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Talk About Money

Learn these English expressions related to money. First, we'll begin with some basic words, then we'll learn some slang and informal expressions.

Money plays an important role in our lives. Talking about money in English is an important topic to learn . Many students know what to call the money we get from a job. We call that our "salary". Of course, we hope to get a high salary, but we usually have to start at a low salary and work our way up. In most countries, some of our salary is taken out and given to the government. This money is called "taxes". We also might pay taxes when we buy things. Taxes are such a big part of life that someone once said "Nothing is certain in life except death, and taxes".

A common expression in English that describes our job and making money is "earning a living". When we earn money at our job, it allows us to eat and pay for a place to live. We also talk about money in a more creative way. We say, for example, that something that is successful is like "money in the bank". It's safe and sure and will help us in the future! In the same way, a person who is successful, even though he or she has had to work very hard, could be said to be "laughing all the way to the bank". Even though life is hard, the work was worth it because now the bank account has grown so much.

When we are absolutely sure of something, we can say that we are "willing to put money on it". In other words, we are "putting our money where our mouth is" which means we are not just talking - we can actually do what we say! If you think someone is not sure of what they say, you can ask, "Do you want to bet on it?". More informally, we shorten that sentenct to just "Want to bet?", or even faster, "Wanna bet?". This means we may not believe the other person. If we do agree with someone, especially if they ask us to do something with them, we can say happily "You bet!". And if you're absolutely sure of something, you can say confidently, "You can bet your bottom dollar".

Another word for money is "cash". When we have a good opportunity or a lucky chance, we should use it, in which case we could say that we have "cashed in on the opportunity". We could use this when money is really involved or we can say it when money is not involved. For example, if our boss gives us a big project to work on, we could say, "The boss let me work with our best customer and I did a great job. Now the boss might give me a better job in the future. I really cashed in on that opportunity". "Cash in" has a good meaning, but be careful with the opposite. If you say "cash out" it could mean "die"!

In very informal situations, we can call dollars "bucks". We could say "this book cost 20 bucks" instead of saying "20 dollars". (In England, people sometimes say "quid" instead of "pounds".) A less frequent way to say dollars is to call them "greenbacks". New dollars in the U.S. are not green, but people there still call their money "green". We could say that we want "lots of green"! Also, Americans sometimes talk about "dead presidents" instead of money, because most dollars in the U.S. have pictures of past (and dead) presidents on them.

Now, some people talk about the "almighty dollar" because when you have lots of money, you can do any kind of business deal. Sometimes we even say that "money talks"! That means that we can convince people to do things if we give them money. We don't have to ask them kindly or try to persuade them - just give them money. I hope you have good luck in earning lots of money in the future (then when Teacher Joe is in trouble some day, he can borrow money from you!) but remember, in the end, there is one thing money can't buy. "Money can't buy happiness". That is quite true, but money can help you look for happiness in many different places!

Kung Fu Kitty!

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