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More Speak English Like an American Lesson 1 Idioms and Expressions MCQ Test

More Speak English Like an American Lesson 1 Idioms and Expressions MCQ Test

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Lesson 1: Gourmet International Gets New Competition


Mark, Ron, and Steve work at Gourmet International, a small food company specializing in ethnic frozen foods. Mark, a marketing manager at the company, tells his boss Ron and his co-worker Steve that Grand Foods, a large food company, is going to start competing with them in the frozen Chinese meals market. Mark got his information from an ex-girlfriend. Ron tells Mark to call her back and see if she can give more details.

Mark: I just found out that Grand Foods is planning to come out with a line of gourmet frozen Chinese meals.

Ron: It was only a matter of time before a big company decided to enter the market.

Mark: That’s true. We’ve been making money hand over fist with out frozen Chinese meals for the past two years!

Steve: They’re going to eat our lunch! Mark: Our dinner, too.

Ron: Let’s not push the panic button yet. Mark, how did you get this information?

Mark: I have my sources.

Ron: Out with it! Who told you?

Mark: An ex-girlfriend. She’s the head honcho at Shop-Well.

Ron: Call her back and see what else she can tell us. We need to get this information by hook or by crook.

Mark: She’s my ex.* It’s very awkward!

Ron: Sometimes you have to leave your comfort zone.

Mark: I’ll call her tomorrow, but this is not in my job description.

Ron: Don’t worry about your job description. If you drag your feet on this, you’re not even going to have a job! Call her back right now.

*ex – a former spouse or romantic partner (short for ex-husband, ex-wife or ex-boyfriend)


  • (to) come out with

 to release (as in a product or service)

Example: Levi’s has come out with a new line of “eco jeans” made from organic cotton.

  • (to be) only a matter of time before

 to be sure to happen

Example: The stoplight at the intersection is broken. It’s only a matter of time before there’s an accident.

Note: You will sometimes see this expression as “it’s just a matter of time before.” Also, you may hear the variation “it’s only a matter of time until.”

  • (to) enter the market

 to start competing; to become a competitor

Example: Apple entered the market for cell phones in 2007 with the iPhone.

  • (to) make money hand over fist

 to make a lot of money, often quickly or easily

Example: Mike is making money hand over fist by buying old apartment buildings, renovating them, and then renting them out.

  • (to) eat one’s lunch

 to take away one’s business

Example: Our competitor’s new cell phone offers more features than ours at a cheaper price. If we don’t act quickly, they’re going to eat our lunch.

  • (to) push the panic button

 to panic suddenly; to everreact

Example: Our soccer team has lost four games in a row, but we’re not ready to push the panic button yet.

  • I have my sources

 I know people who have information (say this when you don’t want to say who gave you some information)

Example: “Who told you that Jack is planning to leave the company?” – “I have my resources.”

  • Out with it

 Tell me; Don’t hold back the information

Example: The teacher said, “Out with it! Who drew this picture of me on the blackboard?”

  • head honcho

 an important person; the boss or somebody in a senior position

Example: When Jeff Immelt became the head honcho of General Electric, he made some strategic changes at the company.

  • by hook or by crook

 in any way possible, fair or unfair

Example: Roy was going to get the client to sign the contract by hook or by crook.

  • (to) leave (or get out of) one’s comfort zone

 to do something that makes one feel uncomfortatble in order to achieve a certain goal

Example: Larry doesn’t like speaking in front of large groups, so he’ll have to leave his comfort zone to make a speech at is daughter’s wedding.

  • This is not in my job description

 an expression used to point out that what you’re being asked to do is beyond your usual responsibilities (and you are not very happy about it)

Example: I can’t believe I’m cleaning everybody’s old food out of the office refrigerator. This is not in my job description!

  • (to) drag one’s feet

 to delay doing something

Example: You’d better stop dragging your feet and start working on your college applications. Otherwise, you’re not going to get them in on time.

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