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Speak Business English Like an American Lesson 22 Idioms and Expressions Test

Speak Business English Like an American Lesson 22 Idioms and Expressions Test

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LESSON 22 – Calling in Sick


Maria calls her boss, Scott, to tell him she’s not feeling well and that she s going to have to take a sick day. Fortunately, Scott is an understanding boss.

Maria: Hi, Scott, it’s Maria.

Scott: Hey Maria. What’s up?

Maria: I’m not feeling well today.

Scott: Oh yeah? What’s wrong?

Maria: My stomach is killing me. Maybe it’s the sushi I ate last night. I’m as sick as a dog.

Scott: Sara called in sick today also. And Kurt just told me he was feeling under the weather today. I’m not feeling so hot myself. Maybe there’s something going around.

Maria: Well, I hope you don’t catch it too.

Scott: I can’t afford to get sick. I’m up to my ears in work.

Maria: I should be back in the office tomorrow.

Scott: Don’t worry about that. You should stay home until you feel better.

Maria: I’ll try to work from home this afternoon if I feel better.

Scott: Take it easy today. We want you back in tip-top shape.


  • What’s up?

 1) What’s happening? What’s new?. 2) A polite way of asking “What do you want?” when somebody calls or comes into your office.

EXAMPLE1: What’s up? I haven’t seen you in a long time.

EXAMPLE2: “What’s up?”    – “I came by to see if you’re free for lunch today.”

  • my stomach (my head, my arm, etc…) is killing me

 my stomach (my head, my arm, etc…) hurts very badly

EXAMPLE: Patricia left the office early today. Her stomach was killing her.

  • as sick as a dog

 very sick

EXAMPLE: Brent got the flu and was as sick as a dog for a week.

  • (to) call in sick

 to phone into the office and say you’re sick

EXAMPLE: Try not to call in sick too often. Employers don’t like it.

  • under the weather

 not feeling well

EXAMPLE: “You look pale. Is everything okay?”  – “Not really. I’m feeling under the weather.

  • (to) not feel so hot

 to feel sick; to not feel well

EXAMPLE: Jacob canceled our meeting for this afternoon. He said he wasn’t feeling so hot.

  • there’s something going around

 there’s an illness traveling around the office; many people are getting sick from some illness

EXAMPLE: Be sure to wash your hands often. There’s something going around the office, and you don’t want to catch it.

  • can’t afford to

 don’t have time for; don’t want to

EXAMPLE: Sorry, I can’t afford to sit here and argue with you. I’ve got a lot of work to do.

  • up to one’s ears in work

 to have a lot of work; to have too much work

EXAMPLE: Bill is up to his ears in work. He won’t be able to meet with you until next week.

  • (to) take it easy

 to relax; to rest; to not do too much

EXAMPLE: You worry too much about everything. You need to just take it easy.

  • in tip-top shape

 in great condition; completely healthy

EXAMPLE: Be sure you’re in tip-top shape next week for our trip to Beijing.

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