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hanging by a thread

hanging by a thread English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Jul 09 2009


1. Quote - Listen to the quote and guess what the slang means.

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“My job is hanging by a thread.”

- Jason after being late to work again.

Can’t see the video below? You can watch it here.

2. Video - Watch the video before learning the definition.


1. Definition - Study the definition.

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about to fail, fragile situation

2. Use - Learn how the slang is used.

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You know that old sweater you love? The one you never wear anymore because it’s too fragile? The one with the sleeve that’s only held on by a tiny thread because it’s so worn out? Yeah, the sleeve on that sweater is hanging by a thread. It just might come all the way off next time you wear it.

In the latest edition of EXTREME English, baby! Jason tries to hold himself up using just a thread. It doesn’t work out very well. He falls and hurts himself.

A thread is weak and hard to hold on to, so anything that’s hanging by a thread could fail or fall apart at any time. When Jason gave his girlfriend a flower and she turned away, he became worried that his relationship might be hanging by a thread. His job is also hanging by a thread because he’s late so often.

Is anything in your life that’s just hanging by a thread?


1. Examples - Hear some example sentences.

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“The patient was badly injured. His life was hanging by a thread.”

“The sleeve on this shirt is hanging by a thread. It could fall off at any time.”


1. Winners - See who guessed the slang definition correctly.

VOLTS it is a expression which means to be in a risky or unstable situation.
by VOLTSSuper Member!
Aneet That his job isn´t so certain as sooner.
by Aneet
flm19 at critical situation,
by flm19
chomo is gonna to be fired.---really unsafe...!
by chomo
amany7 I am almost losing my job :(
by amany7
To be hung by a thread means to be in danger, if something is hung by a thread it is not sure anymore but could finish or be lost
by monacovalentina
humilisnf It means that your almost losing something. In this case Jason is almost losing his work.
by humilisnf
Turmeric Precarious state of things, the threat of something wrong to happen, pending unhappy turn.
by Turmeric

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Log in to Comment

BBoy Roty

BBoy Roty


Hanging by a thred means unstable

04:04 PM Jan 18 2012 |




the EARTH is hanging by a thread . no more do bad to it .

08:05 AM Mar 10 2010 |


United States

I like  how they show the definition of hangig by a threat, it is very funny and, I think is a good way to learn

09:44 PM Dec 02 2009 |




my job is hanging by a thread because of economy crisis.

02:31 AM Dec 01 2009 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I didnt know the meaning of "Hanging by a thread". At first I guessed its meaning is "My job is full of stress " but after that I got its meaning.

Hangign by a thred = unstable

10:45 AM Oct 05 2009 |

Ivan Sh.

Russian Federation

Money mouthI'm broke!And I'm hanging by a thread…And I waiting for my month's salaryMoney mouth

10:41 AM Aug 01 2009 |



my exam is hanging by a thread because it’s very difficult

01:40 AM Jul 21 2009 |



everyone is hanging by  a thread because no one knows own  life time . he must have remember to the god every day if he do not rember , god should not rember to meet him.


01:13 PM Jul 19 2009 |

happy 4 ever


H don't have anything that is hanging by a thread. Sometimes when I travel, my money hangs by a thread. Recently, i have nothing. Smile

11:21 AM Jul 19 2009 |



How he can hanging by a thread ?

06:32 AM Jul 19 2009 |



United States

Good demonstration. Interesting.

04:21 PM Jul 15 2009 |

1 person likes this



I am going to married after 6 months, so my budjet is hanging by a thread.


05:13 AM Jul 14 2009 |

Ernesto Velasco



02:24 AM Jul 14 2009 |




The man dissipated most of his money and was hanging by a thread.

12:54 AM Jul 14 2009 |




hanging by a thread , good slang

here me Mexico we use it , but instead of it "walking in the loose rope" and the meaning is the same , when u are not doing something good and soon it would fail.

05:19 PM Jul 13 2009 |


United Arab Emirates

  1. The student is hanging by a thread, he could fail at any time.
  2. Their relationship is hanging by a thread, they could get divorced at anytime.
  3. The team is hanging by a thread, they could lose at any time.
  4. My internet connection is hanging by a thread, I could go offline at any time !! OOPS

06:59 AM Jul 11 2009 |



my savings is hanging by a thread .

11:48 AM Jul 10 2009 |




There's nothing in my life really hanging by a thread, not yet. Does my relationship count? lol~

06:57 AM Jul 10 2009 |




Not my life but my relationship is hanging by a thread. Innocent

02:36 AM Jul 10 2009 |

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