Out of Order - 10 Common English Phrases for Unacceptable BehaviourHello everyone, Anna here, and today we are exploring ‘out of order’ and 10 other ways to say “your behaviour is unacceptable, mate”.
Out of Order – 10 Common English Phrases for Unacceptable Behaviour
In this lesson we are exploring ‘out of order’ and 10 other ways to say “your behaviour is unacceptable, mate”.
(Record scratch) Now hang on, see that right there is also a really weird British thing…when we are really angry with someone we can add the word ‘mate’ on the end of a statement, even though mate means friend.
That’s not very friendly, is it, mate?
Without further delay, let’s have a look at these 10 Phrases.
10 Common English Phrases for Unacceptable Behaviour Video
In this video I’ll cover all 10 common English phrases for unacceptable behaviour. Watch to see unacceptable behaviour examples and you can download the Unacceptable Behaviour PDF below. Have fun!
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10 Phrases For Unacceptable Behaviour
Welcome to this lesson, you’ll find below 10 common English phrases for unacceptable behaviour that British natives use in their daily lives.
It’s not on
Did you know that “It’s not on” and “It’s not on” have completely different meanings, while “Are you kidding me?” could be a playful question or an indication that the speaker is really annoyed.
Are you kidding me?!
Ok so let’s start with “Are you kidding me?” Kidding means joking.
Are you kidding me meaning
What is the meaning of ‘are you kidding me?’ We use this phrase when we cannot believe what we are seeing or hearing. Or when we don’t want it to be true.
Some people may say ‘are you joking me’ but it is not common and it’s better to use ‘kidding’. Let’s look at an example:
(Anna sees a parking ticket on her car) “Are you kidding me? I am parked in a parking bay and I paid to park, why have they given me a ticket?”
And another example:
Boyfriend: “Anna, I am going out for beers with the lads after work…will be late home.”
Anna: “Are you kidding me? I told you I am going to the theatre with my mum tonight, you agreed to be home early for the kids.”
Boyfriend: “Opps….totally forgot, sorry!”
Your out of order
“You’re out of order” or “That’s out of order”
This phrase means that someone’s behaviour or words are unacceptable, offensive or upsetting.
Example conversation using ‘Out of order’
“Look sis, I just wanted to borrow your lipstick, I didn’t ask you because you were busy, so I just got it out of your bag.”
“You shouldn’t ever go into someone’s handbag without asking, besides that lipstick looks ridiculous on you.”
“Hey, that’s out of order…that’s just mean.”
Out of order meaning
Out of order has a range of meanings. In the example given above, it is used to say someone is behaving badly, that they are ‘out of line’.
Out of order can also refer to something being broken.
Out of order sign
When something is broken, it may have an out of order sign on it. An example would be an out of order sign on a toilet.
Let’s carry on with our phrases…
Out of line
A similar phrase to out of order is “You’re out of line”
If you want to put more emphasis on how bad their behaviour is, you may add ‘way’ – You’re WAY out of line.
Out of line meaning
Out of line means that your behaviour is not appropriate, it’s not what is expected. Literally, your behaviour is not following the line of expectation.
Out of line example
Worker 1: “My supervisor told me that I shouldn’t expect a promotion anytime soon as I’m useless – that’s what she said anyway.”
Worker 2: “Really, that is completely out of line, you should file a complaint about her.”
What do you think you are doing!?
When someone is doing something that is surprising, and unacceptable
You can say ‘what do you think you are doing?’
“What do you think you are doing?”
What are you doing meaning
‘What do you think you are doing’ is different to ‘what are you doing’, which is a genuine inquiry. E.g.
Mum: “Hey, what are you doing?”
Daughter: “I am doing my English homework.”
What do you think you are doing is used when you can see exactly what they are doing and you do not approve. You already know what they are doing, and you DO NOT like it!
“What do you think you are doing?” example
Anna: “Hey, what do you think you are doing?”
Nick: “Ermm, my English homework.”
Anna: “You are supposed to be in class.”
Nick: “Oh shoot!”
If you feel really annoyed by someone’s unacceptable behaviour then you can add emphasis to the phrase by adding some choice words, e.g.
- On earth: “What on earth do you think you’re doing?”
- Hell: “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
- God’s name: “What in God’s name do you think you’re doing?”
‘Who do you think you are’ meaning
If you think someone is out of line, like if your teenage daughter starts being rude to you, then you could remind them of their place in the pecking order by saying – “Who do you think you are?”
It’s a way of reminding them that this is not an acceptable thing for THEM to say or do, to you. It’s the relationship between the speaker and you that is important here.
‘Who do you think you are’ example conversation
Jane: “Morning everyone.”
Superior: “Jane, it’s 9:45”
Jane: “Yes it is, and I am in desperate need of a coffee, so if you don’t mind grabbing me a cappuccino while I take a look at my emails.”
Superior: “I’m sorry?”
Jane: “Get me a coffee”
Superior: “Who do you think you are? I am your superior, not the intern.”
‘Who do you think you’re talking to?’
Very similar to the ‘Who do you think you are?’ phrase is “Who do you think you are talking to?”
Who do you think you’re talking to meaning
What does ‘who do you think you are talking to’ mean? Again, the meaning of this phrase is captured in the relationship between the two people. It’s like you are asking “do you think that you are better than me? Do you think that you are more senior or more experienced than me?
Who do you think you’re talking to example conversation
Son: “Dad, I wanna see my mates, so you’re gonna drive me to Danny’s house
And then give me £20 so we can go to the cinema.”
Dad: “Who do you think you are talking to?”
How dare you!
One of my favourite phrases on this list is “How dare you!”
This phrase has been around for a very long time, and I am sure you would find many examples of it being used in black and white films.
“I’m sorry Mary, I don’t love you, I could never love you.”
“How dare you!” *SLAP*
How dare you meaning
What is the meaning of ‘how dare you’? The meaning of how dare you is a very bold one. But this phrase is not archaic, we use it in modern English and it means I can’t believe you were brave enough to do such a thing.
How dare you say that my behaviour is unacceptable!
How dare you. How did you dare to do/say that? And to me!? The cheek of it.
It’s a very dramatic term.
How dare you example conversation
Husband: “Babe, we need more biscuits”
Wife: “No there’s a tin full in the kitchen”
Husband: “Nope, I have eaten them all”
Wife: “You’ve eaten them all, and you didn’t save any for me?”
Wife: “How dare you, they were my special Birthday biscuits.”
…Now THAT is truly unacceptable behaviour.
First of all how dare you
The most dramatic way to express your disapproval of someone’s unacceptable behaviour is to start your response with ‘first of all how dare you’. This exquisitely British bit of drama captures perfectly that you are deeply disapproving of someone’s behaviour AND that you are going to tell them more about it.
So next time you’re in a verbal fight and you’re feeling overdramatic, start your response with ‘First of all, how dare you!’.
You’ve got a nerve
And similar to the phrase ‘how dare you’ is “You’ve got a nerve.”
Again you are pointing out how brave someone is, to dare to behave in such an unacceptable way.
You’ve got a nerve example conversation
“Hi, can we talk?”
“…you’ve got a nerve coming in here after what you did.”
I hope you found this lesson useful and my presentation acceptable. Until next time, take care and goodbye!
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