24 de junho de 2024

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Slang and Colloquial Terms 4 (For B2/C1 level students)

Dear ELT community,

Here´s EPISODE 4 of SLANG AND COLLOQUIAL TERMS HEARD IN AMERICAN MOVIES AND SERIES (For B2/C1 level students), which features an innovative learning experience (EXERCISE 1).

This time we´re gonna focus on the following 10 terms:
TAKE A BREATHER – WHAT´S YOUR POISON? – KNOW ONE´S STUFF – PLAY BALL – CHAIN-SMOKE – BE MY GUEST – DOORMAT – TOP DOLLAR – A DIME A DOZEN – CUT THE CHEESE

I – MEANING/EXPLANATION + EXAMPLE SENTENCES

1. Take a breather: take a short break in order to relax

Ex.: “Do you want to take a breather before we continue?”, Meredith asked Clive.

2. What´s your poison?: what would you like to drink?

Ex.: “What´s your poison?”, the bartender asked Mike.

3. Know one´s stuff:know a lot about a subject; be experienced in one’s field

 Ex.: “I´m glad we hired an experienced salesman. This new guy seems to know his stuff.”, said Arnold to his partner.

4. Play ball: work together; cooperate

Ex.: “Let´s play ball with them and try to make a deal that is beneficial to everyone.”, said Roger to his partner.

5. Chain-smoke: smoke one cigarette after another, often by lighting a new cigarette from the butt of the last one smoked

Ex.: “Frederick has been under a lot of pressure in the past few days. That´s why he´s been chain-smoking like crazy.”, Susan told Liam.

6. Be my guest:make yourself at home; help yourself

Ex.: “Sure, be my guest!”, said Jake when I asked him if I could use his phone.

7. Doormat:someone who lets other people treat them badly and gets “stepped on” and abused

Ex.: “I think Mr. Rivers is way too bossy. I hate it when he treats people like a doormat.”, said Juan to a coworker.

8. Top dollar: a lot of money; a high price

Ex.: “We paid top dollar to stay at that hotel, but it was really worth it.”, said Jill to a friend. 

9. A dime a dozen: very common; cheap and easy to find

Ex.: “Burger joints like this are a dime a dozen in my hometown. There´s one on practically every street corner.”, Fred told Nicholas.

10. Cut the cheese: flatulate; fart; break wind

Ex.: “Open the goddamn windows for Chrissake! Someone in here has just cut the cheese.”, said Jake angrily.

II – EXERCISE 1:  REWRITE THE SENTENCES IN A MORE COLLOQUIAL WAY  (10 SENTENCES)

  1. Charlie smokes one cigarette after another when he´s nervous, even though he knows it´s not healthy.
  2. “Ok, the first round is on me. What would you like to drink?”, Bill asked Fred.
  3. “I wish everyone in the office would stop abusing Ryan. He´s a nice guy really.”, said Laura to a coworker.
  4. “We did our best to get the contract signed, but they simply refused to cooperate with us.”, explained Nicholas to a coworker.
  5. “We´re all tired. I think we should take a break. We´ve been working nonstop for the past five hours.”, said Mick to his coworkers.
  6. “Hey, where´s that fucking smell coming from? Don’t tell me you farted again! Did you?”, Bill told Randy
  7. “You can trust Michelle to take care of the human resources department. She knows all about it.”, Dave told Mr. Newman.
  8. “I´m not willing to pay a lot of money for a new computer. I´ll probably get one with no frills.”, Robin told Luke.
  9. “Make yourself at home and help yourself to some cake.”, Ronald told Sam.
  10. “I guess pretty wannabe actresses are easy to find in Hollywood.”, said Burt to his friends.


III – EXERCISE 2: MATCH THE COLLOQUIAL TERMS WITH THEIR DEFINITIONS (10 TERMS)

A. A dime a dozen          B. Play ball            C. Cut the cheese         D. Top dollar          E. What´s your poison?

F. Take a breather          G. Doormat          H. Be my guest            I. Chain-smoke           J. Know one´s stuff

1. Someone who lets other people treat them badly and gets “stepped on” and abused ____
2. Take a short break in order to relax ____
3. Smoke one cigarette after another, often by lighting a new cigarette from the butt of the last one smoked ____
4. Make yourself at home; help yourself ____
5. Know a lot about a subject; be experienced in one’s field ____
6. A lot of money; a high price____
7. Very common; cheap and easy to find____
8. Work together; cooperate ____
9. Flatulate; fart; break wind ____
10. What would you like to drink? ____

IV – KEY TO EXERCISES

I– Rewrite the following sentences in a more colloquial way

  1. Charlie chain-smokes when he´s nervous, even though he knows it´s not healthy.
  2. “Ok, the first round is on me. What´s your poison?”, Bill asked Fred.
  3. “I wish everyone in the office would stop treating Ryan like a doormat. He´s a nice guy really.”, said Laura to a coworker.
  4. “We did our best to get the contract signed, but they simply refused to play ball with us.”, explained Nicholas to a coworker.
  5. “We´re all tired. I think we should take a breather. We´ve been working nonstop for the past five hours.”, said Mick to his coworkers.
  6. “Hey, where´s that fucking smell coming from? Don’t tell me you cut the cheese again! Did you?”, Bill told Randy
  7. “You can trust Michelle to take care of the human resources department. She knowsher stuff.”, Dave told Mr. Newman.
  8. “I´m not willing to pay top dollar for a new computer. I´ll probably get one with no frills.”, Robin told Luke.
  9. Be my guest and help yourself to some cake.”, Ronald told Sam.
  10. “I guess pretty wannabe actresses are a dime a dozen in Hollywood.”, said Burt to his friends.

II – Match the colloquial terms below (A–J) with their definitions (1–10).

  1. G        2. F        3. I       4. H        5. J       6. D       7. A        8. B        9. C        10. E

FALE TUDO EM INGLÊS AVANÇADO – Author: José Roberto A. Igreja / Disal Editora

José Roberto A. Igreja is the author and co-author of several ELT books, including:

LET´S TALK ABOUT IT! – The Ultimate ELT Conversation Book, now available on the Amazon stores of the following countries:

AUSTRALIA     BRAZIL     CANADA     FRANCE    GERMANY   INDIA    ITALY     JAPAN    MEXICO       NETHERLANDS     SPAIN     UK     US

If you´re based in Brazil the paperback is available at a discount price on UICLAP!
240 pages – 31 QR-CODES for the audio tracks (dialogues) “even the paperback comes with built-in technology”

A BRAND-NEW ELT BOOK!

Let's Talk About It!: The Ultimate ELT Conversation Book (English Edition) por [Jose Roberto A. Igreja]

600 Phrasal Verbs (with Jonathan T. Hogan)

Talking Business

How do you say … in English?

Fluent Business English (with Robert C. Young)

What to say when …?

False Friends

English for Job Interviews (with Robert C. Young)

American Idioms! (with Joe Bailey Noble III)