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More Speak English Like an American Lesson 5 Idioms and Expressions MCQ Test

More Speak English Like an American Lesson 5 Idioms and Expressions MCQ Test

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Lesson 5: Mark Cancels His Date With Sara


Mark has to tell Sara, his current girlfriend, tha bad news: he has to cancel their date for Saturday night. He makes up a story about a friend who needs his help. He invites Sara to go out for dinner on Monday night instead.

Mark: I’m afraid I’m going to have to cancel for tomorrow night.

Sara: What? I bought tickets for the Lenny Kravitz concert. I was going to surprise you!

Mark: Those must have cost a small fortune!

Sara: They did.

Mark: Well, I’m sorry to back out on you at the eleventh hour, but something came up. I can’t get out of it.

Sara: What came up?

Mark: An old friend of mine is in bad shape, and he really needs my help on Saturday night.

Sara: Oh, really?

Mark: I’ll make it up to you.

Sara: How?

Mark: How about I treat you to dinner at that new restaurant, Café Felix, on Monday night?

Sara: Well, I’m still PO’ed about Saturday. But, okay, I’ll take you up on your offer.


  • I’m afraid

 I’m sorry to say (usually said before giving somebody bad news)

Example: I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to make it to your house for dinner on Friday night.
Example: “Can you attend the conference?” – “I’m afraid not.”

  • (to) cost a small fortune

 to be very expensive

Example: We tried to do it as cheaply as possible, but remodeling our kitchen ending up costing a small fortune.

  • (to) back out

 to cancel a plan; to refuse to do something already agreed to

Example: You said you’d host the group of 10 visiting dancers from Russia. Don’t try to back out now.

  • at the eleventh hour

 at the last minute; right before an activity is to happen

Example: I’m sorry to cancel at the eleventh hour, but I’m not going to be able to drop you off at the airport this afternoon.

  • something came up

 an unexpected activity or obligation has arisen (often used when you need to cancel another plan and you don’t want to say exactly why)

Example: I know I promised to take you to San Francisco next weekend, but something came up.

  • (to) get out of it

 to free oneself from an obligation or activity

Example: What do you mean you can’t take me to the movies tonight? You promised me a week ago you’d take me. Don’t try to get out of it!

  • in bad shape

 not doing well, either physically or mentally

Example: Kevin was in bad shape after the car accident.
Example: After her dog died, Heidi was in bad shape.

  • (to) make it up to you

 to do something nice for you (said when you have to cancel an arrangement and want to offer to make the same or similar arrangement in the future)

Example: Sorry I have to cancel our trip to London, but let me make it up to you. I’ll take you to New York next weekend.

  • how about

 what if; let me

Example: I don’t like the ballet. How about we go to the opera instead?

  • (to) treat someone to (dinner, lunch, drinks, etc.)

 to take somebody to a meal, etc., at one’s own expense

Example: I’d like to treat you to dinner on Saturday.

  • PO’ed

 angry; annoyed

Example: When Amanda found out that her boyfriend Tyler had invited Megan to the school dance, she was really PO’ed.
Note: This slang term is short for “pissed off” and is considered vulgar by some.

  • (to) take someone up on an offer

 to accept an offer

Example: You’re willing to translate this report into Spanish? Okay, I’ll take you up on your offer.

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