Take it with a pinch of salt 半信半疑

The script of this programme 本节目台词

Neil: Hello, Helen. Thanks for inviting me here. It's a lovely cafe, isn't it?

Helen: Yes, it is, Neil. Actually, I wanted to ask you a favour. I know you play the piano and I'd like you to teach me.

Waitress: Here is your tea. Madam, sir…

Helen: Thank you. I'll pour it.

Image caption Would you drink your tea with salt or pepper?

Neil: I'd be happy to teach you the piano. Are you buying one?

Helen: No. Our colleague John is giving me one.

Neil: Giving you a piano?

Helen: Yes. He said he's moving to Australia and will give me his piano. Sugar in your tea?

Neil: I'd take that with a pinch of salt!

Helen: Oh… Okay.

Neil: What are you doing?!

Helen: You said you would take that with a pinch of salt, so I am putting some in your tea.

Neil: No, I didn't mean put salt in my tea! I was talking about our colleague John. You need to take what John says with a pinch of salt.

Helen: Er, I'm confused.

Neil: In English, when we say 'take it with a pinch of salt', we mean don't believe in it completely because it might not be true.

Helen: Take it with a pinch of salt 这个表达的意思是不能完全相信,就是对某事持有半信半疑的态度。Neil 说,我不应该完全相信我们同事 John 对我许下的承诺,应该对 John 说的话采取 take it with a pinch of salt 的态度。So, John's not going to give me his piano?

Neil: John's always planning to move abroad and promising things. I'm still waiting for a sofa he promised me last year. He said he was going to Peru!

Helen: Oh, I see.

Neil: 'With a pinch of salt' is today's expression in Authentic Real English. Here are some examples of how it's used.

  • <span >When my cousin says he has absolutely no money, you have to take that with a pinch of salt. He's just mean.
  • I take everything Mary says with a pinch of salt. She tends to exaggerate things.

Helen: Thank you for warning me, Neil. John is a good person but he can't make up his mind.

Neil: That's right. But if you ever want to learn to play the piano, I can teach you. I'm not very good at it but I can teach you what I know. And you don't need to take that with a pinch of salt.

Helen: Oh, you're such a sweetie!

Neil: A sweetie who likes his tea with sugar rather than salt.

Helen: I'm sorry about that!

Neil: Bye.

Helen: Bye.