You’ll find the transcript on our website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/the-english-we-speak/ep-190304

Summary

What is a hard-nosed person like? Rob thinks he’s found the perfect person to fit the description, but when he tells her, she’s not impressed. Find out what a hard-nosed person is really like in this episode of The English We Speak.

Transcript

Feifei
Hello, welcome to The English We Speak, with me, Feifei.

Rob
And me, Rob. Now Feifei, would you call yourself hard-nosed?

Feifei
Oh here we go again – you’re trying to insult me. Can we leave my nose out of the conversation please?

Rob
I was starting to compliment you.

Feifei
Go on… why is having a hard nose a compliment?

Rob
Not having a hard nose but being hard-nosed describes someone who is practical…

Feifei
OK.

Rob
…someone who is determined and tough-minded. That’s you, isn’t it?

Feifei
Hmmm maybe. Well, yes I suppose that could describe me.

Rob
I thought so. Let’s hear some more examples of this word ‘hard-nosed’….

Examples
She’s a hard-nosed reporter – she got the scoop that none of the other TV channels managed to get.

When my son was ill I asked my boss for time off but he’s so hard-nosed he said ‘no’!

Our company is in financial trouble, we need a hard-nosed business person to come in and save us from closing.

Feifei
This is The English We Speak from BBC Learning English and we’re learning about the word ‘hard-nosed’, which describes someone who is practical, determined and tough-minded. But hold on, Rob…

Rob
Yes?

Feifei
I’ve been researching this word and understand that being hard-nosed also describes someone who is stubborn, unforgiving and insensitive! Erm, Rob, can we talk about this please?

Rob
I was trying to be nice!

Feifei
I don’t care. I will not forgive you.

Rob
What about if I called you soft-nosed?

Feifei
No. From now on I’m only going to present with Neil. Now, I’ve got a pile of work to do so I’m off to write some scripts.

Rob
There you go – hard-nosed – practical, determined, stubborn and unforgiving.

Feifei
Goodbye!

Rob
What did I say?

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