Idioms: IN THE NICK OF TIME, AT THE LAST MINUTE and AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR | DailyStep English

Idioms: IN THE NICK OF TIME, AT THE LAST MINUTE and AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR

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This is Jane Lawson's Audio Blog #144 at DailyStep English

Jane Lawson,  English Teacher at DailyStep EnglishHello, I'm Jane at DailyStep English and welcome to my Audio Blog!
 
Thank you to Barbara in Italy for this question about the difference between three similar idioms, in the nick of time, at the last minute and at the eleventh hour
 
Well, Barbara, 'In the nick of time' means ‘just before it was too late’. For example, 

“I arrived at the airport in the nick of time, and ran to the departure gate, which was just about to close!"
So, we understand that I nearly missed my plane because I was so late for it.
 
'At the last minute' and 'at the eleventh hour' both mean 'at the latest possible opportunity for doing something'. We often use them when we are talking about spontaneous actions, or changed plans and decisions. 'At the eleventh hour' sounds much more dramatic than 'at the last minute'. Listen to these examples:
 
"The location of the party was changed at the last minute.” 
"The football team's best striker was brought on to the field at the eleventh hour and scored a winning goal just before the end of the match."
 
Now, can you think about when you managed to do something in the nick of time, or a time that you changed your plans at the last minute, or at the eleventh hour? Write down your examples if possible, as this will help you to remember these idioms.
 
Now, here are some audio summaries of all the topics in next week’s DailyStep Audio Lessons. If you are new to DailyStep, you can get 5 free UK/USA lessons here
 

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Now listen to these free audio summaries of next week's DailyStep Audio Lessons. Remember to speak along with the audio to help your pronunciation. 

Level 5: Advanced Level

Social support systems and the background to the welfare state. 

Discussing the history of social welfare - DailyStep English Audio LessonsIn these 5 lessons, you will hear a discussion about the workhouse, an institution introduced in Britain in 1834 to help the poor and destitute. The system was cruel, inefficient, and eventually replaced by the welfare state, which brought in social security, pensions, a national health service and more. These 5 lessons will help you to discuss social support and welfare systems in any country. You’ll also learn some fascinating social history, and plenty of idioms and phrasal verbs.

Level 4: High Intermediate Level

Design and history of a famous building.  In these 5 lessons, you will learn all about the amazing glass and iron structure, the Crystal Palace in London, including its revolutionary design, its history and what remains of it now. You’ll also learn some fascinating facts about the city, great conversation techniques and many idioms and phrasal verbs. If you are interested in architecture or history, don’t miss these lessons!

Level 3: Intermediate Level

Conversation about exams. John has a week of exams at college and he tells Linda all about them. Has he prepared enough? Will his exams go well? Linda tries to encourage him. If you ever need to talk about this subject, these 5 lessons are for you!

Level 2: Elementary Level

Conversation and verb practice. These 5 short lessons will teach you how to use English verbs in the present simple and present continuous tenses. Also, how to ask and answer questions correctly.

Level 1: Beginner Level

Talking about family. These 5 lessons will show you how to talk about your family, and how to ask and answer questions correctly. These are important conversation skills for making friends and learning about each other.


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