Everybody ESL

Episode 216 (mini)

Episode Summary

This mini episode teaches you the common expression “big deal.”

Episode Notes

Episode 216 of the Everybody ESL podcast is a mini episode that teaches you the common expression “big deal.” Send your questions about English and your suggestions for future episodes to EverybodyESL@gmail.com! (And let me know if you’d like to record the introduction to a future episode.)

Episode Transcription


“This is Ilahe from Azerbaijan. And you are listening to Everybody ESL.”

Welcome to episode 216 of Everybody ESL, the podcast for everybody who wants to improve their English, practice their English, or just learn more English. My name is Ben, and I have a mini episode for you today, where I am going to teach you about one English topic. You can subscribe to the Everybody ESL podcast at Apple podcasts, on the Stitcher app, and wherever you find your podcasts. If you like Everybody ESL, leave it a good review so other people can find out about it too. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for me, please send an email to everybodyESL@gmail.com. Okay! Let’s get on with this mini episode.

The episode

Today, I want to teach you a very common and very useful expression. And that expression is big deal. Big deal. That’s big: b-i-g, deal: d-e-a-l. Big deal. What does big deal mean? 

A big deal is an important situation, an important thing, or an important person. Let me give you a couple of examples of sentences or situations where you might hear the expression big deal.

“The new professor thinks he is a big deal.” The new professor thinks he is a big deal. In other words, the new professor thinks that he is very important. The new professor thinks that he is a very important or very special person. 

And here’s another one: Let’s say I have plans to meet my friend at a café at four o’clock. While I am waiting at the café, I get a text from my friend. And the text says, “I think I will be a little bit late. I hope I will be there by 4:15.” I text my friend back, and I say, “Oh, that’s no big deal.” That’s no big deal. In other words, that doesn’t really matter. That’s okay. That’s not important or serious news. That’s not a problem. It’s okay. It’s not a big deal. 

There is another way that people often use the expression big deal. They often use it in a very sarcastic way. When we say something sarcastically, that means we mean the opposite of what we say. And so, often, you will hear people use the expression big deal to mean that something is not a big deal.

They will say, “Big deal” in a sarcastic way, as a way of saying, “I don’t think that is important. I don’t think that matters.” 

Here is an example of this way of using big deal. Let’s say there are two friends, and one of them is always talking about his new car. One of them just bought a new car, and he will not stop talking about it. He says something about how fast his new car can go. And the other friend says, “Oh, big deal.” Oh, big deal. He said that in a sarcastic way to mean, “I don’t think that is important. I don’t think that matters.” Big deal! 


We have reached the end of episode 216 of Everybody ESL. Remember: if you have any questions about English, or if you have comments or suggestions about the podcast, or if you would like to record an introduction that I can use at the beginning of future episodes—the same way Ilahe recorded the introduction you heard at the beginning of this episode—send an email to everybodyESL@gmail.com. I’ll be back soon with another episode. And until then, keep going, keep practicing, and keep learning. Goodbye! I’ll see you soon.