3 Ways To Use “Give Me A Break” – English Idiom Lesson & Mp3

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As an idiom in English, the phrase give me a break has three different meanings and uses. For today’s English lesson, let’s have a look at this common and very useful idiom. By the way, the pronunciation is Gimme a break! Check the audio file below.

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First of all, we use give me a break to mean “I don’t believe you!” or “That can’t be true!” When someone says something that sounds unbelievable or untrue, you can say, Give me a break! Here are a few examples:

  • Bob: I heard that someone jumped off the Empire State Building with a parachute.
  • Joe: Give me a break! The security in that building is too tight for such a stunt.
  • Ted: Joe said that he saw Johnny Depp at the diner on 6th Ave.
  • Jen: Give me a break! I doubt any movie star would eat at that crappy diner.

We also use Give me a break! when someone is bothering us. In this case it means, “Stop bothering me, please!” or “Ok, that’s enough!”

  • Jack: Are you finished yet? I want to watch TV?
  • Jane: Jack! Give me a break! I told you I am studying for an important exam. Go watch TV at your friends house.
  • Dan: Isn’t dinner ready yet? I’m so hungry!
  • Serena: Oh, give me a break! It’s not easy to cook popovers.

Lastly, we use Give me a break! when someone is scolding us or reprimanding us for something. Here, the meaning is “Don’t be so harsh!” or “Please be more lenient with me.”

  • Boss: You know you’ve been late twice this week.
  • Worker: Can you give me a break? My daughter caught the flu and I’ve needed more time to care for her in the morning.
  • Policeman: Miss, you were driving too fast on that street.
  • Danielle: I’m sorry officer. Please give me a break! I am going to a job interview and if I am late, I’ll never get the job.

If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

 

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Free English Grammar Lesson & Audio: Using Casual “Like” For Informal English.

I was like, so tired last night, I fell asleep in my clothes!

I was like, so tired last night, I fell asleep in my clothes!

 

 

I worked a lot last week. I think I was in the office like, 65 hours all together. So when I got home last night I was like, so tired. I feel asleep on the sofa with my clothes on. When I woke up it was like, 5:00am. My roommate was up as well. He was like, “Why are you up so early?” I explained my situation.

Like is used in a variety of ways in casual, English conversation. Today, I’d like to show you a few examples of how we use like in this way. Have a look at the paragraph above, and then check out this English lesson.

We use like to mean “about.” This like is usually followed by a brief pause.

  • I think the boss is like, 65 years old.
  • It’s like, fifty minutes from NYC to Boston by plane.
  • What a fat dog! It must weight like, 30 pounds!

We also use like before a little, so, or too (etc) + adjective to emphasize and draw the listener’s attention to the adjective. This like is also usually followed by a brief pause.

  • I was like, so tired last night that I fell asleep with my clothes on.
  • Don’t you think the boss is like, too strict with us when we come in late?
  • Is Tom ok? He seems like, a little quite today.

In a similar way, we use like before a verb to draw the listener’s attention to the verb. This like is also usually followed by a brief pause.

  • Don’t you like, love the pizza here! It’s so good.
  • I’m tired. I think I am gonna like, go home and take a nap before dinner.
  • The new salesman in the company like, talks too much.

Lastly, we use was like to mean said or asked when we tell someone about a conversation we had and we want to quote that conversation. Take a look at the following conversation:

I saw Jack yesterday, and it looked like he was in a hurry.

  • Me: “Where are you going?”
  • Jack: “I’m late for work.”
  • Me: “What happened?”
  • Jack: “I overslept.”
  • Me: “Good luck!”

Using reported speech, we can discuss this conversation like this:

I saw Jack yesterday, and it looked like he was in a hurry. I asked him where he was going. He said he was late for work. So when I asked him what happened, he said that he overslept. I said good luck.

Typically, in spoken English, we use the phrase was like followed by the exact words from the conversation or pretty close to the exact words:

I saw Jack yesterday, and it looked like he was in a hurry. I was like, “Where are you going?” He was like, “I’m late for work.” So I was like, “What happened?” and he was like, “I overslept.” So, I was like “good luck!”

Keep in mind that we use was like in informal, spoken English but never in written English.

If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!



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Practical English Lesson: How To Order A Sandwich In NYC

Roast beef, salami and cheese on a hero with lettuce and tomato. Yummy!

Roast beef, salami and cheese on a hero with lettuce and tomato. Yummy!

Everybody likes a good sandwich. They are portable, tasty, and generally not very expensive. However, a lot of people have trouble ordering a sandwich in a deli here in New York. Well, don’t worry. Today I’m going to show you how to order exactly what you like.

Most sandwiches have three components. First, we have the main ingredient(s) such as meat and/or cheese. Next, is the bread. There are several types of bread including rolls and heroes. Finally, there are the extras, like lettuce, tomato, pickles, and condiments, such as mustard mayonnaise (or just mayo), salt and pepper.

So, now that you know the parts of a sandwich, here is the pattern you’ll need to follow when ordering:

Can I please have [main ingredient(s)] on [type of bread] with [extras & condiments]?

For example,

  • Clerk: Next!
  • Michael: Can I please have roast beef and cheddar cheese on a roll with lettuce, tomato, mayo, salt and pepper?

That’s the basic pattern. What is your favorite sandwich? Using the pattern above, write it in the comment box below.