Hi, my name’s Fred, also called English Teacher Fred. Right now what I have is a deck of idioms. Each card has an idiom and we’re talking about the idioms. Idioms are very important if you’re learning English. Learning any language, you must learn many idioms. So I’m just going to pick a card and we will talk about the idiom. What is it?

This one right here: down the drain. Oh, it went down the drain.

Do you know what a drain is? In the sink or bathtub or shower or anywhere that there’s water goes out, the water goes out through the drain. The water goes down, down, down and then out through the drain. Down the drain.

That’s what “down the drain” means in the literal way, it’s the water going out. But the idiom means that you are wasting something. It just went down the drain.

You know, if you’re… say, for example, wasting money. “You put a lot of money into that boat, that stupid boat, and it’s just money down the drain.” You know? Just money being wasted. “It all went down the drain.”

Anything that is not used well, that is wasted: it just goes down the drain.

“I spent a lot of time doing this, doing this and then I was not successful so all my time just went down the drain. It was wasted.”

That’s a simple explanation: the same as “to waste” something. It just went down the drain.