A friend of mine is a shopaholic. Every month, she spends more than she earns on luxury brands like Gucci and Luis Vuitton. I’m concerned she’ll end up broke and homeless because of her bad habit. But when I mention it, she laughs it off and says I’m worrying too much. She needs to wake up and smell the coffee, and accept that her spending is out of control!
Do you have a friend like the one above? Check out today’s video for more examples of this English idiom in use. Then try the practice exercises below.
Well, this one’s easy, right? You mean wake up and then smell some coffee, no?
If I say to someone, “Wake up and smell the coffee!” I mean, “Stop misjudging a situation and become aware of what’s really happening, even if doing so is painful or unpleasant.”
Let’s make this clearer with some example sentences:
- When are you going to wake up and smell the coffee? She’s gone and she’s never coming back. She’s moved on!
- The Republican Party needs to wake up and smell the coffee. The environment is collapsing, and they’re still asking if climate change is real? Come on!
- Wake up and smell the coffee, man! In 100 years, we’ve progressed from riding horses to exploring Mars?! That’s impossible! We must have found alien technology!
So, there we are: Wake up and smell the coffee! Then drink it because coffee is delicious!
See you next time!
Have a look at the questions below. Then try to use today’s idiom in response, and post your answer in the comment section below.
- A parent in your kid’s school is concerned that his child wants to become an artist instead of a banker. What do you think he plans to tell the child? Have you encountered a similar situation in your own life?
- Your classmate is lazy about her studies and plays computer games all day. There’s a big exam coming up. What do you say?
- Your friend loves luxury goods and spends more than he earns on his credit card every month. What advice could you give him?
- When was the last time you felt someone was being overly optimistic about the future? What did you tell him or her?