Hard: Go down to the wire
Premier Vocabulary is a mini-podcast for you to learn football English one word at a time. We have three different levels for you: easy, medium and hard.
This episode is hard so we’re looking at more difficult football phrases and idioms. These phrases can be used to talk about football but are also useful when talking about other topics.
Learn more football vocabulary with Premier Skills English. Each lesson in our Premier Vocabulary section looks at one football word or phrase. This lesson looks at the phrase go down to the wire.
You can find more lessons on the side of this page.
Rich: Hello my name's Rich and welcome to Premier Skills English - Premier Vocabulary.
Jack: Hi there! I'm Jack. We're here to help you with your football English. Premier Vocabulary is a mini-podcast for you to learn football English one word at a time.
Rich: We have three different levels for you: easy, medium and hard.
Jack: This episode is hard so we're looking at more difficult football phrases and idioms. These phrases can be used to talk about football but are also useful when talking about other topics.
Rich: The phrase we are looking at in this episode is: to go down to the wire.
Jack: This is a difficult phrase - it's an idiom that is used to describe something that won't be decided until the last possible moment. The wire is the finishing line or deadline. Listen to this:
Rich: The best Premier League title race for me was in 2012/13. The race for the title went right down to the wire.
Jack: It was decided on the last day of the season, wasn't it?
Rich: Yes, it was between Manchester City and Manchester United. City needed to win, to win the title, if not, United would win it. Sergio Aguero scored twice in stoppage time against QPR and City won the Premier League title for the first time. They won it on goal difference.
Jack: That was good but if you m really want to talk about a title race that went right down to the wire then it's got to be when Arsenal won the league in 1991. Arsenal played Liverpool on the last day of the season. Liverpool were three points ahead and had a better goal difference. Arsenal won 2-0 and won the title on goals scored - because they had scored more goals than Liverpool over the entire season.
Rich: They could have made a film about it. They could have called it down to the wire.
Jack: They did make a film. It's called Fever Pitch you should check it out.
Rich: Ok, so the phrase to go down to the wire can be used to talk about football and other sports competitions. We use it to talk about results being decided right at the end of a match or a season.
Jack: We can use the phrase in other contexts too. We might hear it about business deals especially if there are deadlines involved. Listen to this:
Rich: Are we going to sign the deal?
Jack: I'm not sure. It sounds like contract talks are going to go down to the wire. The deadline for an agreement is tomorrow.
Rich: We can also use the word 'right' to add some extra emphasis to the phrase.
Jack: Do we have enough time to finish this podcast, Rich?
Rich: I'm not sure, it's going to go right down to the …
Jack: There is the final whistle!
Rich: We'll be back soon with more Premier Vocabulary from Premier Skills English.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
- What was the last match that you watched that went down to the wire?
- Can you think of another situation that you have been part of that went down to the wire?
Write your answers in the comments section below.