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Tuesday, December 17, 2019


Banger - Describes a song that is really awesome. 

Example 1
Paul: Have you heard that new Kanye song? It's a banger!
Jake: Dude, I've been listening to Kanye's new album non-stop ever since he dropped it.
Paul: Really?
Jake: Yeah. Every song on that album is a banger.

Example 2
Mika: So let's plan out a surprise party for Rick. It's his 21st birthday, so it has to be really good.
Ted: Well, we should definitely have a live DJ so that everyone can dance.
Mika: OK but don't hire that DJ who did the last party we had. All the music he played sucked.
Ted: Don't worry. I know this new DJ and every song he plays is a banger! People are going to lose their minds.

In example 1, Paul and Jake are talking about Kanye's new album and how the songs are all really good. In example 2, Ted assures Mika that the new DJ only plays songs that are bangers, or really good.

Check out this video clip where two guys are talking about music:

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


Catch-22: a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

Example 1
Son: Dad, I'm going to apply for a job at the ice cream store downtown.
Dad: Why? What happened to your last three interviews with the New York Times, Newsweek, and Vogue Magazine? Don't you still want to be a journalist?
Son: Yeah I do... But they all said that they're not going to hire me because I don't have any experience.
Dad: Well, how do they expect you to have any experience if they don't give you a chance?!
Son: You're right, it's a catch-22.

The son tried to apply for a job in journalism but no company would hire him because he doesn't have any experience. But he can't get any experience because no one would hire him. There are two problems that are dependent on one another and there seems to be no way out.

Example 2
Jason: I had a disappointing visit to the bank today.
June: Oh no, tell me what happened.
Jason: I tried to apply for a mortgage loan but the bank rejected the application because I still had debt from student loans. They said that they'll let me borrow money only if I don't have any existing debt.
June: That's ridiculous, the reason why you need the bank's help in the first place is because you don't have enough money.
Jason: Yeah, I guess I'm stuck in this catch-22.

Jason tried to borrow money from the bank to buy a house but the bank will not help him because he still owes money from student loans. In conclusion, the bank doesn't allow Jason to borrow money because he doesn't have enough money. The two problems are tied together and there seems to be no solution.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A broken record

Example 1
13-year-old son: Oh, mom, just a reminder. I don't have soccer practice today so you have to pick me up right after school. I'm just reminding you so you don't forget to come and get me. Remember, you forgot one time and I waited for you for an hour all by myself? I didn't know if you were going to come at all!
Mom: OK, I got it. I'll put an alert on my phone so I won't forget this time. Of course I remember that one time I forgot. I'm still very sorry about that.
Son: Yeah, I can't believe you forgot about your own son!
Mom: I was very busy that day and I'm still so sorry! 

Son: I would never do that to my own kid.....
Mom: OK, young man! You are really starting to sound like a broken record. I have already apologized for that at least 10 times! Will you ever forgive me so we can move on?!

Example 2
Politician on TV: "...yes, but my opponent had done the same thing and no one accused her of any wrongdoing. Why is everyone being so unfair to me? This is the worst witch hunt in Presidential history....."
Me: Let's turn the TV off. This guy is a broken record; constantly making the same false claims and accusations. Let's not give him the attention he craves and hopefully he'll go away soon.

a broken record is a person who is (annoyingly) repeating themselves and/or talking about the same thing over and over again.
you can use the verb phrase sound like  OR  the be verb
examples: She sounds like a broken record, constantly complaining about the food. OR She is a broken record....

In Example 1, the boy is continuing to talk about the time that his mother forgot to pick him up even though he was never in danger and his mother had apologized many times for it. He continues to talk about it until his mother gets annoyed!

In Example 2, the politician on television is talking about the same points that he always does. The viewer opts to turn the television off because it's always the same in their opinion. It is implied that the viewer is not a supporter of this politician and finds the speech annoying.

Are you familiar with vinyl records? It is said that when a record is scratched or "broken," the needle skips while playing and repeats the same portion of the record over and over until someone stops the player.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

To feel like a new person

Definition: to feel completely refreshed and renewed, especially after an exhausting and difficult experience
Grammar form: Verb:  feel-felt-felt

Example 1
Husband: Hi honey!  How was your day at work?
Wife: The store was so busy today because of the long weekend.  I worked 12 hours straight. I am so exhausted that I don’t feel like doing anything.
Husband: Oh no!  Why don’t you go take a long warm bath?  I am sure you will feel like a new person after.
Wife:  Thanks!  That’s a great idea.

Example 2
After Tina broke up with her boyfriend, she was so sad that she stayed home for days. She didn’t feel like doing anything.  In order to take her out of her depression, her friends decided to take her on a short camping trip. By being out in nature and talking to her friends, she felt like a new person again.

Meaning:  to feel like a new person means to feel refreshed and reenergized after you have experienced something unpleasant.  

For instance, in Example 1, the person is exhausted from a long tiring day at work. Taking a bath will make her feel reenergized. She will feel refreshed mentally and physically.

In Example 2, the person is extremely sad at first, but by spending time with friends outdoors, she was able to feel happy again. She wasn’t depressed anymore. This was a feeling that she hadn’t felt in a long time.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

In a pickle

Definition: in trouble, in a difficult situation, or mixed up

Example 1:
Sue: I might lose my home.
Marvin: Why? What happened?
Sue: Well, last year I got laid off and I haven’t been able to find another job. I haven’t been able to paythe mortgage on the house so the bank is threatening to take over.
Marvin: Wow! I’m so sorry. You really are in a pickle.

Example 2:
Larry: I’m in a pickle.
Mary: Why? What happened?
Larry: The police caught me for drunk driving and took my driver’s license away. Now I can’t drive and I cannot get to work without a car.
Mary: Oh dear! You are in a pickle!

Meaning: ‘To be in a pickle’ refers to a person being in a difficult situation. This situation is challenging to get out of, like a pickle in a pickle jar. The term can also mean that a person is drunk and mixed up.

Origin: A pickle is a preserved vegetable. Usually the vegetable is put in a jar with vinegar, salt, herbs and spices. In Dutch this preservative mixture is called “pekel.” So, the person is like a pickle in a jar, being mixed up with other ingredients.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Until the cows come home or till the cows come home

For a very long time, indefinite amount of time; forever. 

If you say that you can do something until the cows come home, you mean that you can do it for a very long time.

#1 - My girlfriend was talking on the phone with her sister until the cows came home last night!

#2 - They could argue till the cows come home and still not reach an agreement.

#3 - You can keep talking till the cows come home, but you'll never persuade me to go with you! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

a (bit of a) stretch

Example 1 - 2 friends talking on a Monday morning
Tony: What's up, Milly? How was your weekend?
Milly: It was crazy! You'll never believe it.
Tony: Wow, sounds so interesting! Tell me about it...
Milly: Well, we had a birthday party for my roommate. We had over 80 people in our apartment! The party went on until 4 in the morning!
Tony: Hmm, well I've been to your apartment before and I know how small it is. 80 people you say? That's a stretch! I doubt you had barely 30 people. Any more than that, the neighbors would complain and the police would have been called! You're totally exaggerating!

Example 2 - 2 friends talking about plans for the summer
Frank: I don't think I'll be able to take any vacations for at least 5 years!
Monica: Why not? Surely you can take a weekend to San Diego or somewhere else nearby. What's the issue?
Frank: Well, for sure I will lose most of my paycheck to taxes. I don't have enough left at the end of the month for anything fun.
Monica: Oh, Frank! That's a bit of a stretch! I know taxes are a pain, but to say most of our money goes to taxes is an exaggeration! Let me show you some cool apps on the iPhone for money management....

a (bit of a) stretch =  an exaggeration
The speaker is "stretching the truth"

In Example 1, Milly claims to have had over 80 people in her apartment for a late-night party. Tony knows that Milly is likely exaggerating because her apartment is small. He tells her, "That's a stretch!" Which is the same as saying "That's an exaggeration!"

In Example 2, Frank is claiming to lose most of his money to taxes each month. Monica says he's slightly exaggerating. The word "most" generally refers to quantities of 50% or higher.

This expression is most often used with that's (that is contracted). Use a bit of a  when it's not a huge exaggeration as in Example 2.

More examples:
"I haven't slept at all in a whole week!"   "That's a stretch! I saw you taking a nap in class this morning!"

"I haven't slept at all today." "That's a bit of a stretch! I saw you taking a nap in class this morning!"