View Full Version : Speak Like an American #3

Jun 12, 2007, 12:13 PM
Ted’s Day At School

Ted tells his parents he did poorly on his chemistry test. They tell him he needs to get serious and study more.

Susan: How was your day at school today, Ted?

Ted: Bad. I had a chemistry test, and I blew it!

Susan: Maybe if you didn’t cut class so often, you’d do better.

Bob: That’s right, son. Stop slacking off and start hitting the books!

Ted: But I can’t stand chemistry class. Besides, it’s a lost cause. That class is way over my head.

Susan: you need to buckle down.

Ted: When I’m a famous musician, people won’t give a hoot about my knowledge of atoms and molecules.

Bob. That’s beside the point.

Susan: We know you have your heart set on going to New York University.

Bob: And you don’t stand a chance of getting in there with such poor grades!


1/ Beside the point: not relevant; not important

Ex: Whether or not I asked the waiter to bring us water is beside the point. Waiters should always bring water to the table.

Ex: The reason you’re late is beside the point. The fact is your dinner is now cold.

2/ (to) blow something: to spoil or botch something.

Ex: Brenda blew the interview and didn’t get the job offer.

Ex: Randy managed to get a date with the most popular girl in his class. Now I hope he doesn’t blow it!

3/ (to) buckle down: to start working seriously

Ex: If Don buckles down now, he might be able to graduate from high school this year.

Ex: Team, if we want to win this tournament, we’re going to need to buckle down!

4/ Can’t stand: to hate

Ex: Bob cant’ stand bureaucrats, so he’d never do well working at large corporation.

Ex: Nicole can’t stand broccoli. She simply refuses to eat it.

5/ (to) cut class: to miss class without an excuse

Ex: Ted often cuts class to spend more time with his girlfriend.

Ex: If you keep cutting French class, you’re going to fail it.

6/ Get real!: be serious or realistic about what’s going on

Ex: You think you won’t get a speeding ticket when you drive 85 miles per hour? Get real!

7/ (to) have one’s heart set on: to really want something

Ex: Nicole has her heart set on going to New York this weekend.

Ex: Did you really have your heart set on going to Harward?

8/ (to) hit the books: to start studying

Ex: Ted partied all weekend. Finally, on Sunday night, he decided it was time to hot the books.

Ex: Hit the books! I know you have a test tomorrow.

9/ Lost cause: Something hopeless

Ex: Cindy spent five years studying Russian. Finally, she realized it was a lost cause. She would never learn it.

Ex: jack needs to stop drinking so much coffee, but he’s so addicted to caffeine that it’s a lost cause.

10/ (to) not give a hoot: to not care about

Ex: Tom likes to talk around town in his pajamas- he doesn’t give a hoot what people think.

Ex: Stephanie doesn’t give a hoot if she’s the only one wearing a green dress to the high school prom.

Synonym: to not give a damn, to not give a darn

11/ Over one’s head: beyond one’s understanding

Ex: The professor was speaking over our heads. Nonce of us could understand him.

Ex: The article on cloning was written for scientists. It was over my head.

12/ (to) slack off: to waste time

Ex: Amanda doesn’t get much done at the office. She’s too busy slacking off.

Ex: I’d better stop slacking off. My essay is due in two hours.

Note: people who slack off all the time are called “slackers“

13/ (to) stand a chance: to have the possibility of success

Ex: Although the American figure skaters were good, they didn’t stand chance of winning a gold medal at the Olympics.

Ex: Wilton High School has the best soccer team in the state. I’m afraid we don’t stand a chance against them!