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Speak English Like an American Lesson 21 Idioms and Expressions MCQ Test

Speak English Like an American Lesson 21 Idioms and Expressions MCQ Test

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LESSON 21 – Susan Gets a Surprise Call


Donna from the National Cookie Company calls Susan. She wants to buy out Susan’s Scrumptious Cookies. Susan is very happy.

Susan: Hello?

Donna: Good afternoon. Are you Susan, of Susan’s Scrumptious Cookies?

Susan: Yes, I am.

Donna: My name is Donna Jenkins, and I’m calling from the National Cookie Company. We’re nuts about your cookies, and we’d like to sell them all over the country.

Susan: Unfortunately, we’re running on a shoestring out of our kitchen. We can’t make enough cookies for you.

Donna: My company wants to buy the recipe and the brand name from you.

Susan: Oh yeah? Why would you want to do that?

Donna: We have a successful track record of buying small companies and turning them into big ones.

Susan: In that case, I’m sure we can come to an agreement.

Donna: Great. You just made my day!

Susan: You’ll need to work out the nuts and bolts of the agreement with my husband. He’s the business manager.

Donna: May I speak with him now?

Susan: He’s at a meeting. I’ll have him get in touch with you when he returns.

Donna: Good. I look forward to speaking with him.


  • all over

 throughout; everywhere

EXAMPLE 1: Nicole’s classmates are from all over the world, including Argentina, Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, Poland, and Ukraine.

EXAMPLE 2: Oh no! I got ketchup all over my white sweater.

  • (to) come to an agreement

 to reach an agreement

EXAMPLE 1: If we can come to an agreement now, I can start work on Monday.

EXAMPLE 2: If you’re not willing to negotiate, it’s going to be very difficult for us to come to an agreement.

  • in that case

 under that circumstance

EXAMPLE 1: It’s snowing? In that case, you’d better take the bus to school today instead of driving.

EXAMPLE 2: You forgot your wallet at home today? In that case, you can borrow five bucks from me for lunch.

  • (to be or to get) in touch with (someone)

 to be or to get in contact with (someone)

EXAMPLE 1: I was surprised when Luis called me, since we hadn’t been in touch with each other since high school.

EXAMPLE 2: Leave me your contact information in case I need to get in touch with you while you’re on vacation.

  • (to) look forward to

 to anticipate eagerly

EXAMPLE 1: I’m looking forward to my trip to Mexico next month.

EXAMPLE 2: Ron has worked as a high school teacher for over 40 years. He’s really looking forward to retiring next year.

  • (to) make one’s day

 to give one great satisfaction

EXAMPLE 1: Our neighbors with the crazy dogs are moving away? That really makes my day!

EXAMPLE 2: Thanks for bringing over those cookies last week. That made my day!

  • (to be) nuts about

 to like very much

EXAMPLE 1 : Ted has every single Metallica album — he’s nuts about that band.

EXAMPLE 2: We’re just nuts about our new neighbors. We have them over for dinner once a month.

SYNONYM: crazy about

  • nuts and bolts

 details; basic components of something

EXAMPLE 1: I don’t need to know the nuts and bolts of how the computer works — just show me how to turn it on.

EXAMPLE 2: Simon really understands the nuts and bolts of how toilets work. He would be a very good plumber.

  • on a shoestring

 on a very low budget

EXAMPLE 1: Bob and Susan were living on a shoestring after Bob lost his job.

EXAMPLE 2: In the beginning, the Hewlett-Packard company ran on a shoestring out of a garage.

  • track record

 a record of achievements or performances

EXAMPLE 1: The women’s basketball team at the University of Connecticut has an excellent track record.

EXAMPLE 2: We’ve spoken to your past employers, so we know you’ve got an excellent track record.

  • (to) work out

 to find a solution; to resolve

EXAMPLE 1: Nicole spent half the night helping Ted work out a very difficult chemistry problem.

EXAMPLE 2: Sally couldn’t work out her problems with her neighbors, so she finally decided to move away.

NOTE: “Work out” has several other meanings, including:

    1. succeed; prove effective. This plan won’t work out — you’ll need to go back to the drawing board and work out a new plan.
    2. endure; last. Tony and Angela argue all the time. I don’t think their marriage will work out.
    3. exercise. After working out at the gym for two hours, Scott could barely walk.

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