at first glance: meaning and explanation

at first glance = when you see something for the first time

This can be used to communicate a first impression, before you have looked more carefully. e.g At first glance, everything looks fine = everything looks fine but I will need to check more carefully to make sure.

Have a go at this dictation exercise to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Dictation #1

Accent: Northern England

If too good at , make read the small .
If a deal too good to be at first , make sure read the small print .

…if a deal seems too good to be true…

The expression too good to be true is is used to describe something which seems so perfect that you expect something to be wrong. It is probably better than you expected, which makes you suspicious.

We use this expression in the following piece of advice: If you think something is too good to be true, then it probably is.

Discussion question

Write your answer to this question in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

  • Can you think of a time when your first impression (your opinion about something based on the first time you saw it) turned out to be incorrect? Use the expression ‘at first glance’ in your answer.

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