Introduction    General Proverbs    Idioms at School    Idioms at Work    Idioms at Play    American Culture

Gossip at a Pajama Party    Chat at a Gym   Chat before a Trip    Chat among Old Friends    Dialogue on Business


Lesson Ten -- Dialogue on Business 

Definition    Conversation    Test 

          Definition & Sample    

 as luck would have it 真走運或不走運 As luck would have it, I just happened to have the book Mary was looking for while writing her paper.
 beef up 加強 I have to beef up my qualifications, so I’m going back to school to learn a trade.
beat, be 太累了  He is beat.  He has been working for 14 days in a row.
 before you know it 很快  You had better start on your term paper as it will be due before you know it.
 be nuts 傻媔怌 A person has to be nuts to enjoy driving in such traffic.
 believe it or not 信不信由你 Believe it or not, I’m going to Paris for the summer!
 bring me up-to-date 告訴我最新消息 Can you bring me up-to-date on Dr. Murphy's class?
 bolt from the blue 晴天霹靂  Running into James was like a bolt from the blue.  I didn’t know he was in Taiwan!
 burn the midnight oil 熬夜讀書  If I’m going to finish preparing all the food for tomorrow’s party, I’m going to have to burn the midnight oil.
 carry the torch 單相思  Sally will now carry the torch for her boss, who was in a car accident and has to take a long leave.
 That's great. 好極了 You are getting married?  That’s great!
 sitting pretty 過著舒服的生活 His uncle owns the company he works for, so I bet he'll be sitting pretty.
 come out right 事情進展順利  Sometimes the worst problems come out right if we work hard enough.
 chip in 集資;捐款  If we all chip in and help, this apartment can be cleaned in less than two hours.
 days are numbered 生存時日屈指可數 I pity the poor old typewriter.  Since the computer came on the scene, its days are numbered.
 cut corners 超近路;以簡捷方式做事 When I was a poor student, I learned how to cut corners in my budget and still look nice when I dressed up.
 deliver the goods 完成工作 Steve talks a good job, but can he really deliver the goods?
 doesn't make sense 不合邏輯 The directions on this package don't make sense. I think a part got left out!
 eat one's heart out 傷心異常,因此消瘦 When my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend sees us together, she eats her heart out, but I feel sorry for her.  She broke up with him!
 every once in a while 偶爾 Every once in a while, my son says something very funny and makes us all laugh.




Jamal, Mike, Shaniqua and Loretta work for an advertising agency, and they have a big presentation due at work in just two days.  There is a competition between them and another team and whoever has the best presentation will get to do the new big advertising campaign.  They are working out the details, but they are getting tired.

Jamal:  We’re really going to have to burn the midnight oil if we want to win the contract.  The other team has had some great ideas I’ve heard!

Mike: Well, you’ve heard it from them, so we can’t be sure they’ll really deliver the goods.

Jamal: We have to have faith!  This presentation is going to be so good, that other team is going to eat their hearts out!

Lorraine: That’s right!  Their days are numberedBefore you know it, we’ll be the winners of this little competition, and we’ll be sitting pretty.

Shaniqua: I hope so!  I was talking to my boss today.  He’s retiring next month, and he’s hoping I can carry the torch and continue his traditions here after he’s gone. 

Mike: Well, if we all chip in, we can beef up this presentation and win the competition.

Lorraine:  I think it will all come out right in the end. 

Jamal: Mike, bring me up-to-date on the ideas you and Shaniqua brainstormed this afternoon. 

Mike: As luck would have it, Shaniqua had a brilliant idea about how to use music in the TV commercials.

Jamal: That’s great, Shaniqua!

Shaniqua: To tell you the truth, it came to me like a bolt from the blue


Lorraine: Every once in a while, those bolts can be great.  What I hate is when it seems brilliant at four in the morning, but then in the light of day, you realize how silly it is.

Mike: Now I know we are beat, but we just have to keep going—no cutting corners now.  That would be a mistake.

Shaniqua: That would be nuts!

Jamal: Of course, that doesn’t make sense.  We just have to pull together and we’ll win!