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13 Everyday Conversational Expressions Trouble

 

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* 13 Trouble

 

13.1 When you admit that you are in trouble

 

Im in trouble. Listen <I lost my job. Im in trouble.>

Im in big trouble. Listen <Ive been looking for a job for six months. I failed to find it. Im in big trouble.>

Im in deep trouble. Listen <I lost my house. Im in deep trouble.>

Im in a fix. Listen Im in trouble. <I crashed my fathers car. Im in a fix.>

Im in a jam. Listen (also in a pickle or in a tight spot) <I broke the law and got caught. Im in a jam.>

Im in way over my head. Listen A I am in trouble very deep. <Im under criminal investigation. Im in way over my head.>

Im under water. Listen <The value of my home is below my mortgage. In other words, I owe more money on my house than my house costs. Im under water.>

Im having quite a time. Listen A I am having a difficult time. <How is your financial situation? Im having quite a time. Ive been out of work for a few months.>

My job is on the line.   Listen   A “My job is at risk.”   <“Our project isn’t doing well. My job is on the line.”>

My reputation is on the line. Listen <Im involved in a scandal. My reputation is on the line.>

My reputation is at stake.   Listen   A “My reputation is at risk.”   <“I’m under scrutiny. My reputation is at stake.”>

Im damned if I do and damned if I dont. Listen A Im in trouble if I do it and in trouble if I dont do it. <No matter what I do, Im in trouble. Im damned if I do and damned if I dont.>

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13.2 When a person is in trouble

 

What kind of mess did you get yourself into? Listen <Im aware that youre in trouble. What kind of mess did you get yourself into?>

How could you get yourself into such a mess? Listen <Now you have to pay a big fine. How could you get yourself into such a mess?>

How could you be so stupid? Listen <Why didnt you pay taxes for three years? How could you be so stupid?>

How could you do something so stupid? Listen <Why did you ignore the courts decision? Now they can arrest you. How could you do something so stupid?>

How are you going to get out of this mess?   Listen   <“Do you understand that you can go to jail for that? How are you going to get out of this mess?”>

How are you going to dig yourself out of this one?   Listen   <“The police are saying your case was not just a traffic accident. It was a hit-and-run. How are you going to dig yourself out of this one?”>

How are you going to dig yourself out of this grave? Listen <Now youre on the run and all the police of the state are after you. How are you going to dig yourself out of this grave?>

You have messed up your life. Listen <Why did you argue with the judge? How could you be so stupid? Youve messed up your life.>

You have really screwed up. Listen <You got arrested for drunk driving. You have really screwed up.>

You're up the creek. Listen A You have to row upstream. You are in a difficult situation. (sometimes You're up the creek without a paddle.) <You did it to yourself. You're up the creek.>

You asked for it. Listen A You caused this trouble yourself. <Your own actions brought you to this dire situation. You asked for it.>

The chickens have come home to roost. Listen A The problems created by you have returned to you. <You assumed too much debt upon yourself, and now you cant pay it back. The chickens have come home to roost.>

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13.3 When you admit that you are out of money

 

Ive lost everything. Listen <The stock market crashed. Ive lost everything.>

Im bankrupt. Listen <Ive lost all my money. Im bankrupt.>

Im broke. Listen <Ive had too many bad deals. Im broke.>

Im dead broke. Listen <I lost my money in Las Vegas. Im dead broke.>

Im flat broke. Listen <I lost my money to gambling. Im flat broke.>

I have nothing. Listen <My stocks and bonds are gone. I have nothing.>

Ive got nothing but the shirt on my back. Listen <My money is gone. Ive got nothing but the shirt on my back.>

I dont have a penny to my name. Listen <I drank too much. I dont have a penny to my name.>

All I have is my good name. Listen <I dont have much money. All I have is my good name.>

Im as poor as a church mouse. Listen <If you are looking for money, youve got to look in a different direction. I am poor as a church mouse.>

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13.4 When you want to stop a person from starting trouble

 

Dont make trouble. Listen <We all work for the same cause. Dont blab about what we do here. Dont make trouble.>

Dont go looking for trouble. Listen <I want to warn you, stay away from those you dont know well. Dont go looking for trouble.>

Are you asking for trouble? Listen <What are you trying to find out? Why are you so nosy? Are you asking for trouble?>

Dont rock the boat. Listen A Dont disturb a stable situation. <When you give an interview, be very careful. Dont tell them too much. Dont rock the boat.>

Stop stirring things up. Listen <Stop communicating with our political opponents. Stop stirring things up.>

Dont you have anything better to do? Listen <Why do you journalists spy on people? Dont you have anything better to do?>

You like to make havoc, dont you? Listen <I know, there was a conflict at every place where you have worked. You like to make havoc, dont you?>

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13.5 When a person is in debt

 

He is up to his eyeballs in debt. Listen <He has a mortgage and a huge loan from a bank. He is up to his eyeballs in debt.>

She is up to her ears in debt. Listen <She has several credit cards and she likes shopping. She is up to her ears in debt.>

He is borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. Listen <He has several high-interest private loans. He is borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.>

He is in the red. Listen A He is not in the black. He is in the negative. <His expenditure significantly exceeds his income, and he borrows money to cover the deficit. He is in the red.>

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13.6 When you see a person falling from a boat into the water

 

Man overboard! Listen <When the sailor saw a girl in the water, he threw her a life raft and shouted, Man overboard!>

Get a lifeguard! Listen <The lady saw a drowning man near to her and shouted, Get a lifeguard!>

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13.7 When you see a building on fire

 

Fire! Listen <Frightened people ran from the burning theater shouting Fire!>

Call the fire department! Listen <The cop saw a fire and told his partner, Call the fire department.>

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13.8 When you have survived a trouble

 

Ive been to hell and back. Listen A I have survived a good deal of trouble. <Ive seen a lot of trouble in my life. Ive been to hell and back.>

I made it against all odds. Listen A I survived even though my chances were slim. <The war was awful. I lost many friends. I made it against all odds.>

Im out of the woods. Listen A My troubles are over. <My wound is much better now. Im out of the woods.>

Im alive and kicking. Listen A I am alive and full of energy. <My ordeal is over. Im alive and kicking.>

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