Reunion at an airport. The English Grammar focuses on the Copula.

John: “Hi, are you waiting for a friend?’
Kerry: “Yes, her flight arrives in about a half-hour. Supposedly!”
John: “I know what you mean. My brother should arrive in an hour.”
Kerry: “Why do some airlines always put down late?”
John: “I guess it’s like driving. Too much traffic.”
Kerry: “Is it that? Or is it air traffic control?”
John: “It could also be bad weather.”
Kerry: “That’s true. I also read that airlines are severely understaffed.”
John: “That doesn’t seem right. Is it the profit motive?”
Kerry: “If that’s true, it’s dangerous.”


Put down, referring to an aircraft or its pilot, means to land. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Air traffic control is the process by which aircrafts are monitored and directed by ground personnel communicating with pilots by radio. See online Dictionary.
Profit motive means making decisions based on the desire to make a profit. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Copula

“That’s true.” Here we have a simple example of a Demonstrative Pronoun as subject with the copula “is” in Present tense, followed by the Adjective phrase “true.”


The airline stewardess discusses flying rules with a customer.

Mary: “How strict are they about carry-ons?”
Beth: “It depends. If the flight is full, they’ll blow everything out of proportion and charge you for it. Otherwise they’re usually cool.”
Mary: “I’m wondering about this corkscrew I’ve got with this bottle of wine to die for. I’m meeting this guy from my past, it’s super important.”
Beth: “The wine’s fine, but they’ll nail you on the corkscrew. You can check it but you can’t bring it on the plane.”
Mary: “But I want to open that wine when I get off the plane!”
Beth: “Tell him to bring something.”
Mary: “Then it won’t be a surprise.”
Beth: “Okay, show him the wine, then walk to a bar together and ask them to open it there.”
Mary: “That might work. But what if there’s no bars open in the airport at that hour?”
Beth: “What time are you arriving?”
Mary: “Early evening, but what if there’s problems and we land late?”
Beth: “What if, what if. Seems to me you’ve got the screaming abdabs. Maybe you should open that bottle now and have a glass!”


Blow out of proportion means to exaggerate something or focus unnecessary attention on something. See online Idioms Dictionary.
To die for means important or desirable enough to die for. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Nail here means to catch someone out, to expose someone, as in a lie or dishonest act. See online Idioms Dictionary.
What if is an extremely well-known idiom that simply means What would occur if, or suppose that. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Screaming abdabs is identified as a band in the online Free Dictionary, but the current meaning can be found in the Urban Dictionary. It means extreme anxiety or nervousness.


Interestingly, Beth’s “What time are you arriving?” can also be expressed in two other ways: “What time will you arrive?” and “What time do you arrive?” So in this case the progressive, the future with modal will, and the present tense can all be employed to express the future in English.

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