Relationships from School

Relationships from School


Two friends discuss relationships. The English Grammar focuses on Quantifiers.

Tamara: “I have to break up with my boyfriend.”
Leilani: “What happened this time?”
Tamara: “He cheated on me.”
Leilani: “Go back to school, chowderhead. You have bad luck in bars.”
Tamara: “I’m a street person, I’m not a bookworm.”
Leilani: “You’re not homeless since you moved in with me.”
Tamara: “True, but I have no money.”
Leilani: “You can get work, and figure out the rest. Change your life.”
Tamara: “Why do they always cheat?”
Leilani: “They don’t. You need to meet some decent guys.
Tamara: “And they’re all in school?”
Leilani: “A lot more are in school than on the streets.”


Break up is a phrasal verb that means split, separate, divorce, end a partnership of some kind. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Chowderhead is slang for a stupid person, a dolt. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Street person or street people means someone who lives on public streets; homeless. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Bookworm means a person excessively devoted to studying or reading. See online Dictionary.
Move in is a phrasal verb which means to take up residence with someone. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Figure out is a phrasal verb which means to discover or decide. See online Idioms Dictionary.
A lot means very many, a large number. “A lot more” means many more.

Suggested Topics for Comments: Quantifiers; the Meaning of Modals; Prepositional Verbs

“You need to meet some decent guys.” Some is a Quantifier (which can be a determiner or a pronoun) which is used when we want to talk about quantity. Quantifiers indicate a nonspecific amount of the noun that follows (here “guys”). Although it is nonspecific, there is a scale from none to all, and “some” is at the lesser end. More would be indicated by quantifiers like “quite a few,” “a lot of,” and “almost all.”

The Meaning of Modals

“I have to” means I must.
“You can get work” means you are able to get work.

Notice two things about the modal “can.” First, it is not inflected (I can, you can, he can …). And second, modals directly precede the verb without the intervening “to” of the infinitive: “You can get work,” even though you say “You are able to get work” (no modal).

Prepositional Verbs are verbs which must be followed by a prepositional phrase. A good example is “cheat” from our dialogue: “He cheated on me.”


school relationships

New Idioms are “Pencil-pusher” and “Rain on your parade.” The Grammar focuses on Imperatives.

Luna: “I don’t want to see him any more.”
Scarlett: “Who mucked it up this time?”
Luna: “He did, just like you said. Right after making all those promises, he stepped out on me not a day later.”
Scarlett: “I don’t want to rain on your parade, but isn’t it time to find someone else?”
Luna: “Maybe they’re all the same.”
Scarlett: “Why don’t you go back to school? You might meet someone new. Do you really think you’ll find a prize at that bar you love so much?”
Luna: “Go back to school and meet a pencil-pusher?”
Scarlett: “We talked about this before. Learn a skill, meet some new guys, get a new job. You need to change your life.”
Luna: “I’m not sure I like your pep talk.”
Scarlett: “Maybe you need to get some new friends, too. People you’ll listen to. ‘Cause you’re definitely not listening to me.”


Muck up is an informal phrasal verb which means to bungle, damage or ruin. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Step out means to cheat on. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Rain on your parade means to ruin your plans or dampen your excitement. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Pencil-pusher means someone who has a boring, meaningless office job. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Pep talk means an informal speech of encouragement. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Imperatives

The imperative is one of three main moods for English sentences: declarative (indicative), interrogative, and imperative. One peculiarity of imperatives is that the sentences usually do not have a subject. This seems to be in violation of the rule that all English sentences must have a subject and a predicate. But regarding the question of having a subject, it is traditionally understood to be the “understood you.” (You) “Go back to school!” or (You) “Learn a new skill.”

If the command includes the speaker with the addressee, we add the word “Let’s” (let us). Grammarians call this usage an inclusive imperative: “Let’s be cool!” or “Let’s get some lunch.”

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