midday. We can't cancel the meeting or the flight, so how are going to square that circle?



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