Tuesday, September 29, 2009

spread yourself too thin

You spread yourself too thin when you are so busy that you barely have time to take care of yourself. In other words, you have so much to do that you find yourself not having enough time to sleep, eat or even just take a rest. The result is often extreme stress and exhaustion, which could result in some physical ailment. When you notice a friend so busy they seem like they're spreading themselves too thin, you might want to offer some advice: "Don't spread yourself too thin. Remember to give yourself time to rest."

like this:

A: Hey John! I haven't seen you in a while. How's it been?
B: I've been really busy. I started working part time, and this week we have exams.
A: Are you eating well, man? You look like you've lost some weight.
B: Well, sometimes I don't even have time to eat.
A: Don't spread yourself too thin, man. You have to take care of yourself.
B: I know. I'm actually thinking of cutting back my hours at work this week.
A: You should. I spread myself too thin last year, and I ended up getting an ulcer. You have to watch it.
B: I know. I'm going to start taking breaks, and I'll try to schedule in some workout time.
A: Awesome. Good idea. Alright, man. Talk to you later.
B: Take care.

ailment - sickness
cut back - reduce; decrease
ulcer - stomach pain caused by stomach acid irritating the lining of the esophagus
esophagus - the long tube that takes food from your mouth to your stomach.
workout - exercise
hiatus - absence; break

It's good to be back after a three-week hiatus. Honestly, I felt like I'd been spreading myself too thin, which is why I decided to take a break from blogging. Now, I've caught up with my other projects and will do my best to keep up with our quick lessons twice a week. So spread the word, and keep coming back.

See you soon.
Joe Yu
from the small guide site and The small guide To Improving Your English

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's up to you.

When you tell friends that something is up to them, you're telling them to make the decision. You say this expression to let other people decide what to do either because the decision doesn't matter much to you or you just don't want to be the one to decide. For example, if you're about to watch a movie with friends and you don't mind watching any of the available choices, you can say, "It's up to you guys. I really don't mind watching any of these." One of your friends can then decide which movie to watch and hopefully, everyone will be happy with it.

like this:

A: What time do you want to meet up this weekend?
B: It's up to you. My schedule's flexible this weekend.
A: What about at noon? ... so I can sleep in.
B: That sounds good. I can run some errands in the morning if I wake up early.
A: Alright. Let's meet at noon, then we can check out the farmer's market on Union Square before we head over to Tim's place.
B: Sounds good. Should I bring some beer or something?
A: It's up to you. We can always run to the store if we need anything.
B: Ok. See you Saturday then.
A: Later.

meet up - meet to spend time together
sleep in - wake up late
run errands - do a list of things outside the house such as go to the post office, the bank, etc.
check out - see; examine
head over - go to

Alright, everyone. As far practicing, it's really up to you. But I think you should.

Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

leave it up to someone

When you leave something up to someone, you are giving that person the responsibility and you are trusting that person to do the job. That something can be any activity; it can be planning a party, writing a letter, talking to your parents on your behalf, finding a cheap plane ticket, anything. You are basically telling this person to take charge, and you believe that he or she will do a good job.

You can also tell a friend to leave something up to you, which means you're telling your friend not to worry and that you will take care of business.

like this:

A: I want to stay in New York longer, but I don't think my parents would agree.
B: Just tell them why you want to stay longer. I'm sure they'll understand.
A: I don't know about that. They were pretty adamant that I go home after this semester.
B: Why don't you leave it up to me. Sometimes, it helps coming from a friend. I'll make them understand.
A: Oh, thanks. I appreciate it. I think they'll listen to you. ... So what are you guys having for dinner?
B: Well, John's in the kitchen making something. It's his turn to cook, so we're leaving it up to him.

adamant - strongly insist

Alrighty folks, what sort of decisions or activities do you trust to others? Do you trust someone else to pay the rent or do maintenance on your home or talk to clients? You can say, "I leave that up to my roommate (or my landlord or my business partner)."

Don't forget to practice.