【Language Snacks】 第三期:Play it by ear

2016-03-30 英国大使馆文化教育处

双周Language Snacks 音频小栏目,让你的口语摆脱课本和程式化的僵硬和无趣,更接地气更加原汁原味。

本期我们看Play it by ear





A: Where are we meeting Dave and Jenny tonight? 
B: In the pub, at around 7 o'clock. 


A: Ah, okay. Where are we going to have dinner?
B: Let's decide later. If the pub has a good menu, we can eat there. Or if not, we can all go to that new Italian restaurant later. I don't mind.

A接着说,那我们就play it by ear吧!
A: Okay, we'll just play it by ear then.




The expression play it by ear was first used by musicians. It meant to play an instrument without looking at the written music notation. In fact, the word 'ear' has been used to mean 'musical talent' for nearly 500 years, and people still say that a good singer 'has a good ear'. The idiom play it by ear has a much more general use in modern English though, and means improvise, or decide what to do as things happen and not plan them.


英语里用”ear”来代指具有音乐才能的人,这种说法已经有500多年的历史了,因此”ear”通常都与音乐有关。”play it by ear”原指音乐家不用看乐谱就弹奏出乐曲来,现代英语里用这个说法来形容做事没有计划、随机应变。

举例来说,《老友记》里的Monica就绝对不是play it by ear的类型哦! 

Mm, I like things to be well planned, just like Monica in Friends. I don’t really like playing it by ear.



1. What are you going to do if you are going to play it by ear?


a) play a musical instrument


b) decide what to do when the situation happens


c) plan what to do before the situation happens.