What does ‘take one for the team’ mean?
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What does ‘take one for the team’ mean?


Feifei: Have we got everything, Neil? Neil: Think so. I’ve got the tickets, most importantly. Would not want to miss this concert! Feifei: Let me see. One, two, three… Neil? Neil: Yes? Feifei: There are only three tickets. You know Dan is coming too, right? Neil: Really? Oh man. We’re one short. Feifei: What to do? Neil: I don’t know. Feifei: Neil, it’s OK. I’ll take one for the team. I’m a bit tired anyway. Neil: Are you sure? I could… Feifei: Don’t worry. I know how much you love this band! Neil: Too kind. But before I head off, let’s explain the phrase Feifei used. To ‘take one for the team’ is to give something up for the benefit of others … usually for your friends or colleagues, or your sports team, for example. Feifei: I decided to let the others go to the concert instead of me. I took one for the team. Neil: And I’m very grateful. Now, listen to these examples. There wasn’t enough space in the car for all of us, so Johnny took one for the team and walked. Valentyna injured her foot in the first half of the game. She wanted to continue playing, but we decided that someone else should play in the second half to give us the best chance of winning. Valentyna took one for the team. Sometimes you have to take one for the team. Last week I spent the day clearing out the kitchen while the rest of the family went to the beach. Neil: You’re listening to The English We Speak from BBC Learning English. In this programme, we’re looking at the expression ‘take one for the team’. Right, I’d better get going. Feifei: Before you go, Neil I just want to ask something. Neil: Yes? Feifei: We need someone to do the late shift next week. I was wondering… Neil: Feifei, don’t you worry. I’ll take one for the team. Feifei: I knew you would! Thanks, Neil. Now, go and enjoy the show! Neil: Bye. Feifei: Bye.

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