Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever been behind the scenes of a TV show set?

Have you heard somebody talk about something that is behind the scenes in English?

We’re going to look at what this phrase means and how it can work in conversation.

This is a phrase that helps you to talk about and understand what goes on when you can’t see things, and so it can be useful both personally and professionally.

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Today we have a listener question about the phrase “behind the scenes.”

Hey guys, I hope you’re doing well.

I’m a big fan of your podcasts! I’ve been following it for more than two years, and recommend it to all my friends. I have a question that I’m hoping you can help to answer for me. I saw somewhere on a magazine something that said “SB takes us behind-the-scenes..” I don’t understand what this means exactly.

I would appreciate it if you could explain it to me.

Thank you for your help,


Understanding Some Background

This is a great question, and going behind the scenes is actually more common than you might think.

We’ve talked a little bit about this in the past about our own show, and that may help you to understand how it all works.

Behind The Scenes of All Ears English

The phrase “behind the scenes” might sound very Hollywood to you. 

You can probably envision hearing something like this–“And on next week’s episode, Julia Roberts takes you behind the scenes of her new movie.”

This means you will get to see what most people don’t get to see and what is not on camera.

A good example is that with AEE, you hear the podcast episode, but you may not know all that goes on behind the scenes in producing it.

Check out that episode for background and to see what we’re talking about!

So today we will talk more about this phrase and give you some extra phrases to say the same thing.

Looking At How To Use This Phrase

As mentioned, behind the scenes is often used with some sort of performance, like on a gossip entertainment show.

You might hear a segment to entice you to watch that says something like “We give you a behind the scenes look at how the writers create the script.”

Would you ever use this in other ways?

It might be used conversationally to talk about what people don’t know, such as with the AEE podcast.

Let’s do a few examples so that you can see how this works in conversation in a natural and fitting way.

  • “They seem like they get along well, but behind the scenes they fight a lot.” This is even diving into the fact that things may be different at home, so more of a personal take on this phrase.
  • “Social media makes everyone’s lives look so exciting and happy, but what goes on behind the scenes may be a different story.” Another personal example which is to say that things may be quite different in another setting.
  • “Event planning is so difficult. People see the final result, but so much goes on behind the scenes!” It’s like saying that what you see is not always what you get, and that there is often more work put in that you don’t know about.

This phrase can be useful both personally and professionally to try to explain something further.

  • Personally: This can be like a new way to say privately, not known, or something along those lines. You may use it to share stress, or to explain something that is not known well to others.
  • Professionally: This can be used to explain to a colleague something about the workplace. It may be useful to tell your boss what you have been working on as well.

It’s a great way to make someone feel very included, in kind of an exclusive club.

Any live taping is exciting just to be a part of it, though the environment or the way that the show runs may be different than you expected.

Other Ways To Say This

This is a phrase that works really well to explain that exclusivity or look inside of the way things work.

There are other phrases that help you to explain that same sort of thing, and they can be useful to you as you other ways are used to say this? 

  • Inside peek: This is used very much with entertainment, but it can also work for things outside of entertainment too. You could use this in a couple of different ways and perfectly convey what you are trying to say. You might hear “We give you an inside peek on what the actors eat on the set.” You might say something like “I got the invitations. Want to come over? I’ll give you an inside peek of all the party favors I have.”
  • Sneak peek: This is the same as inside peek, but also used a lot with movies. You might hear “On this episode, you’ll get a one minute sneak peek of the movie.”
  • Behind closed doors: This can be used for both entertainment and for something personal in nature. You might say “She eats healthy food in public, but behind closed doors, she eats a lot of junk.” You could also say something like “It’s hard for me to know a lot about this topic because I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.”

All of these phrases work in the same sort of way, and so they are perfect to try out in conversation.

You can get a true feel for that feeling of what goes on behind closed doors or behind the scenes when you use one of these.


These are useful phrases, and they can be used in a couple of different ways.

They can be used in entertainment, and they have that feel for real life discussions.

They might make you think of TV, theater, movies, and such which means they can be used in various contexts.

They can even be used in a personal way when you are talking about something that you may not know about or see firsthand.

They can be fun to use and make for a great addition to conversation!

Letting someone see behind the scenes of something makes them feel special, and this makes for a good way to connect!

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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