Speak English Like an American » LESSON 10 - Bob Visits the Village Market

Bob Visits the Village Market

Bob goes to the Village Market, a supermarket in town. He asks Carol, the owner of the store, if she would like to sell Susan's Scrumptious Cookies. Carol agrees, but isn't able to tell Bob how much she'll pay him.

Bob: Thank you for making time for me today, Carol.

Carol: Don't mention it, Bob. What's up?

Bob: My wife baked these cookies from scratch. Please take one.

Carol: Mmmm, chewy. These are out of this world!

Bob: My wife's a great cook.

Carol: You can say that again. I don't want to make a pig of myself, but let me take a few more.

Bob: Oink oink! Just kidding!

Carol: I'd like to sell these at the Village Market. My customers will go nuts over these!

Bob: How much would you pay us for each cookie?

Carol: I'm not sure. I need to roll up my sleeves and figure out the finances.

Bob: Can you give me a ballpark figure now?

Carol: I don't want to jump the gun. Sit tight for now, and we'll talk things over this evening.

Idioms
  • ballpark figure
    an approximate number
    EXAMPLE 1: The auto mechanic didn't know exactly how much the repairs would cost, but he was able to give me a ballpark figure.
    EXAMPLE 2: The plumber estimated that it would cost $150 to fix our sink, but that was just a ballpark figure.
  • Don't mention it!
    you're welcome
    EXAMPLE 1: "Thanks for bringing the cookies," I said to Susan. "Don't mention it!" she replied.
    EXAMPLE 2: "Thanks for picking up my suit at the dry cleaners." - "Don't mention it. It was my pleasure."
  • (to) figure out
    to solve; to determine
    EXAMPLE 1: Ted couldn't figure out one of his math problems, so he asked his sister for help.
    EXAMPLE 2: Susan is sure she'll never figure out why kids today behave the way they do.
  • from scratch
    from the beginning; using all fresh ingredients rather than using a prepared mix
    EXAMPLE 1: The house was in such bad shape, they decided to tear it down and re-build it from scratch.
    EXAMPLE 2: You baked these muffins from scratch? They're delicious!
  • (to) go nuts
    to react with great enthusiasm
    EXAMPLE 1: When Tiger Woods got a hole-in-one during the golf tournament, the crowd went nuts.
    EXAMPLE 2: When Eminem appeared on stage, everybody went nuts.

    NOTE: This expression also means "to go crazy" or "to become crazy with anger." Example: Jim went nuts when his wife told him she was leaving him for another man.

  • (to) jump the gun
    to start doing something too soon or ahead of everybody else
    EXAMPLE 1: Nicole really jumped the gun by writing her acceptance speech before the results of the elections were announced.
    EXAMPLE 2: The bookstore jumped the gun by selling the new Harry Potter book two weeks before its official release date.
  • just kidding
    talking more to get a laugh than anything
    EXAMPLE 1: I was just kidding when I said your new orange dress makes you look like a pumpkin.
    EXAMPLE 2: Are you sure that's your boyfriend? I thought he was your grandfather. Just kidding!
  • (to) make a pig of oneself
    to overeat; to eat too much
    EXAMPLE 1: I made a pig of myself by eating four slices of pie.
    EXAMPLE 2: Of course you could eat another hamburger, but you don't want to make a pig of yourself.
  • (to) make time for
    to put time in one's schedule for something
    EXAMPLE 1: Don is a busy lawyer, but he always makes time for his family.
    EXAMPLE 2: I'll be sure to make time for you when you visit me.
  • out of this world
    delicious
    EXAMPLE 1: Mrs. Field's oatmeal raisin cookies are out of this world!
    EXAMPLE 2: Mmmm, I love your chicken soup. It's out of this world!
  • (to) roll up one's sleeves
    to prepare to work
    EXAMPLE 1: Let's roll up our sleeves and finish making these cookies!
    EXAMPLE 2: You'd better roll up your sleeves and finish your homework.
  • (to) sit tight
    to wait patiently
    EXAMPLE 1: Nicole won't hear back from the colleges she applied to until April. For now, she'll just have to sit tight.
    EXAMPLE 2: Sit tight, the doctor will be with you in a few minutes.
  • (to) talk over
    to discuss
    EXAMPLE 1: Dave and I spent hours talking over the details of the plan.
    EXAMPLE 2: Before you make any big decisions, give me a call and we'll talk things over.
  • What's up?
    What's going on? What's new?
    EXAMPLE 1: What's up? I haven't spoken to you in a long time.
    EXAMPLE 2: You never call me anymore. What's up with that?
  • you can say that again
    I agree with you
    EXAMPLE 1: You think our house needs repairs? You can say that again — even our toilet is broken!
    EXAMPLE 2: "The weather is so nasty today." - "You can say that again! I don't even want to go outside!"
Practice The Idioms

Imagine that you are Bob and that you're meeting with Carol from the Village Market to sell her your cookies. Choose the most appropriate replies to Carol's questions and statements:

  1. Carol: "I'm glad I was able to make time to see you today."
    Bob's reply:
    • a) "I guess I'll see you tomorrow then."
    • b) "It must be nice to have so much free time."
    • c) "Yes, thanks for fitting me into your busy schedule."
  2. Carol: "What's up?"
    Bob's reply:
    • a) "Fine, thank you."
    • b) "I'd like to discuss a business deal with you."
    • c) "I don't know. Let me check with my wife."
  3. Carol: "These cookies are out of this world. What do you think?"
    Bob's reply:
    • a) "I agree. They're delicious!"
    • b) "I don't know where they are."
    • c) "No thanks. I've already had ten cookies."
  4. Carol: "Did your wife make these from scratch?"
    Bob's reply:
    • a) "No, she made them from flour, eggs, and sugar."
    • b) "Yes, she did. She loves to bake."
    • c) "Yes. She bought a roll of Pillsbury frozen dough and heated it in the oven for 15 minutes."
  5. Carol: "I ate seven cookies. Do you think I've made a pig of myself?"
    Bob's reply:
    • a) "Not at all. These cookies are hard to resist!"
    • b) "Yes. You look just like a pig."
    • c) "Yes. Pigs love to eat cookies too."
  6. Carol: "I think my customers will go nuts over these cookies."
    Bob's reply:
    • a) "I agree. After all, they're very good!"
    • b) "Nuts? Sure, we can put nuts in the cookies."
    • c) "I disagree. They'll probably like them."
  7. Carol: "Bob, I'm not ready to give you a ballpark figure yet."
    Bob's reply:
    • a) "Okay, how about one dollar per cookie?"
    • b) "When you're ready, we can sell them in the ballpark."
    • c) "Okay, I can wait until tomorrow."
  8. Carol: "I don't want to jump the gun by discussing details now."
    Bob's reply:
    • a) "I understand. Take some time to think about it."
    • b) "I didn't say anything about selling you guns."
    • c) "Thanks, I'd love an answer right now."
Answer Key
Practice The Idioms
  1. c
  2. b
  3. a
  4. b
  5. a
  6. a
  7. c
  8. a
Answer Key
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