Welcome to twominenglish.com. Teaching you English through two-minute lessons.
In this lesson you will learn the meaning of the idiom ‘a bad apple’ and how to use it in your conversations.
Max: The idiom ‘a bad apple’ is used to describe someone who is inherently bad, dishonest or a troublemaker.
Nina: This idiom is actually a part of the proverb ‘one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel’, which means a single bad person in a group of good people, may influence all of them, causing them to do wrong as well.
Max: You are right, Nina. In fact, it may refer to anything which causes something wrong.
Nina: Did you just say ‘anything’? You mean it also applies to a ‘thing’, right? For example: The new sales policy is a bad apple for the whole industry.
Max: That’s correct! It means causing a bad influence. Everybody knows that Jimmy is a rotten apple in the committee.
Nina: Right! In fact, such a bad apple should be put behind bars! He’s a criminal!
Max: Correct! ‘A bad apple’ can even mean a criminal.
Nina: I mean it, Max! We had a real hard time because of him!
Max: Okay. Cool down, Nina! Believe me, he’ll be taken care of!
Jane: Mrs. Austen, I want to talk to you about your son Calvin.
Austen: Yes Mrs. Jane.
Jane: He’s such a bad apple. He’s ruining my class.
Austen: Calvin? But he’s a very quiet boy. What is he doing?
Jane: He tells the class that I don’t teach well, and that the class is not learning anything.
Austen: Really, Mrs. Jane? Calvin is a very intelligent kid. Maybe the problem is you.
Austen: Did you all reach a decision at the meeting today?
Jane: A waste of time. Pete seems to be a bad apple for the whole management.
Austen: Yeah, but I don’t believe that he’s the one to blame.
Jane: He’s the one who caused us to lose the contract because he insulted their CEO!
Austen: Bad apple!
Jane: Nina, is Irene dating that waiter at Ruffo’s?
Austen: Yeah, he is her new crush!
Jane: Sorry to hear that! Don’t you know he is a bad apple?
Austen: Is that true?
Jane: Yeah! He dates and dumps!
Austen: I’m calling her right now. She deserves to know.