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Monday, March 31, 2008

ESL Phrase Lesson #5 "On The Same Page"

This idiom is used when one person is trying to make sure another person has the same understanding on a topic or is using the same source of information to eliminate any confusion.

Sample Sentence:

Mary: Hello Sue, I'm calling you on the telephone to remind you of the meeting we have for tonight at 7:3opm and the proper location, I wanted to make sure we were "on the same page" since this meeting is very important.

Sue: Thanks Mary, I really appreciate the "heads up" (notice) concerning this meeting, I hope to see you there!

Mary: No problem!

You can see from the conversation that Mary wanted to make sure Sue knew the proper time and location of the important meeting. The phrase was used to confirm that they both had the same understanding of the meeting.

Friday, March 14, 2008

ESL Phrase Lesson #4 "Up The Ante"

Background of the phrase:

This phrase comes from the card game of "Poker" where the amount of money in the winning pot is increased, the card player may say, " I want to up the ante $50.00!" Therefore, it has been taken to be frequently used in everyday American English to describe making something to increase in relation to competing against something else. Consider the examples below:

Example 1: If restaurant (A) offers a dinner for $15.00 and restaurant (B) offers the same type of dinner for $12.00 and includes a salad, then restaurant (B) has "up the ante" for dinner customers in the area.

Example 2: In the transportation industry, Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Company "up the ante" by introducing the Model T Ford car into the market by offering it at a price that working people could afford to purchase.

Now if you hear in a conversation in the United States the phrase, "up the ante" you will understand what was spoken!
Please return for more everyday American English Phrases, and I invite you to offer your comments by clicking on the comments button below.