A2 Basic US 7 Folder Collection
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Vanessa: Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.
Are you ready to expand your vocabulary? Let's talk about it.
Vanessa: Last week I shared a 90 minute English conversation
between my husband, Dan and I, where we talked about 12 different topics. In this way, you
could immerse yourself in English for an hour and a half, and learn over 200 new expressions.
In today's lesson, I'm going to take 25 of those expressions and explain them in detail.
I'll be explaining each new expression and then after my explanation, you're going to
see a clip from the original conversation with Dan. If you haven't watched that conversation
and make sure you do that. Vanessa:
Let's get started with the first one. Number one: To look like. To look like. In the conversation
with Dan, I said, "I mostly look like my mom," and this is talking about my physical appearance.
I resemble my mom. Or we could say, "It looks like it's going to rain. The sky looks similar
to the way that it looks when it's going to rain." So we have two things that look similar.
"It looks like it's going to rain," or "I mostly look like my mom." Let's take a look
at the clip from the original conversation so that you can see how it was used.
Dan: So appearance, I look mostly like my mom,
I think. Vanessa:
Okay. Dan:
I have more of her skin tone. I have her eyes. So appearance, I look mostly like my mom,
I think. Vanessa:
Okay. Dan:
I have more of her skin tone. I have her eyes Vanessa:
Number two: To a T. To a T. What is T? This is an idiom and it means perfectly. Exactly.
If we say, "She looks like her mom to a T," that means she looks like her mom exactly.
We often use this to talk about directions or to follow some instructions. So the teacher
might say, "You need to follow these instructions to a T. If you don't follow them to a T, you're
going to fail the exam." So you need to follow the instructions exactly. Follow them to a
T. Let's take a look at the clip from the conversation.
Vanessa: I think I look a lot like my mom.
Dan: Yeah, she looks exactly like her mom. They're
like to a T. Vanessa:
I think I look a lot like my mom. Dan:
Yeah, she looks exactly like her mom. They're like to a T.
Vanessa: Number three: Off the charts. This is a fun
idiom and it means more than expected. Dan said, "Her enthusiasm was off the charts."
We can imagine that maybe you're in some kind of business meeting and there's a chart that
shows some progress of the product that you're selling, and then all of a sudden the line
goes off the chart. That means that it was more than you expected. You didn't even have
a chart big enough to show the growth of that product, but it doesn't need to be a product
that we talk about. Instead, it could be enthusiasm. "Her enthusiasm was a way more than I expected.
It was off the charts." It doesn't need to be a positive thing though. You could say,
"Our heating bill was off the charts last month." That means it was so high that I could
have never expected that it would be so high. "Our heating bill was off the charts. It was
incredibly high." Vanessa:
All right, let's watch the original clip. Dan:
She was like bouncing. Vanessa:
I always have a lot of enthusiasm. That's true.
Dan: It was off the charts. She was like bouncing.
Vanessa: I always have a lot of enthusiasm. That's
true. Dan:
Yes, it was off the charts. Vanessa:
Number four: A gray area. The word gray, this color, it's not black, it's not white, it's
in the middle. So we're talking about something that's not clearly defined. It's not black
and white. It's gray. In the conversation with Dan, we said that, "The area between
childhood and adulthood is kind of a gray area. It's not that one day you wake up and
you're an adult. No, it's kind of a gray area." There are a lot of things in life that are
not clearly defined, especially when it comes to values or morals. So you might say, "Sharing
pictures of your child on social media is a gray area. Some people think it's not a
good thing. Some people think it is a good thing. Some people feel like, I don't know
what to think. It's kind of undefined. This is a new territory for new parents." This
is a gray area. All right, let's watch the original clips that you can see how it was
used. Vanessa:
Yeah, I think you can still be an adult just making your own decisions, but we still need
help from other people as adults, so it's a gray area.
Dan: Sure. Yeah.
Vanessa: Yeah. It's not so clear. I think you can still
be an adult just making your own decisions, but we still need help from other people as
adults, so it's a gray area. Dan:
Sure. Yeah. Vanessa:
It's not so clear. Vanessa:
Number five: To be paid under the table. Does this mean that Dan's boss literally gave him
money under the table? No. This just means that he was paid illegally. He wasn't officially
on a register as an employee of that restaurant. Instead, they just gave him cash. To be paid
under the table. When he said, "I was paid under the table," that was most likely because
of his age. I think he was probably too young to be officially an employee, and that's kind
of common in the US that if you get a job when you're too young, the boss will probably
just pay you in cash under the table, or if you have an odd job. Odd jobs are often paid
under the table. If you're babysitter, if you walk your neighbor's dog you're not going
to get a tax form that says you are the babysitter for this person. No, it's just between two
people. They just give you cash, or maybe they write you a little check, a personal
check. It's paid under the table. Vanessa:
All right, let's watch the clips that you can see how this was used.
Vanessa: Things you don't want to know when you visit
a restaurant. Dan:
And I was was paid under the table. Vanessa:
Oh really? Dan:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Vanessa:
Why did they have to pay you under the table? Dan:
I don't know. Vanessa:
Things you don't want to know when you visit a restaurant.
Dan: And I was paid under the table.
Vanessa: Oh really?
Dan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Vanessa: Why'd they have to pay you under the table?
Dan: I don't know.
Vanessa: Number six: The meat. This is a little bit
of a funny metaphor here. We're not talking about meat like chicken or beef or pork. Instead,
we're talking about the majority of something. Usually we talk about the majority of money
or of revenue. Vanessa:
So Dan said that, "The meat of our tourism is nature in the US. Yeah, people go to New
York or LA, but a lot of people visit the US to see nature. This is the majority of
our tourism. The meat of our tourism." Or you might say, "Selling pottery is the meat
of the craft shops revenue. A craft shop might sell quilted things, or knitted scarves, or
paintings, or pottery, but if they sell a lot of pottery, if the pottery is really what
helps them to pay the bills, then that's the meat of their revenue." We might say, "Selling
pottery is the meat of the craft shops revenue." All right, let's watch the clips that you
can see how this expression was used. Vanessa:
I feel like a lot of tourism is natural tourism. Dan:
Yeah. The meat of our tourism is nature. Vanessa:
I feel like a lot of tourism is natural tourism. Dan:
Yeah. The meat of our tourism is nature. Vanessa:
Number seven: To crash somewhere. This doesn't mean that you're breaking or destroying something.
Instead, it's just an informal expression that means you're going to arrive somewhere.
It doesn't need to be arriving somewhere uninvited, but it does have this casual feeling to it.
So we could say, "We're going to crash their vacation." Dan and I were talking about how
his parents have a vacation planned to go to Hawaii, and he was trying to scheme a way
that we can go, they can watch our kids, and we can go and have fun on vacation. This is
not a positive situation. This isn't really probably going to happen, but we said, "We're
going to crash their vacation." We're going to arrive informally and kind of break into
the middle of their vacation and change their plans. Or we could use this in a less extreme
and just say, "If you need somewhere to stay, feel free to crash at my house."
Vanessa: Maybe if you're taking a long road trip and
halfway through the road trip you're going to be passing near where one of your friends
lives. That friend might say, "Oh, it's too far to go in one day. You can just stop at
my house and then drive the next day." So you might say, "You can crash at my house."
This means you can sleep there, you can just relax because driving all that distance in
one day is too much. "Feel free to crash at my house if you need to." All right, let's
watch the clips that you can see how this fun expression was used.
Dan: But if my parents are there-
Vanessa: They can watch our kids.
Dan: They can watch the kids!
Vanessa: So we're going to crash their vacation and
make them watch our kids? Dan:
But if my parents are there- Vanessa:
They can watch the kids. Dan:
They can watch the kids! Vanessa:
So we're going to crash their vacation and make them watch our kids?
Vanessa: Number eight: You can't go wrong with. This
means that it's impossible to make a bad decision about something. So I said, "You can't go
wrong with salmon. Salmon is a tasty food. Really any way that you cook it is going to
be great." So I said, "You can't go wrong with salmon." Or if there's something else
that everybody loves, it's impossible to do it incorrectly. You might say, "Oh, you can't
go wrong with a beach vacation. The beach will always be nice. It doesn't matter what
your plans are. If you just want to chill on the beach, or if you want to do a lot of
stuff, or go alone, or go with a lot of people, you can't go wrong with a beach vacation."
I hope you feel that way about my lessons. "You can't go wrong with Vanessa's lessons."
That means that any lesson that you watch, you'll learn a lot and hopefully have a good
time. All right, let's watch the clips that you can see how this expression was used.
Vanessa: Ah, yeah. Well, I think you can't go wrong
with Salmon. Dan:
Yeah, but it's just a very healthy meal that tastes very filling and fulfilling.
Vanessa: Ah, yeah. Well, I think you can't go wrong
with salmon. Dan:
Yeah, but it's just a very healthy meal that tastes very filling and fulfilling.
Vanessa: Number nine: To make it work. To make it work.
Does this have to do with going to work and having a job? No. Instead, we're talking about
succeeding even though there's some difficulties. So when we were talking about our office space
that we used to film in, Dan said, "We made it work." That means we made the small space
of the office acceptable for what we needed. "We made it work. The small space was difficult,
but we still tried to succeed." We made it work. Or if you want to have a little bit
of a longer sentence, you might say, "Having a long distance relationship is really tough,
but we will make it work." If your boyfriend is planning to 300 miles away and you're not
going to see him as often, you might say, "Oh yeah, it's so tough to have a long distance
relationship, but don't worry we will make it work. We are going to succeed despite the
difficulties." All right, let's watch the clip.
Dan: She used to film in a closet.
Vanessa: It wasn't a closet, but it was a really small.
Dan: Two closets combined.
Vanessa: Yeah, it was like a little triangle room.
Dan: It was very small.
Vanessa: But-
Dan: Hey, we made it work.
Vanessa: Yeah. It worked. We made it work.
Dan: She used to film in a closet.
Vanessa: It wasn't a closet, but it was a really small.
Dan: Two closets combined.
Vanessa: Yeah, it was like a little triangle room.
Dan: It was very small.
Vanessa: But-
Dan: Hey we made it work.
Vanessa: Yeah. It worked. We made it work.
Vanessa: Number 10: Where on earth? This is a fun,
shocked statement. Where on earth did you hear that? It means that you are completely
shocked that someone said something to you. Where on earth did you hear that? That sounds
like it's absolutely crazy. Or if you get a package in the mail, you might say, "Where
on earth did this package come from?" You're not actually talking about the globe, the
world, the earth. You're just saying, "I have absolutely no idea where this package came
from. Where on earth did this come from?" This is a really fun expression. It's a casual
expression, but it's a fun way to show shock. "Where on earth did you hear that?" All right,
let's watch the clips that you can see how it was used.
Dan: Me and my siblings, we all just made fun of
her. We were like, "Mom, you just made that up. Where on earth did you hear that?" But
really it's actually true. Dan:
Me and my siblings, we all just made fun of her. We were like, "Mom, you just made that
up. Where on earth did you hear that?" But really it's actually true.
Vanessa: Number 11: That's it. This means the end.
In our conversation, Dan and I were talking about the amazing bird, the albatross, but
when you are a small animal in the wild, in nature, your life is quite fragile and it's
the same for the albatross. "When the albatross first learns to fly, if he fails, that's it."
That means that some other animal will probably come and eat him, and his life will be over.
So we could say, "If he fails, that's it." Well, we can use this in a less serious situation.
Maybe if you're having a business meeting, the person who's leading the meeting might
say, "All right, that's it. See you next week." That's it. It's just an informal way to say,
"The end." "All right, that's it. I'll talk to you later. Bye." But not really. We have
more expressions to go. Okay, let's watch the clips that you can see how this was used.
Vanessa: So sharks gather there.
Dan: They wait for the babies.
Vanessa: And as the babies are learning to fly, if
they fail on their first try, that's it. Vanessa:
So sharks gather there. Dan:
They wait for the babies. Vanessa:
And as the babies are learning to fly, if they fail on their first try, that's it.
Vanessa: Number 12: Up to. We're not really talking
about down and up. Instead, we're talking about a maximum of something. So we were talking
about the bird, the albatross again, and we said "They can stay in the air up to 10,000
miles." Which is absolutely crazy. This is so long. So this is the maximum amount of
length that they can stay in the air. "Up to 10,000 miles." Or we could talk about your
car if you love to drive fast. I don't really, but maybe you do and you're looking for some
kind of sports car that can go really fast. You go to the store and you're going to buy
a new car, and the salesman says, "This car can drive up to 250 miles per hour." Wow.
You can drive so fast. So he's trying to sell you on the maximum that that car can drive.
"It can drive up to 250 miles per hour." All right, let's watch the clips that you can
see how this expression was used. Dan:
Once they actually get in the air, an albatross can stay in the air for up to 10,000 miles.
Vanessa: That's a lot.
Dan: Which is a lot of kilometers.
Dan: Once they actually get in the air, an albatross
can stay in the air for up to 10,000 miles. Vanessa:
That's a a lot. Dan:
Which is a lot of kilometers. Vanessa:
Number 13: Some may argue that... This is a polite, indirect way to show your opinion.
Dan said, "Some may argue that the stuffing is better than the turkey." We were talking
about different types of food that you eat at Thanksgiving, and he said, "That's me.
I agree that the stuffing is better than the turkey." But he didn't say, "I think this,"
right away. Instead he used this indirect statement. "Some may argue that..." It is
quite indirect. You might also say, "Some may argue that Vanessa's lessons are the best
in the world." You're not saying, "I think this." Instead, you're using an indirect expression
to say, "Some people may argue it's possible." They may argue and say, "Yeah, Vanessa's are
the best in the world." "No, they're not." "Yes they are." "No, they're not." "Yes, they
are." Okay. Some may argue that Vanessa's lessons are the best. Well, I hope you enjoyed
this one at least. All right. Let's watch the clips that you can see how it was used.
Vanessa: Inside the turkey, usually you cook some seasonings,
and lemons, and breads and all different types of things inside the turkey.
Dan: Some may argue that the stuffing is better
than the turkey. Vanessa:
Inside the turkey, usually you cook some seasonings, and lemons, and breads, and all different
types of things inside the turkey. Dan:
Some may argue that the stuffing is better than the turkey.
Vanessa: Number 14: To find that. Hmm. This is a somewhat
formal opinion. If you say that, "I find that playing a sport helps me to relax." You're
not saying, "Playing a sport helps me to relax." Instead, you're adding an extra statement
that makes it a little bit more formal. "I find that... In my research, I find that,"
and this way you're not being so direct. "I find that playing a sport helps me to relax.
Maybe you will find the same thing too or maybe not." You could also say, "I found that
after three months of the English classes in my city, they weren't really helping me
that much." "I found that they weren't really helping me." This is kind of like you're doing
research. "I found in my research," but it could just be your daily experience that's
really your research. "I find that playing a sport helps me relax." "I found that the
classes didn't really help me that much." All right. Let's watch the clips that you
can see how this was used. Dan:
I don't know if this would work for everyone, but I find that playing a sport or doing something
active that requires some concentration really helps me not be stressed.
Dan: I don't know if this would work for everyone,
but I find that playing a sport or doing something active that requires some concentration really
helps me not be stressed. Vanessa:
Number 15: To not handle something. Or we could use this in a positive way to handle
something, but it's most often used in the negative and that means you cannot manage
something. You cannot deal with something. "I can't handle this." In the conversation
with Dan I said, "My body can't handle the stress." This means that my body is not capable
of managing the stress. It can't deal with the stress. Or if you have two small children,
you might say, "Having a newborn and a toddler is hard to handle. This is difficult to handle."
Usually we use this in a negative situation. It's hard to handle. I can't handle it. It's
not easy to handle. These types of negative situations when there's something that's really
difficult to deal with or to manage. All right, let's watch the clips that you can see how
it was used. Vanessa:
If I feel stressed or anxious, a lot of that's because my body can't handle what's happening
in daily life because I haven't been treating myself well.
Vanessa: If I feel stressed or anxious, a lot of that's
because my body can't handle what's happening in daily life because I haven't been treating
myself well. Vanessa:
Number 16: To get into something. This is a great phrasal verb and that means to start
your interest in something. We often use this in small talk to say, "Oh, when did you get
into soccer? When did you get into the Beatles? When did you get into some activity?" And
it means when did your interest begin in this activity? In the conversation with Dan, he
said, "It's easy to get into soccer." That means there's not much of a barrier for starting
your interest in soccer. You can just put on some shoes, have a ball, and kick it with
some friends. "It's easy to get into soccer." Or you might ask, "When did you get into rock
music? When did you get into playing the guitar?" This is talking about starting your interest.
Keep this in mind because for the next expression we're going to be talking about something
that's similar, but a little bit different. All right, let's watch the original clips
that you can see how to get into was used. Dan:
It's interesting. Many, many children play soccer in America.
Vanessa: Yeah. I think-
Dan: It's very common.
Vanessa: ... it's very easy to get into because you
just are running and kicking a ball. Dan:
Sure. Vanessa:
There's no equipment or specialized movements. Dan:
It's interesting. Many, many children play soccer in America.
Vanessa: Yeah. I think-
Dan: It's very common.
Vanessa: ... it's easy to get into because you just
are running and kicking a ball. There's no equipment or specialized movements.
Vanessa: Number 17 is to take up something. This is
another phrasal verb and it's talking about starting an activity, but it's not necessarily
talking about your interest. It's talking about really starting that activity so you
could say, "My brother convinced me to take up hockey." Dan was talking about starting
the activity of hockey. His brother said, "You should play hockey." His brother convinced
him to start hockey or to take up hockey. You might also say, "I thought about taking
up knitting, but I'm too busy." "I thought about taking up some activity." That means
starting the activity. Vanessa:
If we get into an activity like the phrasal verb we just talked about a moment ago, this
is talking about our interest. When did your interest begin? Maybe you got into knitting
when you were a little kid, but you didn't start actually knitting. This is just your
interest beginning, but then "I'm going to take up knitting" means that you're going
to actually start that activity. These two phrasal verbs are linked together, but they
do have slightly different meetings. So let's take a look at the clips that you can see
how it was used. Dan:
And then I did figure skating, where we were doing spinning and stuff.
Vanessa: I did figure skating too.
Dan: Yes. And then my brother convinced me to take
up a more manly sport: hockey. Vanessa:
Oh, that's a shame. You probably would have been really good at figure skating.
Dan: And then I did figure skating, where we were
doing spinning and stuff. Vanessa:
I did figure skating too. Dan:
Yes. And then my brother convinced me to take up a more manly sport: hockey.
Vanessa: Oh, that's a shame. You probably would have
been really good at figure skating. Vanessa:
Number 18 is "Up to you." Notice that we just talked about the expression "up to." The car
drives up to 250 miles per hour, but this expression is different because we're adding
a pronoun. It's up to you. Vanessa:
Hmm. What does this mean? It means that the responsibility is yours. When you have a team
activity, when you're playing a sport with a team, it's not only your responsibility,
it is the responsibility of the whole team to win. So that's how Dan used it in the conversation.
He said, "Team sports are not all up to you. That's why he likes them because he likes
that shared responsibility, but a lot of things are just your responsibility. If you're about
to go to have a dinner for your birthday with a bunch of friends, your friends might say,
"Well, it's up to you. It's your birthday. Where do you want to go? It's up to you."
Vanessa: This is a really common expression that I
use a lot in daily life. "I don't know where I want to go. It's up to you. You choose."
But make sure you add that pronoun at the end. "It's up to you." Or if you're in a work
situation and your coworker says, "Should we change this? Should we do this?" You might
say, "Eh, it's up to the boss. I can't make that decision. I don't have that responsibility.
It's up to the boss." Or, "It's up to him. I can't make that decision." So there's a
lot of different ways that you can use this, but make sure that there's a person directly
after "up to." Up to you, up to him, up to the boss. All right, let's watch the clips
that you can see how it was used. Dan:
If I were swimming and racing, I'd be so scared. But when I play a sport like basketball, you're
on a team and so you're kind of depending on each other more. It's not all up to you.
Vanessa: Yeah.
Dan: If I were swimming and racing, I'd be so scared.
But when I play a sport like basketball, you're on a team and so you're kind of depending
on each other more. It's not all up to you. Vanessa:
Number 19: Peace of mind. Make sure that you spell the word peace correctly. It's the opposite
of war. Peace. Peace of mind. It means that you're doing something for safety and security,
for peace of mind. In the conversation with Dan, he said he wants to get a security system
for peace of mind. Our neighborhood's not really that dangerous. It's not dangerous
at all, but he wants it so that his mind will feel peace. He wants it for peace of mind.
Or if your daughter is out late and it's 10 o'clock, you imagine that she's probably fine,
but you want to call for peace of mind. So you might call and say, "Hey, I just wanted
to make sure you're okay. I was just giving you a call for peace of mind." Great. It shows
that by calling her, you're feeling safe and secure. You want to feel peace so you do that
activity. All right, let's watch the clips that you can see how this was used.
Dan: I'd like to get some cameras and something
I could check on the house and make sure everything's okay, and just for peace of mind, mostly.
Dan: I'd like to get some cameras and something
I could check on the house, and make sure everything's okay, and just for peace of mind,
mostly. Vanessa:
Number 20: Outright. This means completely or immediately. I mentioned briefly in the
conversation with Dan that we paid for our car outright. This means the day that we purchased
our car, we gave them cash, we wrote a check, we paid in full for the car. We paid completely
and immediately for the car. That's a common expression. When you pay for something without
a bank loan, you might say, "We paid for it outright."
Vanessa: We can also use outright in other situations
to talk about completely, immediately, especially when someone dismisses your idea. Let's say
that you tell your husband, "For our next vacation, let's go skiing in the Alps." If
he says, "No, let's not do that," Immediately. Oh, that's kind of disappointing. But you
could say, "He outright dismissed my idea." The word outright is right before that verb,
it's an adverb describing dismissed. How did he dismiss your idea? He outright immediately,
completely dismissed your idea. He outright dismissed my idea or he dismissed my idea
outright. Sorry. I guess you'll have to do something else for your vacation or else you'll
have to convince him that that's a great idea. Okay, let's watch the clips that you can see
how to use "Outright." Dan:
We had just bought the car, and it was pretty expensive, and we didn't really have that
much money, and I was like, "We can't afford to get the keys too."
Vanessa: Sure because we decided to pay for the car
outright. Dan:
But it's definitely doable this very simple fix in your life.
Dan: We had just bought the car and it was pretty
expensive, and we didn't really have that much money, and I was like, "We can't afford
to get the keys too." Vanessa:
Sure because we decided to pay for the car outright.
Dan: But it's definitely doable, this very simple
fix in your life. Vanessa:
Number 21: To check all the boxes. This is a figurative checklist. It's not a real checklist,
but you can still have that image in your head that there is a box and you are checking
each of the boxes. So in the conversation with Dan, he was talking about a regretful
purchase that made of some headphones, and he said, "It checked all the boxes of a regretful
purchase." There were a lot of reasons why it was a regretful purchase. It was expensive.
I didn't want him to make that purchase, and then they weren't comfortable, and our cat
bit them and they broke. So a lot of bad things happening for that purchase. So he could say,
"It checked all the boxes have a regretful purchase." We can imagine that there is a
checklist. Regretful purchase checklist. And his purchase of those headphones checked all
the boxes. It was definitely a regretful purchase. Vanessa:
Or you could say, "I married her because she checked all the boxes. She was kind, smart,
beautiful, intelligent. Wow. She checked all the boxes." This isn't a real checklist, but
this is a figurative checklist. "Yeah, she checked all the boxes and we're a great match."
Excellent. All right, let's watch the clips so you can see how this was used.
Dan: Regretful purchases. Well, the first one I
can think of kind of checks all of the boxes as something you regret because in the first
place, you didn't want me to buy this. Vanessa:
Because it was- Dan:
Expensive. Vanessa:
Headphones. Dan:
Regretful purchases. Well, the first one I can think of kind of checks all of the boxes
as something you regret because in the first place you didn't want me to buy this.
Vanessa: Because it was-
Dan: Expensive.
Vanessa: Headphones.
Vanessa: Number 22: Icing on the cake. I love this
idiom and it means an additional benefit or negative item. So in the conversation with
Dan, when he was talking about that regretful purchase, he said, "It was icing on the cake
that our cat bit them." Our cat bit his headphones, and they broke after having them just a couple
seconds. So there was a lot of bad things happening, and our cat biting them was one
additional thing. So that was icing on the cake.
Vanessa: When you have a cake on the outside, it's
that creamy frosting or we can call that icing, the outside. Without icing a cake is pretty
good, but when you have icing, oh, that's just one more thing that makes that cake great.
But we can also use this idiom in those negative situations. Like, "It was icing on the cake
when our cat bit the headphones. One more negative thing."
Vanessa: Or if you're talking about someone's personality,
you could say, "Well, the teacher was great at explaining things and his humor was icing
on the cake." A good teacher is good at explaining things. A good teacher doesn't need to be
funny, but when a teacher is funny, that is icing on the cake. It's one additional benefit.
"His humor was icing on the cake. It made the class just a little bit more enjoyable."
All right, let's watch the clips that you can see how this fun icing on the cake idiom
was used. Dan:
The cat bent the cord anyways so... Vanessa:
And that's something that we should have known. We should have put them up somewhere. You
could have put them somewhere else, but it just kind of was icing on the cake.
Dan: Yeah.
Vanessa: Which means it was-
Dan: Now I can't use them.
Vanessa: ... one more thing.
Dan: The cat bit the cord anyways so...
Vanessa: And that's something that we should have known.
We should have put them up somewhere. You could have put them somewhere else, but it
just kind of was icing on the cake. Dan:
Yeah. Vanessa:
Which means it was- Dan:
Now I can't even use them. Vanessa:
... one more thing. Vanessa:
Number 23 is "Worth it." This means that the benefits outweighed the cost. If we use this
in a negative way, like I did in the conversation with Dan, I said, "Tea at Starbucks is never
worth it. The benefits of the tea do not outweigh the cost. The quality's not that great. The
price is too high for the quality. It is not worth it." But of course we can use this in
a positive way too. You might say, "We drove through the rain to get to the concert, but
it was worth it." So you struggled a little bit to get to the concert, but the benefit
of going to the concert was worth the cost. We're not talking about the monetary cost
here, the price of the concert. Instead, we're talking about the struggle that you went through.
Driving through the rain. "We drove the rain, but it was worth it."
Vanessa: I hope that this lesson is a worth it. This
is a long English lesson, but I hope that it's worth it. I hope that the benefit of
this lesson, the things that you're learning are worth the time that you're spending. All
right. Let's watch the clips that you can see how this was used.
Vanessa: Well, for me, it's the taste. It's not necessarily
the price. The price is high for tea, but the taste is never worth it. It's just mediocre
tea. It's not even that great. Vanessa:
Well, for me it's the taste. It's not necessarily the price. The price is high for tea, but
the taste is never worth it. It's just mediocre tea. It's not even that great.
Vanessa: Number 24: To sweat something. This is not
necessarily talking about literal sweat, but instead this is talking about to stress about
something and Dan said, "I never sweat a small purchase." If you buy something that's cheap
and then it is really not a good purchase, he doesn't feel stress about that. He doesn't
sweat small purchases. Or you could just simply say, "Don't sweat it." If someone is late
coming to your dinner party and they say, "I'm so sorry I was late." You could say,
"Oh, don't sweat it. Don't worry about it. Don't feel stress about this. Don't sweat
it." Okay, let's see how to use this fun expression, "sweat," in the conversation.
Vanessa: $2.50 just for a bag of tea and you can buy
a whole box of tea for the same price. Dan:
By the way, this is the difference between Vanessa and I, is that I would never sweat
a purchase like that. Vanessa:
$2.50 just for a bag of tea and you can buy a whole box of tea for the same price.
Dan: By the way, this is the difference between
Vanessa and I, is that I would never sweat a purchase like that.
Vanessa: Number 25, our final expression is "Iffy."
This means questionable or uncertain. In the conversation Dan was talking about how sometimes
he regrets buying clothes online because it's iffy. You don't know the quality of the material.
You don't know how it's going to fit you. So buying clothes online can be iffy, it's
uncertain. Or let's say that one of your friends gets laid off from his job he might cancel
his Netflix account because his finances are iffy. He doesn't have a job anymore. He has
no more income, so he should probably cancel unnecessary purchases because his finances
are uncertain. He doesn't know when he's going to get more money. His finances are iffy.
It's kind of iffy. Vanessa:
You can even use this to talk about the weather. "The weather's kind of iffy today, so let's
go on our hike tomorrow." That means that the weather is questionable. It's uncertain.
It might rain. It might not rain. It might snow. I don't know. "So the weather is a little
iffy. Let's cancel or let's postpone this until another day." All right, let's watch
the clips that you can see how "iffy" was used.
Dan: I bought some t-shirts online, and it's kind
of iffy to buy clothes online, but I always felt like I liked the picture that was on
them. But then the quality of the shirt wasn't very good.
Vanessa: Especially when it's online. You can't feel
it. Dan:
It didn't fit that well. Dan:
I bought some t-shirts online, and it's kind of iffy to buy clothes online, but I always
felt like I liked the picture that was on them, but then the quality of the shirt wasn't
very good. Vanessa:
Especially when it's online. You can't feel it.
Dan: It didn't fit that well.
Vanessa: Congratulations. You just learned 25 wonderful
natural expressions, and now I have a question for you. In the comments, can you write a
sentence using one of these new 25 expressions? And if you haven't seen the conversation with
Dan where all of these expressions came from, make sure you click on the link up here or
in the description to check that out. Thanks so much for learning English with me and I'll
see you again next Friday for a new lesson here on my YouTube channel. Bye!
Vanessa: The next step is to download my free ebook,
Five Steps to Becoming a Confident English Speaker. You'll learn what you need to do
to speak confidently and fluently. Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more
free lessons. Thanks so much. Bye!
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25 Advanced English Vocabulary Phrases

7 Folder Collection
Henry 楊 published on June 7, 2020
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