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第14课 CONCRETE BOOTS FOR GARY?

2006-07-29 10:10

  When Nora said, “You want to put in?”, it wasn't very clear. She should have said, “Do you want to put in some money?”。

  Jane runs in to the office, panicking……

  Jane: Mei Ling. We must call the police. The Mafia are going to kill Gary!

  Mei Ling: What? Are you sure? You mean Gary's in trouble with the triads? How do you know?

  Jane: I heard him talking to Jaya about it. First he said that someone was going to kill him. Then he said he was in Starbucks or something when the Mafia came over to him. That's when the trouble started. The gangster wanted to take Gary's phone away for a few days, or he wanted to give Gary his phone. I'm not sure. Then they played cards. That's when it gets really confusing. I think the gangster won the game, but Gary got to take the gangster home as a prize.

  Flashback to Gary's conversation……

  Gary: Hey, Jaya, how's it going? This weekend I think I sure die, man! I was at the coffee-shop when this gangster came over. He say “Borrow me your phone”。 So I borrow him, lah. He say he want to play cards. Then I won him and he beat me, y'know!

  Returning to the present……

  Jane: What are we going to do?

  Mei Ling: Don't worry, Jane. It's not as serious as you think!

  Narrator: Jane had quite a shock there, didn't she? She misunderstood Gary's story because he was using many English words in a non-standard way so that a foreigner would probably not understand. So, how would we say these words in good English? Firstly, saying “I sure die!” might be understood, but would give a bad impression.

  Replay……

  Gary: Hey, Jaya, how's it going? This weekend I think I sure die, man!

  Narrator: “I thought I'd had it” sounds much better. Then he scared Jane by talking about gangsters.

  Replay……

  Gary: I was at the coffee shop when this gangster came over.

  Narrator: In good English, a gangster is something much more serious, like the triads in Hong Kong, or the Mafia in Italy. In this situation, he should have said “troublemaker”。

  Narrator: The next misunderstanding arose when he mixed up 'lend' and 'borrow' with 'use' when talking about the telephone.

  Replay……

  Gary: He say “Borrow me your phone”。 So I borrow him.

  Narrator: In good English, you should ask if you can use someone's telephone, not lend or borrow it. Then to make matters worse, Gary mixed up the use of “win” and “beat” and also “beat” and “hit”, leaving Jane really confused.

  Replay……

  Gary: He say he want to play cards. Then I won him and he beat me.

  Narrator: In good English, when you play a game, you can win the game and win a prize, but you beat the person. If you say you “win” the person, it means that they are the prize. Gary used the word “beat”, but he should have said the other man hit him. So, try it again, Gary!

  Gary: This weekend, I thought I'd really had it! I was at the coffee shop when this troublemaker came over. He asked if he could use my phone, so I let him. Then he said he wanted to play cards, but I beat him so he hit me.

  Narrator: Much clearer! Anyway, we're all happy that Gary's not in as much trouble as it seemed. So, that's it for today at HotDotCom. Bye for now!

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