Being poor

Britain is one of the richest countries in the world. But if you visit Britain you will see that some people have a lot less money than others. Here are ten ways of saying 'poor'.

10 expressions to Use In Speaking And Writing: 
  1. He's short of cash / hard-up
  2. She's got cash-flow problems
  3. They were destitute
  4. He's on the bread line
  5. She's in debt / overdrawn / bankrupt
  6. He's doing a minimum-wage job
  7. Low-income families
  8. She's on the dole
  9. Below the poverty line
  10. Those less fortunate than ourselves
How To Use These Phrases In Your English: 
  1. Phrase 1 means that the person doesn't have enough money so pay for everyday things.
  2. Phrase 2 means that the person has problems with money but it's maybe only for a short time.
  3. In 3, people who are 'destitute' have no money, no food and nowhere to live.
  4. In 4, a person 'on the bread line' is very poor and in the past in the UK, could stand in a line and receive free bread from a charity.
  5. In 5, a person 'in debt' owes money to somebody, if she is 'overdrawn' she owes money to the bank and if she is 'bankrupt' she has all her debts cancelled because she can never pay them.
  6. In 6, a minimum-wage job pays the smallest amount legal in the UK. This is currently arount five pounds an hour.
  7. Phrase 7 is a common expression used by politicians and in the media when talking about social issues.
  8. Phrase 8 means that the person has no job and is receiving financial help from the government. This word became popular in the early eighties when many UK people were out of work.
  9. In 9, 'the poverty line' describes a minimum level
Intermediate