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More Speak English Like an American Lesson 4 Idioms and Expressions MCQ Test

More Speak English Like an American Lesson 4 Idioms and Expressions MCQ Test

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Lesson 4: Mark Calls Cindy Back


Mark gives Ron the information he got from Cindy regarding Grand Foods. Ron wants more information and orders Mark to call Cindy back. Mark calls her back and agrees to take her out on Saturday night.

Mark: I got the scoop on Grand Foods. They’re buying a food company in China and coming out with two products: Moo Shu Pork and Princess Chicken.

Ron: How will they be packaged?

Mark: Cindy didn’t say.

Ron: Stop futzing around! Call Cindy back and pick her brain.

Mark: But it’s really difficult to get information from Cindy.

Ron: Then turn on the charm! Do what you have to do to get the information.

Mark: I really don’t know why you’re pushing me so hard.

Ron: Do I have to spell it out for you? The future of our company is at stake!

Mark: I wouldn’t go that far!

Ron: I would. Time is of the essence here.

(Mark makes a phone call)

Mark: Cindy, it’s Mark calling again. I’ve cleared my calendar for Saturday evening.

Cindy: I knew You’d come around!

Mark: By the way, do you know how Grand Foods is packaging these new products?

Cindy: Sure, I’ll fill you in on Saturday.


  • (to) get the scoop

 to get information, often before anybody else does

Example: “Do you know why Rich got fired?” – “No, but I’ll try to get the scoop.”

  • (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) futz around

 to waste time, often through unnecessary activity

Example: The sales clerk at the store was not very good. He futzed around for half an hour before giving me my purchase.
Note: You may also hear the vulgar variation “to fart around.”

  • (to) pick someone’s brain

 to get information from someone; to get advice from someone knowledgeable

Example: If you’re thinking about buying a new stereo system, you should pick Sam’s brain. He writes for Stereophile magazine.

  • (to) turn on the charm

 to start being nice or charming (often not sincerely)

Example: Tina really turned on the charm when she was visiting her new boyfriend’s parents.

  • Do I have to spell it out for you?

 Do I need to explain this to you further?

Example: Do I have to spell it out for you? If you don’t start doing better in school, you’re not going to get into college.

  • at stake

 at risk, in question

Example: When Jill started a new business, she had $250,000 of her own money at stake.
Example: There is a lot at stake in the upcoming climate talks.

  • I wouldn’t go that far!

 The situation is not that bad (or good); You’re exaggerating

Example: “If Todd takes over as CEO of this company, we’re going to go out of business.” – “I wouldn’t go that far!
Example: “The cakes at the new pastry shop in town are the best in the world!” – “They are good, but I wouldn’t go that far!

  • Time is of the essence

 We must act quickly; Time is very important at this point

Example: Time is of the essence in addressing global warming.

  • (to) clear one’s calendar

 to free oneself to do something

Example: The head of our Japanese office is coming to the office next Tuesday. Please clear your calendar for his visit.

  • (to) come around

 to change one’s mind; to agree in the end

Example: Your parents won’t let you have your own computer? Maybe when they realize you need it to do you homework, they’ll come around.

  • (to) fill someone in

 to give someone the latest information

Example: I missed the meeting this moring, so can someone fill me in on what was discussed?

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