Free Lessons

Shut down/ shoot down an idea

To “shut down”/”Shoot down” an idea = to reject an idea   Future tense: shut Present tense: shutting Past tense: shut   Future tense: shoot Present tense: shooting Past tense: shot   Examples: He will probably shut down the idea. He keeps shutting down her ideas. He shot down all of Mike’s ideas. Let’s not shoot down the idea before we hear it. Don’t be upset, he shoots down everyone’s ideas.


Thanksgiving is a U.S. holiday that celebrates and remembers the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. First, a little history lesson… The Pilgrims were a group of about 100 people that left England because of religious persecution. The Pilgrims sailed to the New World (United States of America) in their boat called the Mayflower. They planned to go to Virginia, but they went off course and landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. The Pilgrims were starving and did not know how to grow food in the new land. A group of Native American Indians called the Wampanoag Indians taught the Pilgrims how to grow food. In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims held (had) a three-day feast called Thanksgiving and invited the Native American Indians to give thanks for a successful harvest with plenty (lots) of food to survive the winter. The Pilgrims and the Native Americans did not share the same religious views, but they celebrated the harvest they had. Thanksgiving is an interfaith holiday; a holiday that people of all different faiths celebrate. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what we have.   Thanksgiving is celebrated on the third Thursday of November. It is a federal holiday; all banks, schools, and federal offices are closed. Most businesses are closed for Thanksgiving.   How do people celebrate Thanksgiving? (What do people do on Thanksgiving?) The most common tradition, is family and friends gather for a big meal. Most often turkey is severed, with many different side dishes. Typical side dishes are, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes or yams, corn, carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green beans, cornbread or rolls. For dessert, there is often pie. The most common pie is apple pie, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie. However, there can be blueberry pie, peach pie, coconut custard, etc.  …

Pet Peeve

A pet peeve is something particular that a person finds annoying. People usually start a sentence like… My biggest pet peeve is __________. (The one thing that drives you crazy, when people do it.)   Some of people’s biggest pet peeves are… chewing loudly chewing with your mouth open people who are late smoking and vaping cut in line tailgating people that talk during movies lending someone something and never getting it back grooming in public places when people say “no offense”

 Frugal & Thrifty    &    Cheap & Stingy   

FRUGAL: When a person is careful how they spend their money because they don’t have a lot of money. They are frugal when they grocery shop. She has to be frugal; she doesn’t make much money. THRIFTY: You get creative with how you spend your money. Thrift shop/Thrift store =Goodwill He is the sole provider for the family, so they have to be thrifty with their money. She is thrifty; she checks the newspapers for coupons every week.   CHEAP: When someone is cheap, it is a negative connotation, saying they won’t part with a little amount of money. They are He is cheap, he refused to pay a fair price for good quality work. STINGY: “Can’t part with” (Can’t spend/give away) a cent/penny. He is stingy, refuses to pay extra for that service. They have so much money, but they are very stingy.


The word dare has a few different meanings and can be used in different ways. Verb meanings: To have the courage to do something. To disobey or challenge someone Examples: I dare you to go over there and talk to him. She wouldn’t dare ask him for a favor. She doesn’t dare disagree with them. He wouldn’t dare talk about his problems. Don’t you dare ask him, his “plate is already full” (the person is occupied with many things).     Noun meaning: a challenge Examples: It is a dare. They dared him to streak (run naked).     The game: Truth or Dare There is a game called Truth or Dare. It is when a group of people get together. One by one, someone asks another person “Truth or Dare” If the person says “truth”, they have to honestly answer the question that is asked. If the person says “dare”, they have to complete the dare told to them.  

I Overheard…

When you overhear something, it means to hear people talking about something, but you’re not involved in the conversation. Examples: I overheard the waiter tell the table next to us that they are out of salmon. I overheard them talking yesterday about eliminating positions.

City, Suburb, Countryside, or Rural

Remote area: an area that is far from the city or places where most people live, often difficult to get to. Other words with the same meaning: secluded, isolated   Phrases about the city, suburbs, countryside, or a rural area “In the middle of nowhere” = a place far from other people, homes, businesses, cities, etc. Example: They live in the middle of nowhere.   “In the sticks” = in an area where there is lots of forest and woods Example: Their house is out in the sticks.   “In the boondocks” = to live along (far) away from town or civilization. Example: This place is out in the boondocks.   “God-knows where”: A place that people may not know its location. Example: God-knows where it is located.   “backwoods”: A wooded area that is far away from the city. Example: The bar is located in some backwoods area.   “In a backwater”: A place where there is no development or progress happening. Example: They live in some backwater town.   Terms Used to Talk About People from the city and countryside/ rural areas.   “City slicker”: Used by people who live in the countryside/a rural area to describe a person who is from the city. Example: We don’t like city slicker’s like you coming around here trying to buy farmland to then build condos.   “Country bumpkin”: An insult for a person who lives in the countryside and the person is thought to not be intelligent or educated. Example: Just because he is wearing overalls, doesn’t mean he is a country bumpkin.   “hick”: An offensive word used to refer to someone who has always lived in the country/countryside and does not know about “city life” (living in a city). Example:  Just because they own a farm, does not…

Not All Eggs Are the Same

These are eggs. When you go to the grocery store,  you will see cartons of eggs.   On the carton of eggs, you will see words like… Cage eggs Cage-free eggs Free-range eggs Pasture-raised eggs Let’s talk about these terms… Cage Eggs: Conventional cages are often sloped to the floor. There could be up to 3-8 birds in a cage. Hen’s don’t participate in natural behavior like walking or foraging. They can not nest or roost. They can have foot damage due to overgrown claws. Cost $. Cage-Free Eggs: Then hen can move free horizontally (side to side) and vertically (up and down). They have at least 1 square foot of floor space.  However, the hens might not have access to the outdoor. The hens are free to nest, roost and forage. Cost $$. Free-range eggs: The hens have at least 1 square foot of floor space, like cage-free eggs. They also have access to some form of an outside area. However, there is no standard on how much time the hens are outside or what the outside space looks like. Cost $$$. Pasture-Raised Eggs: The hens have regular access to a large outdoor that is covered with grass and other plants, like a pasture. Cost $$$$. After knowing about cage, cage-free, free-range, and pasture-raised eggs, what kind of eggs do you want to eat? What kind of eggs, do you prefer to buy?

Phrases you will hear at a bar…“cut off” “get cut off” “cut someone off”

If the bartender says to someone “you’re cut off” it means they can see you have had too much to drink and they will not serve you any more alcohol. Sometimes someone will tell a bartender, you need to “cut someone off” someone else notices the person has had too much to drink.   Examples: At Club Blu, there were 2 bartenders working. Roxanne had been drinking all night. She was starting to get loud and have slurred speech. One bartender said to the other, if she comes to order another drink, tell her, “Sorry, but you’re cut off.”   Rob and Barry were out at a sports bar. Throughout the evening, Rob had two beers. Barry had 4. Barry waved over the bartender to order another beer. Rob shook his head at the bartender, to signal him to cut Barry off.    

“wasted” “trashed” or “bombed”

To get wasted/trashed/bombed= want to get drunk Example: The guys showed up to the party shouting “let’s get wasted”.   To be wasted/trashed/bombed = to be drunk Example: Bea noticed that Suzy was completely wasted. Bea drove Suzy home and put her in her bed, to sleep on her side.   Was/were/got wasted/bombed/trashed= was drunk/were drunk/ got drunk Example: He was so trashed last night. I doubt he remembers anything he did.