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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Fender bender


Example 1:
Jack: The freeway was moving really slowly today.
Jill: What was the problem?
Jack: There was an accident.
Jill: Was it bad? Was anyone hurt?
Jack: No. It looked like just a fender bender.

Example 2:
Doreen: Your new car is dented already!
Maureen: I know. I had a fender bender the other day.
Doreen: What a bummer. What happened?
Maureen: It was my fault. I feel so stupid. I was texting when it happened. I’m just glad it wasn’t worse.

Explanation:
Fender bender: a small accident in which only minor damage occurs. The fender of a car is the panel above the tire. In this case bend refers to a dent, which is not as bad as a crack or a break. It is relatively inexpensive to repair the fender of a car compared with the trunk, door or hood.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

To be on point

To be on point: To be exactly right or perfect; extremely good, attractive, or stylish

#1 - Two Friends at a Party
Susan: Did you see Mitzi, yet?
Beth: Yes, I did! She looks so good. Her outfit is on point!
Susan: I know! She always dresses to impress!

#2 - A couple talking after a movie
Brett: That movie was amazing!!
Brittany: Really? I didn't think it was that great. I almost fell asleep.
Brett: What? I thought it was very entertaining. And the lead actress was great.
Brittany: Well, I will agree with you about the actress. Her acting was on point! She will probably be nominated for an Academy Award.
Brett: Yes, I also think the movie was on point and deserves an award!

To be on Point: This idiom can describe a thing, such as a movie, song, etc..., or a person's style and skill; it means to be exactly right or perfect; extremely good, attractive, or stylish. In #1, the two friends are talking about Mitzi's outfit, which is extremely stylish, or on point. In #2, Brittany thinks the actress has excellent acting skills and Brett thinks the movie was amazing, or on point.



Tuesday, July 2, 2019

In the dark


Example 1
Toby: Have you heard from Jim? He hasn't returned my calls about the party. I don't know any details yet.
George: Don't worry, that's just how Jim is. He likes to keep people in the dark about things until all the details are finalized.
Toby: Well that's understandable, but I'd at least like to have the time and place so I can make sure I'm free!

Example 2
Tony is leaving the company this month. We were all in the dark about his plans until he announced it this morning. I'm shocked because I had no idea!

_____

Keep someone in the dark about something 

Be in the dark about something

This expression is used when you don't have information about something, but someone else does. In example 1, Jim has the information, but Toby and George do not. Jim keeps them in the dark about the details. In example 2, Tony has the information but didn't share it with his coworkers. His coworkers were in the dark about his departure.


Monday, June 24, 2019

Dope

Dope (adjective): A word that describes something that is very cool, such as music, movies, clothes, people, etc.


Example 1:

Listen to the song by Outkast "So Fresh, So Clean"

Ain't nobody dope as me, I'm dressed so fresh so clean...Outkast




Example 2:
Kristina: Hey, Brad! Did you go to Trey's party last Saturday night?
Brad: Yes, it was dope! There were tons of people and a live band. 
Kristina: Oh, I'm sorry I missed it. I had to work.
Brad: That sucks. Maybe you can catch Trey's next party at the end of the summer. 

Explanation:
In example 1, the singer is talking about how dope he is because of his nice clothes. In example 2, Brad says that Trey's party was dope, or awesome, because of all the people and live music. This word as a noun is also used to describe drugs, but recently it is used as an adjective to describe a person or thing that is really cool. 



Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Fam

Fam - a word used to describe people that you can trust dearly, someone you consider like family, derived from the word "family", referring to people that are extremely close; a new name for one's friends. 




Example 1: Two good friends seeing each other after a long time
Britt: Hey, fam! Long time no see!
Karl: Hey, Britt. Nice to see you! 
Britt: So how's life in San Francisco?
Karl: It's OK, but I miss you and all my friends here in LA.

Example 2: Use in Social Media
"Fam" can also be used to describe a group of people that you feel connected to on social media. For instance, you might use the hashtags #fitfam to refer to other people who live healthy lives or #foodiefam for people who love trying new types of food. 

Hey, I'm trying fried grasshopper for the first time! #foodiefam #streetfood”

It's 5 AM and I'm headed to the gym! #fitfam #gym

Explanation:
In the first example, Britt uses the word "fam" to refer to his really good friend, Karl. Even though they are not actually related by blood, they are so close, they feel like "family." In the second example, "fam" is used to refer to a group of people connected to you with the same interests like "#fitfam" for healthy people and "#foodiefam" for people who like trying different kinds of food.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

To Floss




To Floss (slang): 1) To show off material things or expensive lifestyle, 2) To do a popular dance move featured on social media 3) To slide a piece of string in between your teeth for cleaning


Paul is talking to his friend Devin during a party
Paul: Jose is flossing on everyone with that outfit today.
Devin: Yeah. The shirt and pants are from Supreme. Super expensive!
Paul: So, how was your weekend?
Devin: I was flossing in my Tesla with the ludicrous mode on.
Paul: Wow, I guess everyone is flossing these days but me!

Two friends at a night club
Cindy: Look at Frankie out on the dance floor! What's he doing?
Kat: Oh, haven't you seen it on social media? They even put it on Fortnite. It's called "The Floss or Flossing," and it's a special dance move.
Cindy: It looks fun and easy!

Jimmy at the Dentist's Office
Dentist: Jimmy, you have 8 cavities!
Jimmy: Really? But I floss my teeth at least once a week.
Dentist: You need to brush and floss your teeth every day in order to avoid getting cavities.

Explanation: "To floss" has several meanings but has recently been used as a slang term for showing off something expensive. In the first example, Jose is showing off his expensive clothes at the party. Later, Devin says that he showed off his Tesla last weekend. In the second example, Frankie is flossing on the dance floor. It is the name of a popular dance move that you can see an example of here.

Finally, the traditional meaning of "floss" is related to cleaning in between the teeth with a string. In the third example, Jimmy has 8 cavities because he doesn't floss his teeth regularly.



Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Not a fan



Grammar use: to be not a fan of someone or something.

Examples
1.  She is not a big fan of scary movies because every time she watches them, she has trouble sleeping at night.
2.  I am not a big fan of our new boss.  He is very strict and makes us work longer hours.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Not your cup of tea



Example 1:
Harold: Hey Dirk, do you want to go get some sushi later?
Dirk: No, that’s okay. Sushi is not my cup of tea. I would prefer some barbecue.

Example 2:
Julie: Hey Pam, have you ever been to New York?
Pam: Yeah, but I didn’t really like it.
Julie: Really? Why?
Pam: It was very busy and fast. It’s just not my cup of tea. I like Los Angeles because it’s relaxed.

Example 3:

Rob: Does your girlfriend like ice-cream?
Wes: No, it’s not really her cup of tea. She only eats it once in a while. She likes cake more than anything

Explanation:
To say something is “not one’s cup of tea” is to say that a person doesn’t like something or it is not their favorite. If something is not your cup of tea, it is not your preference, but it might be an acceptable choice. 


 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

New Blood


New member of a group or organization.  Typically it’s a younger person or group of people beginning or starting in a new place or group.

Example 1:

Manny:  Hey Mark, do you know if the new team members will be arriving today?
Mark:  Oh that’s right!  Today we get to meet the new blood coming in for the internships
Manny:  Yes, it’s that time of the year again.  Summer is always interesting and we get to meet a lot of newbies.
Mark:  Let’s just hope they are up to the challenges of this work.


Example 2:
Emily:  Who’s the new blood in the office.  He’s so energetic and good looking
Brenda:  Settle down Emily, don’t get yourself in trouble at the office for liking the new guy.
Emily:  Yes I know, no fraternizing with co-workers.
Brenda: That’s the best way to go.  I will admit though he is cute.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

To catch feelings



Example 1:
Denise: Hey, Becky, how is it going?
Becky: It's going well. Actually, I'm kind of annoyed these days.
Denise: Annoyed with what?
Becky: Well, you remember Mike, that guy I've been texting with. It's been just casual and fun but I think he's starting to catch feelings. He's really starting to become clingy, he wants to hang out all the time! He's trying to make plans for the summer time, but I doubt we'll still be talking by then. It's annoying that he thinks we're in a serious relationship.
Denise: Yeah, I see what you mean. It's always annoying when guys catch feelings when you're not interested.

Example 2:
Eddie: Good to see you, Mike! How have you been?
Mike: Hey, man! I've been great!
Eddie: You seem happy! Did you win the lottery or something?
Mike: It's better than money, bro! It's because of my special girl Becky! I think I'm in love!
Eddie: You mean Denise's friend Becky? You can't be serious. I thought you guys were just friends and only texted here and there.
Mike: Yeah, but I think this is something more. I can't stop thinking about her.
Eddie: No way, Mike! I think you're just catching feelings for her because she showed you a little bit of interest. I really don't think you should read too much into it.

Explanation:

to catch feelings is to begin to have romantic feelings for someone. This usually has negative connotations as it is unexpected or inappropriate. In example 1, Becky is annoyed that Mike is catching feelings  because she believes their relationship is casual and fun. In Example 2, Eddie is trying to tell Mike that he shouldn't be thinking too seriously about their relationship. Eddie seems to be reading the situation better than Mike.

More examples:
Becky didn't mean for Mike to catch feelings.
Mike is starting to catch feelings for Becky.
Eddie thinks Mike caught feelings because Becky gave him some attention.
(Becky) I think Mike is catching feelings. I should stop replying to his texts. 



Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Staycation or Staycay



Staycation or Staycay -  A vacation spent at home involving day trips to local attractions. Instead of traveling somewhere for vacation when you have time off, you stay at home and visit local attractions.

Two friends are talking about taking time off from work

Julie: I'm so stressed out lately! I really need a vacation. The only problem is that I don't have any money to travel anywhere.

Terri: Why don't you just take a staycation? You live in downtown LA, so there are plenty of places for you to see without having to pack a suitcase.

Julie: You're right. I've lived in LA for five years, and I still haven't visited half of the places on my list.

Terri: Last year, my staycation was the best. I unplugged from work, just slept in all day, and went out at night. It was also a lot cheaper than traveling to another city or country.

Julie: Hmmmm..it sounds nice. I could relax at that spa near my house that everyone says is so good. Then I could check out some of the museums. There is so much to see just in my area.

Terri: Yes!

Julie: Thanks for the advice about the staycay. I'm feeling better already!


Staycation or Staycay - Staycation is a combination of stay (meaning stay-at-home) and vacation. Staycay is a shortened form of Staycation. Their meaning is the same, a vacation spent at home involving day trips to local attractions. Instead of going somewhere for vacation when you have time off, you stay at home and do the local scene.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

In hot water



Meaning - in trouble 
Part of speech - adjective
Uses - to be in hot water or to get in hot water

Example 1 

Tom was in hot water because he failed two of his tests. Now, he will need to take the tests again if he wants to pass this class.

Example 2 

The man got in hot water with the police for stealing items from the supermarket.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

To be two sides of the same coin

Example #1
Bob: I feel sad today. I don’t know why. Yesterday I was happy.
Tina: Well, sometimes we are happy and sometimes we are sad. Actually, you can’t have happiness without sadness, just like you can’t have day without night.
Bob: I think I understand. Happy and sad, like day and night, are two sides of the same coin.

Example # 2
Leo: I hate rain.
Roberta: But you love the flowers that grow after the rain, right?
Leo: Well, yes. I really love flowers. They are so beautiful.
Roberta: Remember, Leo, the rain and the flowers are just two sides of the same coin.
Leo: Wow, I guess you’re right. Thanks for the kind words, Roberta!

Definition:
When two things seem to be different, but are part of the same thing: Yin-yang.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Gym Bunny


A person busy trying to improve their physique or physical image, which spends countless hours at the gym to do so.

Example 1:
Broski: Dude, I just spent doing one hundred squats with a weight of two hundred pounds. I’m a straight savage.
Ana: What’s the point of doing all the exercise? Do you enjoy it?
Broski: I got to look good for the ladies and show that beach bod year round.
Ana: You’re such a gym bunny. Do you also incorporate a good diet?
Broski: Diet? For what? My diet is the three to four hours of gym I put in to look good.

Example 2:
The Abercrombie store used to pay for gym bunnies to stand shirtless, or with minimal clothes, in front of their store(s) to attract customers to buy things. Whether you think it’s ethical or not doesn’t matter because the gym bunnies grew their business and attraction to the store.




Wednesday, April 10, 2019

To stunt



Example 1:
Phillip: I don't mean to stunt, but I just got off my private jet from my awesome vacation in Italy and I'm so tired. What did you do this weekend?
Jack: Wow, Phillip. You don't wanna stunt, but you're totally stunting. I didn't do anything special. Watched a couple of shows on Netflix and did some laundry...

Example 2:

My neighbor just won the lottery. At first, he didn't really let the money affect his behavior or his lifestyle, but now I see him stunting his wealth. For instance, he's got a new Rolls Royce. He was driving it down the street with the music blaring to make sure the whole neighborhood saw him. Next, he landed a helicopter in the local park! It scared the children and I think someone called the police!

Explanation: 

To stunt means to show off or brag about one's wealth. In example 1, Phillip is talking about a private jet but claims he's not trying to show off. Of course his friend Jack knows he's showing off because private jets are not common. In example 2, the speaker talks about his neighbor showing off his wealth with his new car and the helicopter incident. Rolls Royces and helicopters are not common and are symbols of wealth.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

To Flex

To Flex: To show off or to boast/brag, about your body, your belongings, or some other thing you consider superior; Showing off your valuables in a non-humble way.




Two Friends in the Mall
Bobby: Look at my new Lucky Brand, vintage leather jacket!
Cheri: Wow, are you trying to flex with that jacket! Isn't it too hot, I mean, to wear?
Bobby: Nope. Just too hot for the ladies since I'm flexin it.
Cheri: You are so funny! Just be sure you don't pass out from the heat.
Bobby: Ha. Ha.

No Flex Zone - A place where you are not allowed to flex or show off anything.

Cal and John are in Jerry's house and it is a "No Flex Zone."
Cal: Oh, hi John. Come in.
John: Hey, Cal.
Cal: Woa, John! Why are you wearing all those chains and that expensive watch! Didn't you know this is a "No Flex Zone?"
John: I thought this was a party?
Cal: Yea, but not a party where you just flex on everyone. We are here for Jerry's birthday. Come on, dude.
John: OK. Sorry, I'll take everything off and stop flexin. I didn't know.

Here is a link to Iggy Azalea - Flexin' & Finessin'




Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Drip

Slang Term: Drip -  It is when someone’s look or style is extremely fashionable or sexy.
_______

Yuki, an international student from Japan, is asking Val, her American roommate, what the slang term “drip” means.

Yuki: Hey, Val. I just heard someone use the word “drip,” but he didn’t use it the way I know the word, like when there is a leaky faucet or dripping water. What does drip mean in slang?
Val: Well, it means a person has “swag” or a really cool style. You know, like when someone looks really hot or fashionable!
Yuki: Really? How do you say it?
Val: Let me see...so we don’t pronounce the “g” at the end. Yuki, that dress you are wearing is really drippin. Or look at my shoes, they’re drippin.
Yuki: Oh, I see, we are drippin in style!
Val: Right! Actually, Cardi B’s song from last year is called “Drip,” and she talks about “Diamonds on my wrist, they drippin’ (ice).”
Let me show you on YouTube.  Listen for how she uses “drip” in the song:


 

Explanation: Drip is often used as an adjective, dripping, to describe someone who is really fashionable, cool, or awesome. We also don’t pronounce the “g” at the end. For example: Did you see that move Frank made on the dance floor? He's drippin right now! It can also be used as a noun. For instance: Look at your clothes! You have got the drip!


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!

Grammar
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
.

Meaning
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



Example
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.

Explanation
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

Chill



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
anyway.
Taichi:
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.

Meaning:
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.

Explanation:
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.