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More Speak English Like an American Lesson 21 Idioms and Expressions MCQ Test

More Speak English Like an American Lesson 21 Idioms and Expressions MCQ Test

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Lesson 21: Mark Tells Ron about the Dumplings


Mark tells Ron that he believes the company should start making dumplings. Mark explains that Madame Chu’s dumplings are the best, but Madame Chu won’t share her recipes. Mark asks Ron for ideas. Ron says that if Mark wants to pursue the dumplings, Mark will have to figure out a solution for himself.

Ron: How was China?

Mark: Even though I was exhausted, Sara dragged me to the Great Wall when we got there. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Ron: How so?

Mark: All that climbing made us very hungry, so we bought some dumplings from a cook named Madame Chu. We realize that those dumplings are our company’s future.

Ron: Meal kits are our company’s future!

Mark: Sure, we can make meal kits too, but that’s just copying what Grand Foods is doing.

Ron: Of course it’s copying them. Get off your high horse! Business is all about keeping up with the competition!

Mark: Well, these dumplings are a way to get a leg up on the competition.

Ron: So how do you make these dumplings?

Mark: There’s the catch. Madame Chu wouldn’t give us her recipes. She wouldn’t even sell them to us for 500 bucks.

Ron: Couldn’t you find another dumpling recipe in China?

Mark: Madame Chu dumplings are so good. They just melt in your mouth. All other dumplings paled in comparison!

Ron: But you just told me that Madame Chu won’t play ball. So what do you suggest we do?

Mark: I don’t know. I was hoping you would have some ideas.

Ron: These dumplings are your brainchildThe ball’s in your court.


  • (to) drag someone somewhere

 to bring someone somewhere they don’t want to go

Example: This party is so boring! I can’t believe I let you drag me here.

  • blessing in disguise

 something bad that ultimately results in something very good; a bad event that unexpectedly turns out to bring a positive result

Example: Getting fired from Microsoft was a blessing in disguise for Chad. He went on to start his own business and became a millionaire.

  • Get off your high horse!

 Stop acting so arrogant or self-righteous

Example: “I can’t believe you bought such a big refrigerator! Do you know how much electricity that’s going to use?” – “Get off your high horse! Look at your big-screen TV.”

  • (to) keep up with

 to stay with; to not fall behind

Example: Ellen is really struggling with her English literature class. She can’t keep up with the reading.

  • (to) get a leg up on

 to get an advantage over; to get ahead of

Example: Falling Leaf Vineyards is experimenting with different ways of packaging its wines to try to get a leg up on the competition.
Note: This idiom comes from horseback riding. A helper offers a cupped hand so the rider can step in and put his or her leg up and over the horse’s back.

  • catch

 a difficulty that is not obvious; a hidden drawback; something that makes an offer not as attractive as it first seems

Example: “The bookstore is giving away free reading lamps? What’s the catch?” – “The catch is that you have to pay for their membership plan to get the lamp.”

  • (to) melt in your mouth

 to taste delicious; to be tender (especially for meat)

Example: Susan’s chocolate chip cookies are so good, they melt in your mouth.
Example: The filet mignon at Rick’s Steakhouse just melts in your mouth.

  • (to) pale in comparison

 to not be as good as; to be inferior to

Example: The flat-screen television we bought two years ago pales in comparison to the models available today.

  • (to) play ball

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