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cat got your tongue ?


Click below to listen to the phrase.

Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) do you have nothing to say ?

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

cat got your tongue ?’ is an idiom used to compel someone to speak, say something or give a response when they are unusually quiet.

French translation

tu as avalé ta langue ?

How NOT to translate : *un chat t’a attrapé la langue ?

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Examples in context

Cat got your tongue, HealthCare.gov ? Obamacare’s secrets

California’s done it, Kentucky’s done it, Minnesota’s done it, and even Massachusetts somehow manages to do it every day, for goodness’ sake.

Yet HealthCare.gov isn’t doing it—at least not for now.

A week into open enrollment for Obamacare, that federal exchange serving 37 states has still not revealed how many new customers are selecting health plans for 2015, how many existing customers are renewing and how many applications for eligibility have been completed.’

CNBC, 22nd November 2014

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Cat got your tongue ? Free voice screenings on April 1-2

Few communication tools are as versatile as our voice. With it we convey facts and feelings ; we create art and build bridges between people. Voices can soothe us or warn us, inspire us or teach us. Just listening to a person’s intonations will tell us whether they are happy, sad or completely indifferent. Accents give us clues as to a person’s cultural background and exact part of the world from which they hail. The foundation of civilization is cooperation and one of the cornerstones of that foundation is communication. Without voice where would we be as people and as a society ?’

McGill Reporter, 26th March 2014

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Everyday usage

- John : I found the lost paperwork from the 2014 accounts in your office Sally. What was it doing there ?

- Sally : … (silence)…

- John : What’s the matter, cat got your tongue ?

Hi, Lisa ! How are you ? How’s your husband ? Are you surprised to see me ? What’s the matter, has the cat got your tongue ?

b) are you being serious ?

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

c) are you giving up ?

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.


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