Barb: It’s too hot in here. How do you turn on the air conditioning?
Bob: It’s easy as pie. Just push the button marked ‘start.’ Then turn the dial up to maximum.
Barb: Okay. But when we checked in, the desk clerk said it takes about half an hour to cool the room down. I think I need something cold to drink now.
Bob: Speak up. I can’t hear you over that noisy air conditioner.
Barb: I’m going to the vending machine in the lobby to get some pop. Would you like anything?
Bob: No thanks. I’ll stick with ice water. You could bring up some more ice, if you don’t mind. I don’t want to run out.
Barb: [Later] I couldn’t get any pop. The vending machine broke down, and they shut down the ice machine for servicing. Let’s just check out of here and find a better motel.
Click on the audio recording below to hear the lesson.
Pronunciation Exercise: Listen and repeat the vocabulary on the audio file below.
• maximum: the highest setting
• desk clerk: the person you talk to when you register.
• vending: selling
• lobby: the big room inside the front door of a motel or hotel
• if you don’t mind: if it isn’t a problem for you
• servicing: fixing and cleaning a machine
Pronunciation Exercise: Listen and repeat the idioms on the audio file below.
turn on start the operation (of a machine, lights, etc.)
easy as pie very easy to do
turn up increase (sound, light, or heat) / arrive
check in (to) register (at a motel or hotel)
speak up speak more loudly / say something (at a meeting/in class)
stick with continue using (something) / stay with (someone)
run out (of) not have any more
break down stop working (machine)
shut down stop (a service or business) for a short time or permanently.
check out (of) leave (a motel or hotel) / borrow (something) from a library
Easy as pie and a piece of cake mean the same thing.
Turn up has 2 meanings. The other one is “arrive.”
Example: How many people turned up at the meeting last night?
It has the same meaning as show up. (Unit 03)
Speak up has 2 meanings. The other one is “say something (at a meeting/in class).”
Example: There are a few students who speak up in class, but most of them don’t usually say anything.
Stick with has 2 meanings. The other one is “stay with (someone).”
Example: When we go into the mall, stick with me. I don’t want you to get lost.
Run out and be out are closely related. Run out is an action, and be out is a condition (no action).
Example: I ran out of milk, and if there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s to be out of milk.
Break down and out of order (Unit 01) are closely related. Break down is an action, and out of order is a condition (no action).
Check out, meaning “leave (a motel or hotel),” is not followed by of if there is no object after it.
Example: What time do we have to check out?
Check out has 2 meanings. The second meaning is “borrow (something) from a library.”
Example: You can’t check out reference material from the library.
© 2004 Ambien Malecot