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18 / 06 / 2007
Animal Idioms

ANIMAL EXPRESSIONS: RAT: meaning and examples

Good morning. I hope you had a good weekend.

This week we will look at some animal expressions in English, which we also did last January. Today we will look at expressions with rat

Today's 1st expression is: to rat on somebody (informal)

Meaning: to tell someone in an authoritative position about something wrong that somebody else has done.

Example 1
My son never rats on his friends at school. However, sometimes I wish he would, because sometimes he gets in trouble for things he didn't do.

Today's 2nd expression is: to rat on something (informal, UK)

Meaning: not to do something that you have agreed or promised to do.

Example 2:
The current government has been accused of ratting on its promises to the unemployed. They haven't done half of the things that they agreed to do! 

Today's 3rd expression isto smell a rat (informal)

Meaning: to suspect that something is wrong in a situation.

Example 3:
Alex: Jason can't come to the party next week because he has to work.
John: I know for a fact that he doesn't work next week; he's on vacation. I smell a rat. I wonder what's going on.

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Have a good day.