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Cost an Arm and a Leg
Cost an Arm and a Leg English, baby! Video Lesson

Learn English with this shopping English lesson

Date: Aug 20 2013

Themes: Fashion, Soap Opera

Grammar: Present Progressive Tense


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Have you ever gone into a store and found a piece of clothing you absolutely loved? It’s the perfect color, the perfect size, and the perfect style. Everything about it is perfect, until you take a look at the price tag. Would anyone really pay that much for a piece of clothing? You really think the price is just outrageous. That amazing piece of clothing costs an arm and a leg.

Of course, the limbs of your body aren’t really for sale. But they are valuable. When something is so insanely pricey, it feels as if the shopkeeper is asking you to sell off parts of yourself to pay for it. What’s really sad is when you still want to buy something, even though you know it costs an arm and a leg. You would actually sell off those parts of your body, if you could!

Amanda is looking for some new clothes, and Lily comes along. Does everything in the store really cost an arm and a leg? Find out in this shopping English lesson.




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Amanda:  What do you think?

Lily:  Oh, wow. That looks really great on you!

Amanda:  Yeah? You think so?

Lily:  You look so stylish. You’re like a model!

Amanda:  Wow, thanks Lily. I don’t know… these clothes are kind of expensive. I mean, I love this whole outfit, but it costs an arm and a leg.

Lily:  Wow, that’s expensive.

Amanda:  Seriously. I mean, that comment you made last week made me think that maybe I could use some new clothes. I get it. But Mason and I are trying to save up to buy a new house, and I just don’t know if I have enough money to spend on frivolous things like clothes.

Lily:  Well, I don’t think feeling good about how you look is frivolous at all. I think you use fashion to be the person you want to be.

Amanda:  I guess so.

Lily:  I really do. I think you use clothes to put out the image you want to project to the world.

Amanda:  You know, you’re right.

Lily:  And it doesn’t even have to cost an arm and a leg. I mean, look at this scarf. Maybe it’s not quite as expensive.

Amanda:  Oh, I love it! This is so great! And you’re right… it does make me feel like a powerful woman. Just what I want. You know what? I think I’m going to get it.

Lily:  All right! That’s right. You use fashion to be the person you want to be. Ugh, that’s expensive. But at least it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg like the other stuff she was looking at.


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Lily and Amanda are going clothes shopping together. Amanda has recently realized that she needs some new clothes. She loves the clothes in this shop, but they’re all extremely expensive. She’s afraid that buying these pricey clothes is frivolous.

Lily tells Amanda she should buy the clothes anyway, because new clothes make a person feel good. They help make you be the person you want to be in the world. Lily helps Amanda find a scarf that is a little more affordable.

Then, when Amanda goes into the fitting room to change, Lily picks up the same scarf. It seems as if she’s going to buy the same scarf as Amanda.

Have you ever bought clothing that costs an arm and a leg? What do you do when you want something that’s very expensive? Do you think it’s strange that Lily wants the same scarf as Amanda?



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why not just keep it simple, saying “expensive”....

when something costs you an arm and a leg, is there any reason of buying it? unless it can give you more, e.g. 3 arms and 3 legs! then Octopus!!!

09:33 AM Jul 07 2016 |



Yes, I have been bought my some clothing that costs an arm and a leg, if the outfit were looks really worthy. But, I have to carefully estimate my budget first when I decided to buy very expensive clothings. I do not like buy clothings same as one person else, that’s really a silly.

01:49 PM Apr 15 2014 |




buying a house cost an arm and a leg

12:16 PM Oct 17 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of


some thim every thing is good, but very expensive for us!

good lesson!

10:17 AM Aug 27 2013 |


South Korea


08:51 AM Aug 23 2013 |




I think it’s hard to not buying any stuff we really fall in love with, even though it costs an arm and a leg..It will always make me think of it..

08:30 AM Aug 22 2013 |




I have bought shoes costs an arm and a leg.I think shopping is different for man and woman.man shops for utility.that’s to say,we buy only when we need it.but woman shops for feeling,which is  emotional needs.Because I am sale assistant for a brand.so I know very clear that what woman wants.and I know what service means.

11:03 AM Aug 21 2013 |



I’d never pay something which costs an arm and a leg.To be honest i gotta admit that i dont buy inexpensive clothings.But i’m saving money and there is no sense to waste my money on clothes. and i find myself prudent.Yeah some people can say having a new outfit or piece of clothes project your image to other folks.but it’s only temporary feeling.when your credit card bill comes to you.debts are going to project you something bad.

05:15 PM Aug 20 2013 |

1 person likes this




usually if i want to buy new clothes.lots of things need to prepare:i hv to select my favor clothes that fits me .including its size, colour and style ,it is really a long and tired process .afte that .i begin to bargain with boss. oh ,my god ,it is cost an arm and a leg.so do i got it finally?

it just depend on my mood at that time ! :)

04:41 PM Aug 20 2013 |



Syrian Arab Republic

u have to see my parent’s reaction when i get  new stuff cost an arm and a leg hahah

08:44 AM Aug 20 2013 |



Congo, Democratic Republic Of The

Yeah It sometimes happens to me to go to a store and when arriving you can find something that costs an arm and a leg but it’s really frivolous

08:43 AM Aug 20 2013 |



haha good question . if the clothing will costs an arm and a leg will i also buy it? i think that depends how much i love the clothes and how much in my saving account. i will buy it if i have enough money on me and i love that clothes very much. i learned the phrase “cost an arm and a leg“ that means very expensive . good

06:23 AM Aug 20 2013 |



South Korea

I agree ….a fashion is a kind of put out an image we want to project to the world, but it’s just a part of it, not all of them, just like medium.

some people think of it as a frivolous stuff in above some point, others don’t think like that.

04:24 AM Aug 20 2013 |




Absolutely! With me when you go to a store and have a look at the items, just wandering around and all of a sudden, you see something that you really like. It strikes you like lightning, you pick it up and look at the price. The thing of your liking is kind of expensive, so you put it back and leave the store and then the torture starts. You keep on thinking about it, it comes in your dreams, you tell about it to your friends until you run like crazy to check it out if it still there and with a a relief and thanks to God you take it even if it costs you an arm and a leg. :)

03:36 AM Aug 20 2013 |

2 people like this



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Well, when you really need some thing and you think it’s worth it you should go for it even if it costs an arm and a leg and if you don’t need some thing you shouldn’t even spend time to assess it even if it is soooooo cheap . 

03:17 AM Aug 20 2013 |

Ngubo Sixtus

South Africa

When I buy clothes I go for not that cost an arm and leg. I look for something that I can afford.

02:07 AM Aug 20 2013 |

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