“You might be tempted to cut corners on your taxes, but when the government comes knocking on your door, you'll be sorry you did.”

English Lesson: You might be tempted to cut corners on your taxes, but when the government comes knocking on your door, you'll be sorry you did.

You're an accountant. One of your clients is asking about ways to pay lower taxes. You warn him that he should be careful not to break any tax laws.

You might be tempted to cut corners on your taxes, but when the government comes knocking on your door, you'll be sorry you did.

Join PhraseMix Premium or sign in to listen to this lesson and 2,273 others!

(someone) comes knocking on your door

This phrase describes someone contacting you. They might literally come to your house and knock on your door, or they might contact you by phone, email, etc. People can "knock on your door" for positive or negative reasons.

It might seem like good fun, but one of these days, the police are going to come knocking on your door.

This isn't an everday expression. Use it when you want to sound especially interesting, like when you're giving someone advice. For normal situations, say that someone "contacted" you instead:

They contacted me to offer me a job.

You might (do something), but (sentence)

Use this kind of sentence to give someone a warning:

You might think that it's no big deal to drive home after you've had a drink or two, but it's serious business. You could get arrested, or, even worse, you could get into an accident and someone could get hurt.

When you give someone advice in this way, you sound like you're being wise and careful.

(someone) is tempted to (do something)

Being "tempted" means that you want to do something even though you know that it's wrong or a bad idea. For example, you might be "tempted" to:

  • cheat on a test
  • eat some unhealthy food
  • drive faster than the speed limit

Here's an example:

Have you ever been tempted to take a little money out of the cash register when no one was looking?

People sometimes say "I'm tempted to ___" to announce something that they're considering doing:

Their service is horrible. I'm tempted to cancel my contract with them.

In this example, the speaker is thinking about canceling a contract, but hasn't definitely decided yet.

cut corners

"Cutting corners" means doing something more easily or quickly than you're supposed to. For example, if you're a cleaner who doesn't want to work hard, you might "cut corners" by only cleaning the areas that look dirty.

This phrase has a negative association. We think of "cutting corners" as lazy or dishonest.

You can use "on" and "by" with the phrase like this:

A lot of employees cut corners on security by sharing or re-using passwords.

you'll be sorry

"You'll be sorry" means "You will regret doing that."

For example:

If you don't straighten out and focus on your grades, you'll be sorry.