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Thursday, March 22, 2012

to put someone on

Example 1:

Jack: I feel so stupid!

Travis: Why?

Jack: Bill and Mark kept telling me that Jennifer, a girl in my English class, really liked me and wanted to go out with me.

Travis: OK. So what's wrong with that?

Jack: Wait...let me finish. So I decided to ask her out to a concert this coming Saturday.

Travis: Yeah, so what happened?

Jack: She started laughing! Then she asked me how I ever got the idea that she would actually date me. It was so embarrassing! I finally realized that Bill and Mark were just putting me on. They thought it would be funny to see me ask Jennifer out when they knew she would never date me.

Travis: Dude, that's bad. You shouldn't believe anything they say from now on!

Example 2:

Trisha: You are never going to believe this, but I just won a trip for two to Hawaii!

Jeff: You are putting me on.

Trisha: No, I'm not putting you on. It's true. And I would like you to come with me.

Jeff: Wow! I'd love to go! We are going to have so much fun!

To put someone on means to joke about something or to tell someone something untrue as a joke. In the first example, Bill and Mark told Jack that a girl liked him when she really did not like him. They were putting him on. In the second example, Trisha was so lucky to win a trip to Hawaii that Jeff thought she was joking or putting him on.

This idiom can be found in the LSI textbook Speaking Savvy. This book is used at LSI schools in the level 5 Listening/Speaking classes. For more information, please visit

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Don't Go There

Example 1:

Tammy is asking her roommate, who is very messy, to clean up after herself.

Tammy: Could you please clean up after yourself in the bathroom? Your clothes are all over the floor! Every morning when I go in to take a shower, I have to step around your clothes. It's so annoying!

Cheryl: Oh really? I don't remember leaving my clothes on the floor every day, only a few times a week. Besides, didn't you leave your dirty dishes in the sink one time last month?

Tammy: Don't go there, Cheryl! You know that you are so much messier than me. How could you compare a ONE time mess to an everyday mess?

Cheryl: Fine. You don't have to get so upset about it. I'll try to be better from now on.

Example 2:

Terri is advising Bob to be healthier in his life.

Terri: You know, Bob, I think you really should start exercising every day. It's so good for you and it will make you feel a lot better.

Bob: What are you trying to say, Terri? I never said that I need to feel better. In fact, I feel just fine most of the time.

Terri: Well, Bob, you have put on a few pounds and I really don't think you should be eating donuts for breakfast every day. They aren't good for you.

Bob: What? Don't even go there, Terri! I see you eating cake every single day for breakfast and you are not exactly the perfect weight yourself.

Terri: Well, I was just trying to be helpful. Excuse me for caring!

Meaning: Don't go there means to not want to discuss or even think about something. In the first example, Tammy doesn't want to discuss the fact that she was messy one time compared to Cheryl, who is messy every day. In the second example, Bob, who may be a little overweight, does not want to even think about the topic of weight because he feels fine and the advice is coming from Terri, who is really not that healthy. The use of "even" makes his statement much stronger and puts an end to that line of discussion.

This idiom can be found in the LSI textbook Speaking Transitions. This book is used in the level 4 Listening/Speaking classes. For more information, please visit