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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

To be on it

Example 1
Felix: Lucy, the party is tonight and we have a few more things to prepare.
Lucy: Just let me know how I can help and we'll get it done together.
Felix: Balloons. We needs lots of blue balloons. Can you go to the party store and take care of that?
Lucy: I'm on it!

Example 2
Mom: Richard, have you prepared your college applications yet? They are due in a week.
Richard (playing video games): Don't worry, mom. I'm on it.
Mom: Well I hope so. This is your future at stake!

to be on it is an inseparable phrasal verb. Change the be verb to match your tense and subject. This expression is usually used in the affirmative, rarely in the negative form.
I am on it.
You are on it.
We are on it.
He/She is on it

You can use this expression when a person is working on a task or project and it is under control. In example 1, Lucy takes on the task of getting balloons. She will take care of it. In example 2, Richard assures his mom that he is taking care of his applications. This expression is used when there is confidence that the task will be completed.
I'm on it = I will do it = It will get done

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

To rub it in

Context #1

Tom: Hey, I heard the Rams lost to the Patriots in the Superbowl.  Aren't you a Rams fan?
John: Yeah, yeah, yeah.  You don't need to rub it in.

Sara: I heard you got another speeding ticket yesterday. You got one last month too, right?
Jill: Yes, and my husband's going to freak out when he finds out about this one.
Sara:  Maybe you should start taking the bus to work just to be safe.
Jill: Thanks for rubbing it in.

Meaning: "to rub it in" is a common expression used when someone teases or reminds another person about something that is negative or embarrassing.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

To call it a day

Example 1:
Glenda: I've been working on this report for 13 hours today.
Hank: You must be exhausted. When is the report due?
Glenda: In 3 days.
Hank: You have plenty of time to finish. Why don't you call it a day and start fresh tomorrow?
Glenda: That's a great idea.

Example 2:

Vinnie: Hey Tim, how's it going? Are we doing any business?
Tim: Not in a while. I haven't sold anything in 3 hours.
Vinnie: Oh, let's call it a day. Most people have gone home anyway.

Meaning: finish or be done. "To call it day" is most often used to indicate the speaker's work is finished (at least for that day). But when this expression is used, it also suggests work will (likely) continue the next day. Basically, it means the work day is done.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Go hard or go home

Jonathan: Hey bro, today we have a difficult workout at the gym, so leave your
smart phone in your locker.
Manny: But I need to check for messages, and I also need to post on Instagram
that I’m at the gym.
Jonathan: You know what Manny? Stop making excuses and leave your phone in your locker. You’re always on the phone in the middle of your sets and always
make excuses about not trying hard. If you want to workout with us, you need to go hard or go home.
Manny: But what about my messages? They’re important too.
Jonathan: If your messages are more important, stay home and don’t come back to the gym. Otherwise, you’re just pretending you want to improve your health.

To go hard or go home is an expression used to describe a choice between doing something correctly (and with effort) or doing something halfway with no
enthusiasm or care about how well it’s done or performed. In this example,
Manny is more concerned about his Instagram feed so Jonathan reminds him that working out is not about posting pictures or receiving messages, it’s about
commitment to his workouts. This expression can be applied to one’s job,
studies, or any task involving serious effort.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

To pipe down

Two roommates are home on a Saturday afternoon. Roommate 1 is tired and wants to take a nap. Roommate 2 is playing video games in the living room. 

Roommate 1: Hey, I'm going to go take a nap. I'm so exhausted. I didn't get home from work until 3 am this morning.
Roommate 2: Sure, no worries! Rest up.
Roommate 3 comes home and joins Roommate 2 in playing video games. They get really involved in the game and start shouting and turn up the volume. Roommate 1 is awakened and upset by all this noise.
Roommate 1: Would you guys pipe down in there! I'm trying to sleep!
Roommate 3: Sorry! We'll be more quiet.

Pipe down is used the same way as "be quiet." This expression is used as an imperative, or a command. It is commonly used in anger or urgency. Pipe down is an in-separable phrasal verb.

More examples:

Pipe down! I'm trying to study!
You kids need to pipe down! The baby is sleeping!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


1. Chill (adjective) – great, awesome, cool, good, okay, fun, fine, okay

Sarah: Are you sure that you are chill driving all of us to the party? It is really far away.
Peter: Don’t worry about me, I’m chill.
Explanation: Peter is OK driving even though the party is far away.

Debbie: My brother’s new car is way chill.
Danny: Well, if you save up enough money, you can get a cool car too!
Explanation: Debbie’s brother’s car is awesome looking. 


Jose: How was the concert last night?
Jackie: It was chill.
Explanation: The concert was fine.

2. Chill or Chillax (verb): To calm down, to reduce harmful activity, to hang out or relax

Bart: Oh, no! I forgot to call my girlfriend last night!
John: Dude, just chill. I’m sure she is fine.
Explanation: Bart needs to calm down and stop worrying about not calling his girlfriend.

Kelly: I can’t find my wallet. What am I going to do? Maybe someone stole it?
Ken: Chillax, Dude! I’m sure it is in the apartment somewhere and no one has been in here for hours. We’ll find it.
Explanation: Kelly needs to calm down and not assume the wallet has been stolen.

Dana: What should we do tonight?
Terry: Why don’t we just chill at your house?
Explanation: Terry suggests that they hang out at Dana’s house for the night.

Cindy: Did you see how much Joe drank at the party? He was so drunk!
Sid: Yes! He needs to chill on the alcohol.Explanation: Joe needs to stop drinking so much alcohol.

In the song, "Delicate," Taylor Swift asks, "Is it chill that you're in my head?" Listen here!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

To look sharp

Tom: Hey! How come you're all dressed up?
Bob: Well, I have my first date tonight with Sara, and I want to look sharp.
Tom: Nice! Hope you two have a great first date!

Julie: So are your ready for your first day at your new job?
Chrissy: You know it! I went shopping yesterday and found this really nice dress. Look!
Julie: That is perfect! You are going to look really sharp.

Meaning: "To look sharp" is used when someone dresses up and looks really handsome or pretty. Usually this is done for a special occasion.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

To make a killing

Example 1:
Ronald: Did you hear about Jacob?
Heejin: Our old friend Jacob? What about him?
Ronald: He made a killing in the stock market last quarter.
Heejin: Really? I should get in touch with him for advice. I lost a lot of money last quarter.

Example 2:
Hugh: I can't go to your party tonight. I have to work - and I'll probably make a killing serving drinks.
Jaime: No kidding. At the bar?
Hugh: Yeah, last week I made $200 in two hours!

Meaning: to make a lot of money or be financially successful. The verb "make" in this idiom must change to agree with the subject.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Take French Leave

First Example:

Taichi: What are you doing home at noon? Shouldn’t you be at work?
Michael: I didn’t feel like going to work today, so I decided to stay home and do nothing. I get paid
So you’re taking a French leave? Nice, but I don’t have paid days like you, so I can’t afford that.
Michael: That’s too bad, I’m going to enjoy any time off I can.

Second Example:
Supervisor: Good morning Don. How can I help you?
Don: I don’t really feel like working today.
Supervisor: Are you feeling okay? Are you sick?
Don: Not really. I just want to take the day off.
Supervisor: I can’t get you covered for the day for a French leave. You could have given me a heads up.
We have a lot of work to cover. We need you.
Don: You can’t force me to be here.

To take a “French leave” means to take a break from work without asking for permission.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Wind down

Example 1:
Mom 1: What time do your kids usually go to bed?
Mom 2: Hmm, around 8:30 or 9 pm the latest.
1: Wow, that's pretty good! How do you get them to bed so early? My kids fight and protest until about 10 pm.
2: Well, we limit screen time which means no phones or TV after 6 pm. A bath helps them wind down, too.
1: Oh that makes sense!  I will have to try those tips. Thank you!

Example 2:
Jake: Are you free on Saturday?
Luis: I might be, but I have a brunch with friends and I'm not sure what time that will end.
Jake: We're going to go see the new super hero movie that night. You should really try to join us. We're buying tickets in advance for the 7 pm showing.
Luis: I really want to see that! Can you get me a ticket? I'm sure the brunch will be winding down by around 3 pm. I should be able to make it.

In Example 1, wind down is used in the same way you would use the word relax.  A bath helps them relax, too.
In Example 2, wind down is used to signal the ending or closing of some event. I'm sure the brunch will be ending by around 3 pm.

Pronunciation: wind is pronounced liked wine, with the long i sound.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

To rat on/out

to rat on/out: (verb)

Situation #1: Two students and a teacher

Maria: Mr. Andersen? I think Hank is cheating off of my test.         
Hank: What?! No way!
Mr. Andersen: Let me see your test, Hank.                    
Hank: Why? This is so unfair.
Mr. Andersen: Hmm... You do have all of the same answers as Maria - even the wrong ones. I'm sorry Hank, but I'm going to have to give you a zero on this test.
Hank: Why did you rat on me, Maria?
Maria: Because you were cheating.
Explanation: To "rat on" or "rat out" someone means to tell a person in a position of authority that someone did something wrong. In the example above, Hank says that Maria "rats on" him when she tells Mr. Andersen that Hank is cheating off of her test. The expression "rat on/out" comes from the American mob, where a "rat" is someone who tells the police secrets; it is a very negative thing to say about a person. "Rat out" is usually interchangeable from "rat on," as can be seen in the next example.
Situation #2: Two friends

Katie: Did you hear about Christina's party last night?
Daniel: Yeah, I went! It was awesome! But it got a little too crazy. There were a lot of drugs being taken.
Katie: What? Did you take any?
Daniel: No! I just had a couple beers.
Katie: Did you call the police?
Daniel: Why would I do that?
Katie: Because people were taking drugs. That's illegal!
Daniel: Well, yeah, but I'm not a rat. I'm not going to rat out my friends just because they decide to something illegal. Especially if they're not hurting anyone.
Katie: Well, I would have called the police.

Daniel: And that's why you don't get invited to parties.