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  1. Senior Member
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    speak English on a good day

    Is the staff multilingual?
    Many are. I speak French and Spanish. My partner, Phil, who is American, likes to say he speaks English on a good day.

    Can you tell me what the underlined sentence means? Is there any idiom in it?



  2. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
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    Re: speak English on a good day

    It's idiomatic. Normally, he can do <something>. On a good day he can do more.

    In this case, Phil means (probably) that he's not much good at using language at all, but that in favourable conditions he can manage to speak English. (For collectors of nautical idioms, an equivalent is 'with a following wind' - but that's not nearly as common as 'on a good day').

    Last edited by emsr2d2; 23-Apr-2013 at 13:07.

  3. Route21's Avatar
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    Re: speak English on a good day

    It's just possible that Phil might be joking in his comment.
    As an NES with a Thai wife, if asked the same question, I might say that my wife speaks English Thai and Lao. Me? Oh! On a good day, I have been known to speak English! Mostly it's "double-Dutch"- so maybe I'm trilingual?

    PS: Double-Dutch, in BrE means gibberish!

  4. VIP Member
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    Re: speak English on a good day

    If he's American, it's likely that English is his native language and he's trying to be humorous.

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