17������������ ��������������� ��������������� Everyday Conversational Expressions���������� ��������������� Particular Conversational Matters p.8


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* 17 Particular Conversational Matters (p.8 of 9)


17.47�� When you stress that success depends on each member of a team


You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours.�� Listen�� A �You help me and I�ll help you.��� <�You share valuable information with me, and I�ll return favors to you. You scratch my back, and I�ll scratch yours.�>

One hand washes the other.�� Listen�� A �You help me and I help you.��� <�Look how quickly we work. I gather fruit, and you juice them. One hand washes the other.�>

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.�� Listen�� A �The weakest member of a group determines its success.��� <�I don�t think Bob can contribute to our mission. The other members of our team don�t want his involvement either. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.�>

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17.48�� When you stress that people and things are different


It takes all kinds to make a world.�� Listen�� A �It is normal that different kinds of people surround us.��� <�In Los Angeles, one can see people of various races and ethnic backgrounds.� � �Los Angeles is a very multicultural place, like our planet in general. It takes all kinds to make a world.�>

Variety is the spice of life.�� Listen�� A �Different experiences make life interesting.��� <�I will always remember our dinner at the French restaurant. I adore Italian cuisine, too. This time I suggest that we go to a Chinese place. Variety is the spice of life.�>

One man's meat is another man's poison.�� Listen�� A �What one person likes may be disliked by another person.��� <�I know that you can�t stand this sitcom. I like to watch it sometimes, though.� � �I have no problem with that. One man�s meat is another man�s poison.�>

One man's trash is another man's treasure.�� Listen�� A �What one person considers worthless may be considered valuable by another person.��� <�Why do you keep this old vase on your dining table? It is chipped and cracked.� � �This old vase reminds me of my youth. One man�s trash is another man�s treasure.�>

Tastes differ.   Listen   A “Different people have different tastes.”   <“I don’t understand why you recreated a rustic environment in your house. We live in the era of technical progress.” – “I was raised in the country. Modern architecture and furniture don’t appeal to me. Tastes differ.”>

There is no accounting for taste.�� Listen�� A �There is no responsibility or explanation for likes and dislikes.��� <�Many people are crazy about this new actor. I don�t find him exceptionally good.� � �Me neither. Yet, people like him. There�s no accounting for taste.>

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17.49�� When you stress that what a person receives depends on what they give


As a man sows, so shall he reap.�� Listen�� A �A person receives according to what he does.��� <�You can�t treat your old friends as if they are nothing. You don�t have anybody else to rely upon. As a man sows, so shall he reap.�>

What goes around, comes around.�� Listen�� A �What your actions create will return to you.��� <�He has been neglecting the needs of his brothers for years. Now he is in trouble, and nobody is coming to rescue. What goes around, comes around.�>

Tit for tat.�� Listen�� A �This for that. Repayment of injury with injury.��� <�He hit me in the chest. What a smashing blow! So I kicked him in the stomach. Tit for tat.�>

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17.50�� When you highlight a connection between cause and effect


One thing leads to another.�� Listen�� <�I got sick, and lost my job. One thing leads to another.�>

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.�� Listen�� A �The beginning of a process determines its ending.��� <�His mother told him to study when he was a young boy. Now, he is an accomplished scientist. As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.�>

April showers bring May flowers.�� Listen�� A �An unpleasant event may produce pleasant consequences.��� <�The nastier the rains our garden receives, the more fragrant blooms it brings forth. April showers bring May flowers.�>

There�s no smoke without fire.�� Listen�� A �Any rumor is caused by some fact.��� <�I heard that a prominent politician is involved in this scandal. I think there�s some truth to it. There�s no smoke without fire.�>

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17.51�� When you stress the naturalness of what is going on


Life is life.�� Listen�� A �Life manifests itself in natural ways.��� <�I regret your loss. But please don�t let it get you down. Life is life.�>

That's that.�� Listen�� A �This is the way it is, and there is nothing that could be added to this.��� <�The polar caps are melting because the average annual temperature is rising. That�s that, although we can argue about the cause of this phenomenon.�>

East is East, West is West.�� Listen�� A �It�s only natural that East and West have their particular characteristics.��� <�You don�t need to expect people in India to follow European traditions. East is East, West is West.�>

Boys will be boys.   Listen   A “It’s only natural that boys and men exhibit their characteristic behavior.”   <“What did you expect they would do? Of course they bought a 6-pack of beer and drank it. Boys will be boys.”>

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17.52�� When you want to stop or prevent some action


I’ll put a stop to that.   Listen   AI’ll end this undesirable activity.”   <“Two kids are fighting in the backyard. Do something about it! – “I’ll put a stop to that.”>

That's enough!�� Listen�� AThat�s the limit! Don�t do it anymore.��� <�I can bring you more boxes.� � �Please don�t. That�s enough! I don�t have space anymore.�>

That's enough for now.�� Listen�� A �Stop temporarily. Don�t do it for a while.��� <�Would you like more wine?� � �No, thank you. That�s enough for now.�>

Enough is enough!�� Listen�� AThe limit is the limit! It�s over the top!��� <�Hey, guys! You�ve been extremely noisy all the morning. Enough is enough!�>

Don�t even think about it.�� Listen�� A �Do not even think about doing it.��� <The criminal reached for his gun, but the cop said firmly, �Don�t even think about it.�>

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17.53�� When there is no choice


You don�t have a choice.�� Listen�� <�There�s only one way out of this situation. You don�t have a choice.�>

You can�t pick and choose.�� Listen�� AYou can�t be too selective.��� <�Sometimes you have to take what you are given. You can�t pick and chose.�>

Take it or leave it.�� Listen�� AYou can take either this one or none.��� <�We have made our final offer. We are not negotiating any more. Take it or leave it.�>

Like it or lump it.�� Listen�� AYou�ve got to accept this situation even though you don�t like it because there is no other choice.��� <�I don�t like to live in this town.� � �Our home is here. Our jobs are here. Like it or lump it.�>

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17.54�� When you forgot a word or name


You know what I'm talking about.�� Listen�� <�They are building a new road around that lake north of the town. You know what I�m talking about.�>

You know what I mean.�� Listen�� <�To make butter, you need to beat and shake milk vigorously. You know what I mean. You need to churn milk.�>

What's his name.�� Listen�� <�Last Sunday I bumped into the former schoolteacher of our children. What�s his name. Mr. Swenson. He moved out of state a few years ago.�>

What's his face.�� Listen�� <�This is a brochure from the real estate agent who helped us purchase this house many years ago. What�s his face. Currently he specializes in commercial real estate.�>

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17.55�� When you stress the importance of rules and regulations


Just follow the rules.�� Listen�� <�You want to be a good driver, don�t you? Then, just follow the rules.�>

Rules are meant to be followed, not broken.�� Listen�� <�You already got two speeding tickets this year. That�s not good. Rules are meant to be followed, not broken.�>

Do what you're told, or suffer the consequences.�� Listen�� <�You�re in the army. That means you ought to follow orders and rules. Do what you�re told, or suffer the consequences.�>

Do as you're told, or else.�� Listen�� ADo what you are told, or suffer the consequences.��� <�Our new teacher is very strict. Listen to him, and do as you�re told, or else.�>

That�ll teach you a lesson.�� Listen�� AYou did not follow the rules, so you got justly punished.��� <�A cop gave me a parking ticket.� � �That�ll teach you a lesson. Be observant when you drive.�>

Be religious about doing it.�� Listen�� ABe faithfully meticulous when you are doing it.��� <�If you want to get high credit, you�ve got to pay your bills on time. Be religious about doing it.�>

Go by the book.�� Listen�� AStrictly follow formal rules.��� <�This is a government contract. All expenses are under scrutiny. Go by the book.�>

You must go through proper channels.�� Listen�� AYou must comply with the relevant bureaucratic procedures.��� (Sometimes used with the)�� <�I know, it will take forever. But there is no other way. You must go through proper channels.�>

That's how we do it here.�� Listen�� <�Yes, the thief tried to steal from you. But you can�t take the law into your own hands. You have to call the police. That�s how we do it here.�>

You can�t fight City Hall.�� Listen�� AYou have to comply with a bureaucracy.��� (Here you may be impersonal and mean one)�� <�You wanted to expedite the introduction of some changes into the State tax code. What�s the result of your efforts?� � �I lost the battle completely. Nobody wanted to listen to me. You can�t fight City Hall.�>

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17.56�� When you stress the importance of order


There is a place and a time for everything.�� Listen�� AYou have to do everything appropriately in a certain place at a certain time.��� <�You don�t need to be dressed formally at the beach. At the same time, you should put on a suit and tie for a formal dinner. There is a place and a time for everything.�>

All in due time.�� Listen�� AEverything will happen at a proper time.��� <�The inauguration is scheduled for the next month, but we haven�t received our invitations yet.� � �All in due time. You just wait.�>

Everything has its season.�� Listen�� AEverything is appropriate at a certain period of time.��� <�It�s a pity that the Senator has to step down. According to the law of the State, a person can serve as Senator for two terms only.� � �Everything has its season. The Senator will continue to be active in politics.�>

First things first.�� Listen�� AMost important things should be done first.��� <�I know you want to ask me a number of questions.� � �Yes, Mr. Secretary, I do. First things first. What is the chief result of your negotiations?�>

Don't count your chickens before they�re hatched.�� Listen�� (Sometimes used with before they hatch)�� ADon�t plan on using something before it has happened.��� <�First, you have to graduate from your college. Only after that you can get a good job and make decent money. Don�t count your chickens before they are hatched.�>

Let's cross that bridge when we come to it.�� Listen�� ALet�s deal with a problem when it is real.��� <�Aren�t you concerned that our project can run out of money before completion?� � �Right now, adequate funding is guaranteed by the government. Let�s cross the bridge when we come to it.�>

Don't put the cart before the horse.�� Listen�� ADon�t confuse the order of things.��� <�First, put together a good proposal. Second, convince some venture capitalist to fund your project. And only then spend your time on technicalities and petty issues. Don�t put the cart before the horse.�>

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