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the chickens are coming home to roost


Click below to listen to the phrase.

Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) your family is expected to visit

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b) you are facing the consequences of your mistakes

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If you say ’the chickens are coming home to roost’ you mean that bad or silly things done in the past are beginning to cause problems.

French translation

payer les pots cassés, on récolte ce qu’on a semé, c’est un juste retour des choses

How NOT to translate : *les poulets rentrent se percher à la maison

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Examples in context

‘Motor racing-Formula One’s chickens come home to roost

Talk of financial crisis in Formula One is nothing new but the absence of back-markers Caterham and Marussia from this week’s U.S. Grand Prix after they went into administration has concentrated minds.

The signs of trouble have been there for years, with regular warnings and calls for cost caps along the way. The plight of Caterham and Marussia, who are both hoping to find a buyer, comes as no surprise. "It seems that the chickens have come home to roost," Max Mosley, the former president of the governing International Automobile Federation, told the Times newspaper on Monday.’

The Daily Mail, 27th October 2014

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’Disturbing’ findings from Trojan horse inquiry

There is "disturbing" evidence that people with a "shared ideology" were trying to gain control of governing bodies in Birmingham, says Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

She was responding to the Trojan horse report from former counter-terror chief Peter Clarke into allegations of a hardline Muslim take-over of schools.

Labour’s Tristram Hunt said that the "chickens had come home to roost" - blaming the problems on the lack of oversight in the academy system.’

BBC News, 22nd July 2014

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Everyday usage

Jill : Emily found out that I said she was incompetent, and now she won’t recommend me for that job. Jane : The chickens have come home to roost, I see.

Jennifer did not maintain contact with her supplier, and now the chickens are coming home to roost, and she won’t get her books in time.

c) the police are very present on the roads

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