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Speak English Around Town Lesson 7 Idioms, Proverbs, Expressions MCQ Test

Speak English Around Town Lesson 7 Idioms, Proverbs, Expressions MCQ Test

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LESSON 7 – Picking up the Tab at a Restaurant


Its time to pay the bill at Carmen’s Bistro. Tanya and John discuss who will pay it. Then they talk about how much to tip.

Tanya: Let me pick up the tab.

John: No, it’s my treat. The guy is supposed to pay on a date!

Tanya: Says who? I don’t want you to pay for me every time we go out! Let’s go Dutch this time.

John: No, I’ll get it. I insist.

Tanya: Okay, but next time it’s on me.

John: Let’s see … The total without tax is $74.75.

Tanya: Do you think we should leave 15 percent* or more?

John: The service was so-so. Our waiter was no great shakes. He seemed put out when we complained about our food.

Tanya: What did he expect? The food left a lot to be desired! This is supposed to be such a great restaurant. I don’t know what happened.

John: I guess it’s gone downhill. I’ll leave 15 percent. I could leave less, but I don’t want to be a cheapskate!

Tanya: Yeah, we may want to come back here someday.

John: Come back here? When hell freezes over!

* It’s standard to tip waiters and waitresses 15-20 percent in the U.S. They are unhappy when they get less than 15 percent.


Language Lens: Supposed to

Use “supposed to be” when talking about something that is generally thought to be true.
◼ Paris is supposed to be the most romantic city in the world.
◼ Your boyfriend took you to dinner at Masa? That’s supposed to be the most expensive restaurant in the city!

Use supposed to + infinitive to:
==> Say what should or should not be done because of rules, common practices, or customs
◼ Before ordering supplies, you ‘re supposed to get your boss’s approval.
◼ You’re not supposed to smoke inside this restaurant.

==> Express sarcasm and/or anger, in place of should, can, or going to
◼ Who was the nineteenth president of the United States? How am I supposed to know?(= I don’t know! How would I know?)
◼ Your music is so loud, how am I supposed to get any work done? (= How can I get any work done with that loud music? I can’t!)
◼ You invited your entire office over for dinner? Who’s supposed to do all the cooking?(= I don’t feel like cooking for all those people! Who’s going to do all the cooking?)

==> Express something that was planned or intended, but did not happen (in this case, use “was/were supposed to”)
◼ Luke was supposed to start college in the fall, but then he decided to travel around the world instead.
◼ We’re lost! We were supposed to take a right onto Danbury Road.
◼ We were supposed to go to a holiday concert last night, but it was snowing too hard.


  • cheapskate

 someone who doesn’t like to spend money; a cheap person

Example: Dana is such a cheapskate. She brings her own tea bags to restaurants and asks for a cup of hot water.

  • (to) go downhill

 to become worse over time; to deteriorate

Example: The service at the Seaside Bar & Grill has really gone downhill. We waited 45 minutes for our food to arrive!

  • (to) go Dutch

 to split the bill

Example: Amanda didn’t want her boyfriend to pay the entire restaurant bill, so she suggested they go Dutch.

  • I insist

 I will pay (say this when you do not want to argue anymore over who will pay the bill – it’s usually the last word)

Example: “Dinner is my treat.” – “No, you paid last time. I’m paying tonight. I insist.”

  • it’s my treat

 I’ll pay the bill

Example: “Let me pay for dinner tonight.” – “No, I invited you to dinner, so it’s my treat.

  • it’s on me

 I’ll pay

Example: Put your wallet away. It’s on me.

  • (to) leave a lot to be desired

 to be bad or lacking in some way

Example: Josh chews with his mouth open and rests his elbows on the table. His table manners leave a lot to be desired.

  • no great shakes

 not so good; fair; unimpressive

Example: The person we just interviewed for the job was no great shakes. I think we can find somebody better.

  • (to) pick up the tab

 to pay the bill

Example: Everybody left the bar before the bill came, so I was stuck picking up the tab for our entire group!

  • put out

 annoyed; inconvenienced

Example: Joel seemed really put out when I asked him if he could drive me to the airport.

  • so-so

 average; not very good

Example: Paul and Nora weren’t thrilled with their tour of Portugal. It was just so-so.

  • When hell freezes over


Example: Will the boss invite us all over to his house for dinner? When hell freezes over.

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