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More Speak English Like an American Lesson 16 Idioms and Expressions MCQ Test

More Speak English Like an American Lesson 16 Idioms and Expressions MCQ Test

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Lesson 16: Tow Tough Cookies


Mark and Sara decide to go looking for dumplings as good as Madame Chu’s. Sara says she doesn’t want to gain weight from eating too many dumplings. Mark tells her she looks great and asks if she wants to get back together. Sara says she’s not ready yet.

Mark: That Madame Chu is one tough cookie!

Sara: You can’t blame her for not wanting to sell her recipes. Those recipes are her bread and butter.

Mark: I know, but money talks. I should have offered a more.

Sara: Maybe all dumplings in China are this delicious. Maybe Madame Chu’s are just run-of-the-mill Chinese dumplings.

Mark: Let’s find out. We’ve got a week to stuff our faces with dumplings!

Sara: Okay, but I’m watching my waistline. Dumplings are fattening*, so I’ll just have a bite of each.

Mark: What are you worried about? You look great.

Sara: I’ve put on a few pounds since we broke up. Now that I’m back on the dating scene, I need to get in shape.

Mark: I don’t mind love handles.

Sara: It doesn’t matter what you like. I’m talking about my future!

Mark: I was hoping that you could forgive all that monkey business with Cindy and we could move on.

Sara: Okay. That’s all water under the bridge.

Mark: So we’re back together?

Sara: No, let’s not rush into anything. I need to think about it.

Mark: And I thought Madame Chu was a tough cookie!

* fattening – high in calories; likely to make one gain weight


  • tough cookie

 a strong person; someone with a strong will

Example: Lou returned to work three days after getting out of the hospital for heart surgery. He’s a tough cookie!
Note: You may be the variation “one tough cooke.”

  • bread and butter

1) someone’s means of support; the way someone makes money to live on
Example: Jane’s novels earn her just a few hundred dollars a year. Teaching fiction writing at the local university is her bread and butter.

2) the main way a company makes money; a company’s main business
Example: Google has many different business activities, but selling ads is still their bread and butter.

  • money talks

 money can convince people to do things

Example: “Do you think José will be willing to leave his job at Hewlett-Packard to work for us?” – “Yes, money talks.”

  • run-of-the-mill

 ordinary; nothing special

Example: With offerings like lobster pizza and fried chicken pizza, Paolo’s Restaurant is not your run-of-the mill pizzeria.

  • (to) stuff one’s face

 to eat a lot; to overeat

Example: We stuffed our faces at the all-you-can-eat brunch this morning. We probably won’t be eating again today.

  • (to) watch one’s waistline

 to not overeat; to be careful about what one eats so as not to get fat

Example: I’d love to have another slice of pie, but I’d better not. I’m watching my waistline.

  • (to) put on a few pounds

 to gain weight

Example: Kristen put on a few pounds over the holidays, so now she’s on a diet.

  • (to) break up

 to end a romantic relationship

Example: Wendy and Mike fight all the time, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they break up.

  • on the dating scene

 looking for a boy friend or girlfriend; dating

Example: Alex just got divorced. He’s not quite ready to be on the dating scene.

  • (to) get in shape

 to become physically fit

Example: After gaining 10 pounds over the holidays, Dana decided to join a fitness club and get in shape.

  • love handles

 fat on each side of a person’s waist

Example: Paul has been working out at the gym every evening since his girlfriend told him he had love handles.

  • monkey business

1) silly or naughty actions
Example: The principal walked into the classroom to find the kids dancing on their desks. “Stop your monkey business!” she said. “Your teacher will be here in a few minutes.”

2) unethical or illegal behavior
Example: The governor fired his deputy after he discovered her monkey business. She had accepted $200,000 from a construction company in exchange for awarding them government contracts.

  • (to) move on

1) to stop thinking or talking about a certain subject
Example: We’ve been talking about the sales strategy for 45 minutes. We need to move on to another topic now.

2) to recover emotionally from something
Example: Jerry was depressed for months after his girlfriend left him, but now he’s finally ready to move on.

  • water under the bridge

 something unpleasant that happened in the past and is no longer important; something that has been forgiven

Example: Seeing Joe made me nervous because I hadn’t seen him since I won the promotion he wanted. Fortunately, he told me that was water under the bridge.

  • (to) rush into

 to proceed too quickly; to be hasty

Example: You just met Rob two months ago, and now you’re talking about marrige? Don’t you think you’re rushing into things?

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