To know something like the back of your hand 了如指掌


Image copyright thinkstock
Image caption It takes a long time to get your hand to look this good

The script of this programme 本节目台词

Rob: Hello and welcome to Authentic Real English. I'm Rob and joining me today is Helen.

Helen: Hi everyone, I'm Helen. Rob, I hear you have a holiday coming up soon.

Rob: Oh yes, we have booked a trip to China to visit the home of pandas.

Helen: Do you mean Chengdu?

Rob: Yes, we are stopping there for a few days and then to Hong Kong for two weeks.

Helen: You know Chengdu is my home town. I grew up there.

Rob: Oh, I didn't know that. So you must know the place like the back of your hand then.

Helen: The back of my hand? 我的手背。我的手背还好啊,有点干。不过这和成都有啥关系?

Rob: Oh, it's a very common expression we use to say that we know somewhere very well, or extremely familiar with the place. You hear people say it all the time.

Helen: 噢,原来是这个意思,当我们听到 know somewhere like the back of your hand,意思就是对什么地方非常了解就像对自己的手背那么熟悉一样。以下是两个例句:


  • He knows the building like the back of his hand.
  • She lived in village all her life, and knows the area like the back of her hand.

Helen: 那么除了说对什么地方很了解之外,这个短语可以用于其它语境吗?

Rob: Well, we can used to describe books and other things we know very well. It's not just limited to places.

Helen: 这个表达还可以用于对什么东西比如书、兴趣,非常精通了解。Here are more examples:


  • Jenny knows that book like the back of her hand. She has read it at least twenty times.
  • Max knows the Bond films like the back of his hand; he could recite the whole script of all of them.

Rob: So Helen, since you lived in Chengdu for many years, any recommendations for good places to visit in Chengdu?

Helen: Actually, the city has changed so much; I would be lost there like any other visitor. But my cousin still lives there. He definitely knows the city like the back of his hand.

Rob: Maybe I should give him a call.

Helen: I'm sure he'll be happy to help.

Rob: Great!

Helen: Have a good trip then.

Rob: Thanks.

Both: Bye!