Two friends discuss housekeeping. The Grammar focus is on Imperatives.

Jagger: “I have to clean the house.”
Obert: “You’re not even a guy. Who said you have to do that?”
Jagger: “A female in the house.”
Obert: “I won’t ask. Get a mop and a pail.
Jagger: “I need a scrub brush too. Elbow grease.”
Obert: “Sure, and some rags and soap, and some chlorox.”
Jagger: “I’m all set to go.”
Obert: “What about the rugs?”
Jagger: “There’s a vacuum cleaner in the closet.”
Obert: “Hearth and home, here’s your man!”


Scrub brush means a brush with stiff, short bristles.
Elbow grease means vigorous scrubbing, typically to clean something.
All set to go means prepared, ready, or primed to begin or complete a task at hand.
Vacuum cleaner is an electrical appliance that cleans for cleaning carpets, floors, etc. by suction.
Hearth and home means family and home, home life.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Imperatives

“Get a mop and pail.” Here we have it again: the language that does not obey its S-V-O (subject-verb-object) rule and characteristic: English. English has what is called the “understood you” as the subject of its imperative sentences.


New Idioms include “Knocks me for a loop” and “Belching out.” The Grammar focus is on Free Relative Clauses.

Abby: “Have you got the mop ready?”
Salma: “The mop, the bucket, the thingamabob, and the bleach.”
Abby: “That squeezer thingy, yeah.”
Salma: “I need a mask, too, because bleach really knocks me for a loop.”
Abby: “No problem, we’ve got tons of those for Covid.”
Salma: “And what about a medium-sized brush, do you have one?”
Abby: “To get the dirt or something in the corners?”
Salma: “Ya, I have to scrub some of it down. The mop won’t be enough.”
Abby: “I really don’t know how this dirt accumulates the way it does. We keep the place really clean.”
Salma: “I know, but stuff comes in when the windows are open. Even cigarette smoke, if there’s a lot of it, will build up in the nooks and crannies.”
Abby: “There’s also smokestacks in this town, so who knows what they’re belching out.


Thingamabob means anything the name of which is unknown or cannot be remembered. See the online Idioms Dictionary.
Thingy is slang for some tool, gadget, or other such implement the proper name of which is unknown or unremembered. See the online Idioms Dictionary.
Knocks me for a loop means to confuse or surprise someone; or to strike someone hard. See the online Idioms Dictionary.
Scrub down means to clean someone or something thoroughly and vigorously. See the online Idioms Dictionary.
Build up is a phrasal verb which means to develop or increase in stages or by degrees. See the online Idioms Dictionary.
Nooks and crannies often means the smaller parts of a place that are not normally noticed or are hard to reach. See the online Idioms Dictionary.
Who knows? means who knows the answer to that question? See the online Idioms Dictionary.
Belch out means to burst, billow, or gush out. See the online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: How is a Free Relative Clause different from a Relative Clause?

We have the question “…who knows what they’re belching out?” in this dialogue, and what they’re belching out is the Free Relative Clause. It is used as a Noun Phrase here (the direct object of the question Who knows?). A free relative clause is different from a relative clause and is so termed because it does not have an antecedent (something specific in the sentence that it refers back to). It is introduced with a wh-word such as what, where, or when, for example: Jacqueline eats what she likes. The relative clause, however, has an antecedent, for example: The coin collection that I purchased was stolen. The clause beginning with the relative pronoun “that” refers back to “the coin collection.”

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