Speak English Like an American » LESSON 9 - Nicole For President!

Nicole For President!

Nicole discusses her plans to run for student body president. Nicole wants Ted to ask his friends to vote for her. Ted agrees, in exchange for Nicole's help with his homework.

Nicole: I've decided to run for student body president! If I'm going to become a senator one day, I should get some experience under my belt now.

Ted: Andrea Jenkins is also running. She'll give you a run for your money!

Nicole: Andrea Jenkins is an idiot. I'm by far the better candidate.

Ted: Don't be so full of yourself! I might vote for Andrea.

Nicole: Stop kidding around. Let's get down to business. I need your help.

Ted: You want me to help you!

Nicole: Yes. I need you to talk your friends into voting for me.

Ted: But you never give my friends the time of day. All you give them is the cold shoulder.

Nicole: That's because they've got blue hair and nose rings!

Ted: They're better than your friends — a bunch of goody-goodies and brown-nosers!

Nicole: That's beside the point. Let's talk about your friends and their votes.

Ted: Okay. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. If you do my chemistry homework, I'll help you get the votes.

Nicole: I'm not crazy about that idea. But, okay, it's a deal. I hope I can count on you.

  • beside the point
    not relevant; not important
    EXAMPLE 1: Whether or not I asked the waiter to bring us water is beside the point. Waiters should always bring water to the table.
    EXAMPLE 2: The reason you're late is beside the point. The fact is, your dinner is now cold.
  • brown-noser
    a person who's constantly trying to win favor with people above them, such as teachers or bosses
    EXAMPLE 1: Lauren is such a brown-noser. She's always telling her teacher how much she enjoys class.
    EXAMPLE 2: Dennis brought the boss lunch today? What a brown-noser!

    NOTE: You will also see the verb form of this expression: "to brown-nose." Example: Dennis is always brown-nosing the boss, but I still don't think he's going to get a promotion.

  • by far
    by a wide margin; by a great difference
    EXAMPLE 1: Some people think Tom Hanks is by far the best actor in America today.
    EXAMPLE 2: Mediterranean Grill is by far the best restaurant in town. No wonder it's so hard to get a reservation there!

    SYNONYMS: by a long shot; far and away; hands down

  • (to) count on someone
    to depend or rely on someone
    EXAMPLE 1: My brother has a great sense of humor, so I can always count on him to cheer me up.
    EXAMPLE 2: If I can count on you to wake me up, I won't set my alarm clock.
  • (to be) crazy about
    to like very much
    EXAMPLE 1: Amy is so crazy about golf, she'd like to play every day.
    EXAMPLE 2: I'm sure Katie will agree to go out on a date with Sam. She's crazy about him!
  • full of oneself
    to think too much of oneself
    EXAMPLE 1: After Angela appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine, she was really full of herself.
    EXAMPLE 2: Mitch thinks he's really great. He's so full of himself.
  • (to) get down to business
    to get serious about a task
    EXAMPLE 1: The book club members spent the first two hours of their meeting eating and drinking before finally getting down to business.
    EXAMPLE 2: Our dinner guests are arriving in two hours. We'd better get down to business and start preparing.
  • (to) get or to have under one's belt
    to have or to get experience
    EXAMPLE 1: Kristen had three years of working for a large law firm under her belt before leaving to start her own firm.
    EXAMPLE 2: Ernie needs to get an MBA under his belt to get the job he wants.
  • (to) give (someone) a run for (one's) money
    to be strong competition
    EXAMPLE 1: We lost the soccer tournament, but we certainly gave the girls from Stamford High School a run for their money.
    EXAMPLE 2: Tina is a good tennis player and always gives me a run for my money.
  • (to) give someone the cold shoulder
    to be cold to someone on purpose; to snub someone
    EXAMPLE 1: When Lisa saw Amber at the mall, she didn't even stop to talk to her. She really gave her the cold shoulder.
    EXAMPLE 2: I can't understand why Joe would give you the cold shoulder. I thought you two were good friends!

    SYNONYM: to blow someone off. Example: Amber can't understand why Lisa blew her off at the mall.

  • (to not) give someone the time of day
    to ignore someone; to refuse to pay any attention to someone
    EXAMPLE 1: Sandra never gave me the time of day back in college, but now she calls me all the time for advice.
    EXAMPLE 2: Why don't you find a new stockbroker? Yours is always so busy, she barely gives you the time of day.
  • goody-goody
    self-righteously or smugly good
    EXAMPLE 1: Goody-goodies usually sit in the front row and smile at the teacher during class.
    EXAMPLE 2: Samantha is a real goody-goody. She always offers to erase the blackboard at the end of class.

    SYNONYMS: goody two-shoes; teacher's pet

  • it's a deal
    I agree (to a proposal or offer)
    EXAMPLE 1: You'll make dinner every night for a month if I help you with your homework? Okay, it's a deal!
    EXAMPLE 2: "If you rake up all the leaves in front of the house, I'll do the dishes'' - "It's a deal!"
  • (to) kid around
    to joke around; to tease
    EXAMPLE 1: Jeremy loves to kid around, so don't be offended by anything he says.
    EXAMPLE 2: While they were kidding around, Tim accidentally poked Rob in the eye. He had to be rushed to the emergency room of the hospital.

    NOTE: YOU will often here this in the negative "not kidding around." This means to take something very seriously. Example: The White House is not kidding around with airport security.

  • (to) talk into
    to persuade; to convince
    EXAMPLE 1: Chris didn't want to jump out of the plane, but Erin talked him into it.
    EXAMPLE 2: Stop trying to talk me into going to the dance club on Saturday night. I already decided that I'm going to Maria's party instead.
  • you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours
    if you do me a favor, I'll do you a favor; let's cooperate
    EXAMPLE 1: I'll help you with your homework if you do the dishes. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.
    EXAMPLE 2: If I drive you into the city, will you pick up my dry cleaning? You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.
Practice The Idioms

Fill in the blank with the missing word:

  1. Nicole is very reliable. You can always count _____ her.
    • a) in
    • b) on
    • c) with
  2. I need to ask you for your help, and I'll do something nice for you in return. You scratch my _____ and I'll scratch yours. a
    • a) back
    • b) neck
    • c) foot
  3. Stop kidding _____! Tell me where you hid my shoes.
    • a) about
    • b) around
    • c) into
  4. I can't believe that Lisa gave you the _____ shoulder. I thought you two were friends.
    • a) hot
    • b) freezing
    • c) cold
  5. Ted's friends didn't want to vote for Nicole, but Ted talked them _____ it.
    • a) into
    • b) around
    • c) for
  6. Although Jim Greene was _____ far the more qualified candidate, he lost the election because of a scandal.
    • a) way
    • b) in
    • c) by
  7. Denise is really full _____ herself. She thinks she's the smartest and most beautiful woman in the world.
    • a) with
    • b) of
    • c) in
  8. Nicole thinks that Andrea is a snob. She says Andrea won't _____ her the time of day.
    • a) give
    • b) allow
    • c) tell
Answer Key
Practice The Idioms
  1. b
  2. a
  3. b
  4. c
  5. a
  6. c
  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