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Speak English Around Town Lesson 13 Idioms, Proverbs, Expressions MCQ Test

Speak English Around Town Lesson 13 Idioms, Proverbs, Expressions MCQ Test

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LESSON 13 – At a Dinner Party


Delayed by traffic, Lori and Mike arrive late to a dinner party. Their hosts, Lisa and Todd, tell them not to worry and then take their drink order.

Lori: I’m sorry we’re late. We got held up in traffic on Route 95.

Mike: There was a pile-up on the highway involving three cars. A deer ran across the highway.

Lori: We were sitting in traffic for an hour. We would’ve been better off walking here!

Lisa: What a nightmare! Come on in and chill out now. Join the party!

Lori: (handing Lisa a bottle of wine): This is for you and Todd.

Lisa: Thank you.

Lori: (handing Lisa a toy car): And this is a little something for your son.

Lisa: Oh, how kind of you! You shouldn’t have.

Lori: It’s our pleasure.

Todd: Can I get you a drink?

Mike: A drink would hit the spot. What do you have?

Todd: You name it, we’ve got it.

Lori: I’ll take a Bloody Mary.*

Mike: Lori, if you took Tylenol for your toothache, you’d be better off not drinking any alcohol!

Lori: Make that a virgin** Bloody Mary! Hold the vodka.

Todd: And what can I get you, Mike?

Mike: I’ll take a vodka on the rocks.

Todd: Coming right up!

* Bloody Mary – a drink containing vodka, tomato juice, and usually other spices or flavorings

** A virgin drink is a mixed drink that does not include the alcohol.


Language Lens: “Better off”

Use “better off” to:
=> Give advice to someone
=> Say what should be done

Form it like this:
would (or ‘d) + be + better off+ verb in -ing form

◼ Your son would be better off studying in Paris instead of Lyon.
◼ Frank would be better off taking the train instead of the bus to Manhattan.
◼ You’d be better off visiting Italy in November, after all the tourists have gone.
◼ You’d be better off working another year before applying to business school.

=> Use “would have been better off” to say what one should have done (in the past). This is sometimes used to express regret.

Form it like this:
would have (or would’ve) + been + better off+ verb in -ing form

 We went to Spain in September, and it rained the whole time. We would have been better off going to Chile instead.
◼ Sharon would’ve been better off getting her MBA instead of a law degree.
◼ The fish at the Creekside Restaurant was lousy. I would’ve been better off ordering a hamburger.
◼ My college was very small. I would’ve been better off going to a larger school.


  • (to) chill out

 to relax (especially after hard work or a bad experience)

Example: After taking three tests, I’m ready to just chill out.

Note: You can also just say “chill” without the “out.”

  • coming right up

 I’ll bring that immediately

Example: One cup of coffee coming right up!

  • (to) get held up

 to be delayed

Example: Sorry I’m late. I got held up in a meeting.

  • (to) hit the spot

 to be just what one wants

Example: I was really hot. This iced tea really hits the spot!

  • hold the

 do not put in the ______; to not include something that would normally be part of a drink or dish

Example: I’ll take a cheeseburger, hold the onions.

  • Join the party!

 mix with the other guests

Example: “Join the party!” said Gina as we walked in the door.

  • (a) little something

 a small gift

Example: I got you a little something for your birthday.

  • on the rocks

 with ice (when speaking of alcoholic drinks)

Example: Do you want your drink on the rocks?

  • pile-up

 a traffic accident, usually involving many vehicles

Example: Don’t take Route 95. I just heard on the radio that there was a 25-car pile-up by Exit 14.

  • (to) sit in traffic

 to be caught in traffic and unable to drive much, if at all

Example: Don’t leave Manhattan for Long Island at 4 p.m. on Friday. You’ll be sitting in traffic for hours!

  • What a nightmare!

 What a bad experience!

Example: Our flight was canceled, and we ended up spending the night at the airport. What a nightmare!

  • You name it, we’ve got it

 we have a big selection

Example: “What drinks do you have?” – “You name it, we’ve got it!

  • You shouldn’t have

 this is a polite way to respond when somebody gives you something

Example: “I brought you some chocolates for your birthday.” – “You shouldn’t have.

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