Speak English Like an American » LESSON 21 - Susan Gets a Surprise Call

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.
Practice The Idioms

Fill in the blank with the appropriate word:

  1. There's a handsome exchange student from Sweden at Nicole's school this year. Nicole is nuts _____ him.
    • a) with
    • b) into
    • c) about
  2. Susan and Bob were able to come _____ an agreement with the representative from the National Cookie Company.
    • a) from
    • b) with
    • c) to
  3. When somebody has a successful track _____, it's usually easy for them to find a new job.
    • a) record
    • b) history
    • c) past
  4. Let's have dinner on Saturday night. I'll get in touch _____ you later to choose a restaurant.
    • a) from
    • b) by
    • c) with
  5. Susan doesn't have a lot of money. In fact, she's running her business _____ a shoestring.
    • a) with
    • b) on
    • c) in
  6. You can find Starbucks coffee houses all _____ the country, from New York to California.
    • a) over
    • b) above
    • c) within
  7. Bob hasn't been on vacation in years. He's really looking _____ to his trip to Maine.
    • a) above
    • b) forward
    • c) ahead
  8. Ted's teacher helped him work _____ a study schedule.
    • a) out
    • b) in
    • c) through
Answer Key
Practice The Idioms
  1. c
  2. c
  3. a
  4. c
  5. b
  6. a
  7. b
  8. a
Answer Key
Favorite Books

English idioms, proverbs, and expressions are an important part of everyday English. They come up all the time in both written and spoken English. Because idioms don't always make sense literally, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the meaning and usage of each idiom. That may seem like a lot of work, but learning idioms is fun, especially when you compare English idioms to the idioms in your own language.

Read more

The purpose of the Illustrated Everyday Expressions with Stories series is to introduce English language learners to common idioms through humorous examples and illustrations. The lessons in this book will both entertain and enlighten students while providing exposure to how each idiom can be used in a variety of contexts.

Read more

The purpose of the Illustrated Everyday Expressions with Stories series is to introduce English language learners to common idioms through humorous examples and illustrations. The lessons in this book will both entertain and enlighten students while providing exposure to how each idiom can be used in a variety of contexts.

Read more

Do you want your English to sound natural and fluent? Idiomatic expressions are essential to natural sounding English, but they can be challenging to remember, and even harder to use in conversation. This simple and straightforward program can help you master hundreds of useful and common idiomatic expressions. Best of all, you don't need a book, so you can listen anywhere and anytime it's convenient. It's a piece of cake!

Read more

Everyday Conversations is intended for sixth- and seventh-grade students of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) or English as a Second Language (ESL). Students can listen to and/or read dialogues in English. Topics of the conversations include introductions and small talk, shopping, asking for directions, hobbies, and giving advice.

Read more

More Speak English Like an American brings you another 300+ idioms and expressions you need to know. Maybe you have already read Speak English Like an American. But this is not a necessary requirement. You can start with this new book, if you like, and work back. This popular ESL book features a new story and new American English idioms and expressions.

Read more