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ESL forum > Games, activities and teaching ideas > UNDERSTATEMENT - a brainstorm    

UNDERSTATEMENT - a brainstorm

Antonio Oliver

UNDERSTATEMENT - a brainstorm
Hi folks,
This idea has been bouncing in my skull for a few days, to create a WS for my students to learn about this so-very-English thing, the provisional title of which is
Understatement - the quintessential Anglo Saxon Outlook on things
Infallibly, when I search the web for fun ideas, Monty Python �s Black Knight comes up first and foremost:
Ha, ha... I �ll use this. And of course I �ll include such phrases as "I �ve been better", "Not too bad at all", "Fair to middling", etc but... I �d like to make it funny and unusual, so I �m calling on you (not in the sense of visit, Gi2gi -I wish!) for help: any good funny examples of understatement that come to your mind, please let me know? Thanks
Regards to all 

25 Jan 2018      

United Kingdom

Excellent example, by the way. You could say that there was "a little friction" in Europe from 1939 to 1945 although that is probably a bit on the dark side. Perhaps you could say that the Beatles were a "fairly successful" pop group or that landing on the moon was "a rather clever piece of engineering" or that Brexit has been "a tad challenging" for the UK �s politicians. 

25 Jan 2018     

Czech Republic

I don �t know�if�British�native speakers�will agree with me but I thought a good example of understatement was calling the�long conflict in Northern Ireland�"The Troubles".

Another example could be �a sentence I overheard from a�British colleague when he was having some serious problems at home stating: "I have a bit of a situation here."
One more could be "It has seen better days." when talking about something really old and shabby.

26 Jan 2018     

United Kingdom

�I may be some time. � On Robert Falcon Scott �s ill-fated Antarctic expedition, while suffering from frostbite and sheltering from a blizzard, Oates felt he was decreasing his companions � chances of survival. Oates voluntarily left the tent; it was his 32nd birthday. He was never seen again. 

Well, that�s not funny, but it sounds old style British stiff upper lip. 

28 Jan 2018     


There are some great examples here!

28 Jan 2018