Apr 4, 2016

LESSON 19 — Nicole’s close election

17 cards
, 8 answers
  • Nicole loses the election at school. She doesn’t want to accept it, so she looks for excuses. Ted encourages her to accept defeat and move on.

    NICOLE:       I lost the election by a hair — just 10 votes! But I’m not giving up.

    TED:       Give me a break, Nicole. You lost. Live with it!

    NICOLE:       But I was a sure thing! If I hadn’t stayed up so late baking cookies, I wouldn’t have messed up my speech.

    TED:       Get real, Nicole.

    NICOLE:       It’s your fault, Ted. I lost because your friends didn’t vote for me!

    TED:       Don’t try to put the blame on me! I gave it my best shot.

    NICOLE:       They must’ve made a mistake while counting the votes. I’ll demand a re-count on Monday and set the record straight.

    TED:       Don’t make a fool of yourself, Nicole. Face it, Andrea won the election fair and square!

    NICOLE:       Well, I just don’t know where I went wrong. Susan: Here, take a chocolate chip cookie. That’ll cheer you up for sure!
    1. Idiomatic vocabulary
      1. by a hair — just barely; very narrowly; by a small amount

        Larry won the bicycle race by a hair. The second-place winner came in just a second behind him.
        Was the tennis ball in or out? I think it was out by a hair. You know the old saying: “When in doubt, call it out!”

        1. cheer someone up — to make someone happy

          Susan called her friend in the hospital to cheer her up.
          My father has been depressed for weeks now. I don’t know what to do to cheer him up.

          Note: You can tell somebody to “Cheer up!” if they are feeling sad.

          1. Face it — accept a difficult reality

            Let’s face it, if Ted spent more time studying, he wouldn’t be failing so many of his classes!
            Let’s face it, if you don’t have a college degree, it can be difficult to find a high-paying job.

            1. fair and square — honestly

              Did George Bush win the 2000 presidential election fair and square? That depends on whether you ask a Democrat or a Republican!
              Tony won the ping pong tournament fair and square.

              1. for sure — definitely

                This year, Tom Cruise will win an Academy Award for sure.
                Mike is the most popular guy in school. If he runs for student body president, he’ll win for sure.

                1. Get real — be serious or realistic about what’s going on

                  You think you won’t get a speeding ticket when you drive 85 miles per hour? Get real!
                  You think you’re going to win $1 million in the lottery? Get real!

                  1. give it one’s best shot — to try as hard as one can

                    Courtney lost the race, but at least she gave it her best shot.
                    I know you’re nervous about the interview. Just give it your best shot and see what happens.

                    1. Give me a break! — that’s ridiculous; that’s outrageous

                      You want me to pay $3 for one cookie? Give me a break!
                      You expect me to believe that excuse? Give me a break!

                      Note: You might see this written in its informal, conversational form: “Gimme a break!” This is usually how the idiom is pronounced.

                      1. give up — to admit defeat; to surrender

                        Bill gave up golf after realizing he’d never be good at it.
                        I know you’re 100 points ahead of me, but I still might win the Scrabble game. I’m not giving up yet!

                        1. go wrong — to make a mistake; to go astray; to malfunction; to work incorrectly

                          Follow the directions I gave you, and you can’t go wrong.
                          Something went wrong with my neighbor’s car alarm system, and the alarm wouldn’t stop ringing all night.

                          1. live with it — to accept a difficult reality

                            Your boss is an idiot. Live with it.
                            Your hair will never be straight. Just live with it!

                            Note: There is also the expression “to learn to live with it,” which means to get used to something annoying or difficult. — Sandra knew that Roger would always throw his dirty clothes on the floor. She’d just have to learn to live with it.

                            1. make a fool of oneself — to cause oneself to look stupid

                              Dan drank too much and then made a fool of himself.
                              Please stop arguing with me in front of all these people. You’re making a fool of yourself!

                              1. mess up — to make a mistake; to spoil an opportunity

                                Amber messed up and put salt instead of sugar in the cookies.
                                Ted really messed up on his chemistry test. He got a “D.”

                                Synonym: screw up (slang)

                                1. put the blame on someone — to name somebody else as responsible for a misdeed or misfortune

                                  Mrs. Lopez put the blame on her husband for losing their life savings in the stock market.
                                  Don’t put the blame on me that your plants died while you were on vacation. You forgot to tell me to water them!

                                  1. set the record straight — to correct an inaccurate account

                                    Ken knew his father was innocent, and he hoped he could set the record straight one day.
                                    Let me set the record straight. I won the last game.

                                    1. sure thing — an outcome that is assured

                                      Gary bet all his money on a horse named Trixie, thinking she was a sure thing.
                                      Nicole has a good chance of getting accepted to Yale, but it’s still not a sure thing.

                                    2. Practice the idioms
                                      1. Ted is angry at Nicole because she didn’t do a good job on his chemistry homework. Fill in the blanks using the following idioms:

                                        give me a break       ○      cheer you up       ○      sure thing       ○      for sure       ○      put the blame on me       ○      live with it       ○      give it my best shot       ○      messed up
                                        1. TED: Nicole, my teacher gave me back my chemistry homework. I got a terrible grade! I thought you’d help me get an “A+.”

                                          NICOLE: I’m sorry. I really did , but I guess it wasn’t good enough.

                                          TED: Not good enough? That’s right. You really !

                                          NICOLE: You never should’ve asked me to do your homework. Don’t try to for your bad grades.

                                          TED: Yes, my mistake. I thought you were a !

                                          NICOLE: So you’ll get a bad grade in chemistry. Just learn to . Here, take one of Mom’s cookies. It’ll help .

                                          TED: You think a stupid cookie will cheer me up? !

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