Talk Like a Native

Episode 14 - Hands are Tied

August 15, 2016

Talk Like a Native

Episode 14 - Hands are tied

Kevin: Hey Christine, do you think I could get a raise?

Christine: I can’t. My hands are tied.

Kevin: What? Your hands look fine to me. If you didn’t want to give me a raise, you could just tell me. You don’t have to make up an obvious lie.

Christine: It’s not that I don’t want to raise your salary, it’s that we don’t have enough money in the budget to do it. When I say my hands are tied, I mean that there is nothing I can do about it.

Kevin: Oh, I thought you were just trying to make up an excuse.

Christine: I’m really sorry. I promise that when we start to earn more money, I will give you a raise.

Kevin: It’s ok, I understand. Let’s hear some more examples of this phrase!

- Although the president promised to spend more on healthcare, he now claims his

hands are tied due to budgetary restrictions.

- I would really like to help you refund this product but my hands are tied. If you do not have your receipt, we cannot process the refund.

- With the new rules, their hands were tied and they could no longer help on the weekends.

Kevin: How about buying me lunch? Don’t tell me your hands are tied there too.

Christine: I actually already have plans today but I promise to buy you lunch next time.

Kevin: Everybody heard that right? She promised to buy me lunch next time. Let’s go have steak. Oh or sushi or lobster!

Christine: I’m going to buy you McDonald’s if you keep annoying me.

Kevin: Nooo!