Until the cows come home 无期的,很久的

The script of this programme 本节目台词

(Neil has spent Sunday with Li in the countryside. Now they are going back to town.)

Neil: Oh, it's been a great Sunday in the countryside, Li. I'm a city boy – I'm not used to this much walking and fresh air. It was good though, but now it's getting late.

Li: Yes, it is, Neil. But now we are going to catch a bus to town and you'll be back in your normal environment.

Neil: Mm, where is this bus?! You said you knew this area. We've been here on this dirt road for a while and no buses have passed by. No vehicles at all, actually.

Li: Don't worry, Neil. The bus will come.

Image caption When are they going home to their shed?

Neil: Li, look! There is a note here on the wall of this old bus shelter!

Li: Oh, I didn't notice it. What does it say?

Neil: It says buses are subject to delays! We'll be waiting for a bus until the cows come home!

Li: Those cows?! I think they are already home, Neil. The cows live in that field. It's us who need to go home. You might be feeling a bit light-headed as you are not used to so much fresh air.

Neil: Li, we are not actually waiting for the cows to go anywhere. In English, to wait 'until the cows come home' means to wait for a very long time.

Li: 在英语里如果等待的时间被形容为“直到奶牛回家 until the cows come home”, 意思就是要等很久很久。Ah, so nothing to do with cows?

Neil: Not at all. Let's hear some examples of how to use 'until the cows come home', today's expression in Authentic Real English.

  • I'm off work tomorrow so tonight we can party until the cows come home!
  • Alan is very stubborn. His wife can try to persuade him until the cows come home but he won't change his mind.

Li: Oh. That's a new expression for me. And you learnt something too, Neil.

Neil: What's that, Li?

Li: Look over there!

(The bus is approaching.)

Neil: That's our bus! Here! We're here!

Li: Don't worry, it's coming.

Neil: Well, you learnt a new expression and I learnt to be more patient.

Li: One day, even a city boy like you, will get used to the calming and relaxing atmosphere of the countryside.

Neil: Yes. The cows look happy, don't they? Munching away on the grass…

Li: Yes, indeed. Let's go. Bye.

Neil: Bye.