Watching TV programs in English is a great way to improve your English. I always suggest doing so to my students. TV dramas and sitcoms (situation comedy) are the best because those give you the chance to listen to conversational English. It’s also a good way to learn everyday, casual English. For today’s lesson, I’ve taken a few lines from Gossip Girl, season 1, episode 2. If you like this TV program, check out my other Gossip Girl lesson here.
Erik and Serena are chatting about her date with Dan. At the end of the date, Dan waved goodbye.
- Erik : So he waved? I wouldn’t have taken him for a waver.
- Serena: No, he was just trying to be funny.
I wouldn’t have taken him for a waver means, I’m surprise to hear that he is a waver. We often use this expression when we are surprised to learn about someone’s character or personality.
- I heard that Jack’s wife caught him cheating on her. I wouldn’t have taken him for a cheater.
- The salesman told me this was a real diamond, but I later found out it was fake. I wouldn’t have taken him for a liar.
Next, Dan is talking to his sister Jenny about the same wave. He uses two useful idioms here:
- Dan: At the end of a date? Come on, there’s no such thing. And you only get one shot with a girl like Serena. I got mine and I blew it.
The phrase get one shot or get a shot means to get a chance to do something. Here, Dan is lamenting that you can only have one chance to impress a girl like Serena. You can get a shot or have a shot.
- Tom has a shot to be the next company president.
- I’m hoping to get a shot to meet a celebrity when I go to Hollywood next month.
The idiom, blow [something] means to fail at doing something. Dan had a chance to impress Serena, but he failed, he blew his chance.
- I think I blew my chemistry exam. I should have studied harder.
- Jim: How were the negotiations with ABC company?
- Bob: I think we blew it. They didn’t sign the contract.
In the next scene, Nate and Chuck are talking about the black eye Chuck got from Dan.
- Nate: That kid popped [hit] you pretty good, huh? Never mess with a guy’s sister.
The idiom mess with means to interfere with or bother someone.
- Don’t mess with me today. I’m in a bad mood.
- Kevin was messing with Nobi while she was working, and she got angry with him.
- The walls in this building are messing with the cell phone signal. I can’t make a call.
Well, there you have it. I hope nobody messes with you today! Thanks for studying.
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