When dont you tell the truth

When dont you tell the truth

Active vocabulary

1 to protect oneself

2 to hurt ones feelings


3 restrict the truth

4 tight trousers

5 a leaflet


6 furious



7 ridiculous lies


8 to hold back on the truth

9 to humour somebody



10 to tell major/minor lies;

to lie about minor/major things


/ ,

11 to invent an excuse

12 to deny


13 to get into trouble

14 boring

Read the following interviews with some teenagers.


I usually lie to protect myself or so that I dont hurt someones feelings. I think I lie most to my parents but I dont really lie that much. I dont lie very often but I hold back on the truth quite a lot. In other words, I dont tell the whole truth. Some people might consider restricting the truth and lying to be the same thing. The problem with lying is that I have often been found out.


I only lie as a last resort. I mean if there is no alternative because the truth is not acceptable. On the whole though, Im quite honest. I think because I am quite honest, people are quite honest with me.


I dont lie a lot. In fact I dont even hold back on the truth a lot: Im normally very up front (honest) about things.


I normally lie to avoid hurting people. I also lie if there is something that I am supposed to do but I havent done it, for example, my homework! Other times when I lie are when I am allowed to do something. I think I lie much less than a lot of people but my parents think Im the biggest liar in the world. Last summer I went to a huge outdoor festival. I wanted to wear my favourite trousers which are really tight. My mum said I wasnt allowed to wear them because she didnt want lots of guys to chat me up and flirt with me. I promised not to wear them but I took them with me and put them on later. Unfortunately, while I was at the festival, I picked up a leaflet about it and put it in my trouser pocket. I was stupid enough to leave it in there and my mother found it when she did the washing. She was furious. At least I dont tell ridiculous lies. One of my friends told me recently that she is related to the royal family.


I dont tell lies that hurt people. I just lie in conversation to annoy people as a joke or to humour people whose feeling I dont want to hurt. Anyway when I tell major lies, I normally get found out very easily. Other people lie to me too. If I ask my eldest brother for a favour, he will invent an excuse why he cant help me.


Everybody lies sometimes. I lie to keep myself out of trouble and so others dont get hurt. I guess I lie to my family the most because I am with them a lot. I normally lie about really minor things. I deny eating all the ice cream or breaking the TV.


When I dont want to get into trouble, I lie. However, just because Ive admitted that doesnt mean that I lie any more than anyone else. People often lie to me when they are trying to sound cool. They exaggerate or pretend that they know what they are talking about. Its something that most people do. Its not really dishonest, its just that you dont want to sound boring or look like an idiot.

Exercise 1. Answer the following questions:

a) Which people do you expect to tell the truth?

Politicians, teachers, journalists, lawyers, doctors, shopassistants.

b) Do you think it is ever justified not to tell the truth?

Can you think of circumstances when it might be acceptable to deceive someone about:

reason for being late?

reason for leaving work early?

their appearance?

an illness?

c) When was the last time someone told you something which turned out to be untrue? What happened?

d) In what cases dont you tell the truth?

e) Do you think that restricting the truth and lie is the same thing?