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0144 Who Pays?

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Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 144: Who Pays?

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 144. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

This podcast is about who should pay for a dinner, with a man and a woman. Let’s go!

[start of dialog]

David: Hey, Sally. Can I run something by you?

Sally: Sure, what's up?

David: Well, a friend of a friend wanted some help with her taxes and we agreed that we would talk about it over dinner. At the end of the night, when the check came, she expected me to pay! It was really awkward. It wasn't a date and I was doing her a favor! Am I crazy or was she taking advantage of me?

Sally: It definitely sounds like she took advantage of your generosity. If she was asking a favor, she should have paid. No question.

David: The thing is, I thought she was really pretty and I wanted to ask her out after I met her. But, now I'm not sure.

Sally: Well, I think that unless you asked her out, you shouldn't have to pay for her. And, these days, a lot of people go Dutch even if one person asks the other. Based on what happened the other night, I'd stay away from this woman. That is, unless you don't mind being her sugar daddy.

David: Yeah, right. I'm too broke to be anybody's sugar daddy, even if I wanted to. I think you're right. That will be the last I see of her.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

[end of dialog]

In this podcast, we have a man asking a woman’s advice about the issue of who should pay when a man and a woman go out to dinner. The dialog begins with David saying, “Can I run something by you?” “To run something by someone” means, usually, to tell them and to ask for their opinion. So, you’re giving someone an idea or giving them some information and asking them to give you their opinion about it. So, David says, “Hey, Sally. Can I run something by you?” And Sally says, “Sure. What’s up?” meaning what is it that you want to talk about. David says that a “friend of a friend” – not his friend, but a friend of his friends – had wanted some help with her taxes. Here, when someone says, “I will help you with your taxes (taxes)” that means they will help you prepare the paperwork or the forms that you have to send in to the government. “Taxes,” of course, is money you pay the government. In the United States, we have “income tax” – a federal national income tax and you have to send in information every year, by April 15th of how much money you made last year. How much taxes you paid already and then you have to send any additional tax that you owe the government.

Well, David is going to help this woman prepare her taxes and they decided to talk about it “over dinner.” When we say, “over dinner,” or “over lunch,” or “over some meal,” we mean while we are eating dinner or right after we eat dinner. So, if someone says, “Let’s talk about it over lunch” they mean let’s go to lunch and there we can talk about it.

Well, at the end of the night, David says, when the bill or the check came, she, the woman, expected David to pay. David said, “It was really awkward.” “To be awkward” (awkward) means that it was strange, it was odd. “Awkward” is when neither person feels very comfortable, and no one knows quite what to do. So, for example, if you were talking to a woman that you are romantically interested in and her husband came up and started talking to her, that might be a little awkward for you – sometimes the same as embarrassing but not always. It just means uncomfortable situation.

David says that the dinner that he was having wasn’t a date. A “date,” of course, (date) is when a man and a woman go out, or you go out with someone you are romantically interested in – have dinner, a movie and so forth. Well, David says that he was doing her a favor. And “to do someone a favor” means that you are helping them. You are doing something nice for them. David says, “Am I crazy? Or was she taking advantage of me?” That expression “Am I crazy?” means am I wrong? Isn’t this obvious that I am right and the other person is wrong? “Am I crazy or was she taking advantage of me?” “To take advantage of someone” means that, for example, I ask you to come over to my house to help me fix something in my house – fix my computer – and when you’re there, you say, “Yes,” and then I say, “Oh, and can you fix my brother’s computer, my sister’s computer and my uncle’s computer?” Well, you are taking advantage of that person, meaning you’re asking them to do something much more than what they said. They were being nice to you and then you treat them in a not very nice or not very considerate way. So, to take advantage of someone is a negative thing.

Well, Sally says that it definitely sounds like the woman took advantage of his generosity. “Generosity” means, of course, to be generous – means to give other people your time or your money or things – that is to be generous, to be nice. Sally says that she, the woman at the dinner, should have paid. No question. We say, “No question” – we mean there is no doubt. This is absolutely certain that this is correct – no question. David then says, “The thing is, I thought she was really pretty.” That is a very common expression. “The thing is” – to tell someone that you are about to tell them something important or something interesting. It’s another way of saying, “What I am about to say is very important.”

Well, David says that he thought the woman was very pretty and he wanted to ask her out after he met her. “To ask someone out” means, you probably know, to ask them to go with you on a romantic date. Sally then says that unless David asked the woman out, he should not have had to pay for her. She then goes on to say that a lot of people “go Dutch.” “To go Dutch” – capital (Dutch) – means that everyone pays for themselves. So, when two people go out to dinner and they decide to go “Dutch,” that means each person will pay for their own meal. “Dutch” is an adjective – means from the Netherlands, the country in Europe, and probably not a very nice thing to say about people from the Netherlands, but it’s an expression we use in English. “To go Dutch” means that everyone pays for themselves. “To invite someone” would mean that you paid – you would pay for them. But to go Dutch, you pay for yourself.

Well, she says – Sally says to David that he should stay away from this woman, meaning he should not be with or try to go out with this woman. That is, she says, unless you don’t mind being her “sugar daddy.” “Unless you don’t mind,” meaning if it doesn’t bother you – “being her sugar daddy.” It’s kind of a funny expression “sugar (sugar) daddy (daddy)” – like a father. “To be a sugar daddy” means that you are a man who pays for everything that a woman wants, and again, it’s sort of the idea that she is taking advantage of you if you are romantically interested in each other. “To be a sugar daddy” would be to pay for all of her bills, all of her food, and so forth. It’s a negative term, however.

Sally here uses it as a joke and David says, in response, he says, “Yeah, right.” That expression “Yeah, right” means I disagree, that’s not true. You would think it would mean I agree, but it actually means the opposite when you say it with that particular intonation that particular tone. “Yeah, right” means I don’t believe you – that’s not something that I agree with. David says that he’s “too broke to be anybody’s sugar daddy.” “To be broke” (broke) means not to have any money. I’m broke. I don’t have any money – that’s true – not just in the story. Well, David then says that the dinner he had with this woman, “will be the last I see of her.” “The last (last)” means I won’t be seeing her again.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue at a native rate of speech.

[start of dialog]

David: Hey, Sally. Can I run something by you?

Sally: Sure, what's up?

David: Well, a friend of a friend wanted some help with her taxes and we agreed that we would talk about it over dinner. At the end of the night, when the check came, she expected me to pay! It was really awkward. It wasn't a date and I was doing her a favor! Am I crazy or was she taking advantage of me?

Sally: It definitely sounds like she took advantage of your generosity. If she was asking a favor, she should have paid. No question.

David: The thing is, I thought she was really pretty and I wanted to ask her out after I met her. But, now I'm not sure.

Sally: Well, I think that unless you asked her out, you shouldn't have to pay for her. And, these days, a lot of people go Dutch even if one person asks out the other. Based on what happened the other night, I'd stay away from this woman. That is, unless you don't mind being her sugar daddy.

David: Yeah, right. I'm too broke to be anybody's sugar daddy, even if I wanted to. I think you're right. That will be the last I see of her.

[end of dialog]

Our very own Dr. Lucy Tse wrote today’s very interesting script. Remember to visit our website at eslpod.com for more information and for the script of today’s podcast.

From Los Angeles, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2006.

Glossary
Can I run something by you? – Can I ask you something?; Can I get your opinion on something?

* Lara trusted Hugo’s opinion, so she asked him, “Can I run something by you?”


a friend of a friend – a person who one does not know, but who shares a friend; a person who one meets or hears about from a friend

* Ryan did not see the movie, but he heard that a friend of a friend enjoyed it.


taxes – money that one must pay to the government every year based on the money one earns or things that one owns

* Debbie made a large amount of money this year, so she needed to pay a lot of taxes.


over dinner – during dinner; while eating dinner

* The two friends were both hungry, so they decided to talk about their plans over dinner.


awkward – uncomfortable; unexpected and embarrassing

* Robert said something very rude about his wife, causing Lucas to feel awkward about the conversation.


date – a romantic meeting between two people; a time spent between two people who may be romantically interested in each other

* Jacqueline and Carter ate dinner during their date and learned that they shared many interests.


to do someone a favor – to do something nice or kind for another person without asking for something in return

* Alexi did Heather a favor by helping her study for the important test.


to take advantage of – to treat someone in an unkind way that benefits oneself; to use someone or something selfishly

* Ashton loved Marie, but she took advantage of his love by asking him for money and gifts.


no question – true without any doubts; unable to deny or argue against

* Stephanie coughs and feels sick when she is around cats, so there is no question that she is allergic to cats and cannot keep one in her apartment.


to ask someone out – to ask someone to meet for a date (a romantic meeting)

* Marcella thought that Miguel was very handsome and wanted to ask him out.


to go dutch – to pay equal parts of a bill or fee; to pay for what one buys in a social situation, while the other person pays for what he or she buys

* Tony offered to pay for Isabella's dinner, but she wanted to go dutch and pay for her own dinner.

sugar daddy – a man who buys gifts and other items for a woman who does not love him, but who still stays with him romantically for the benefits

* Kate treated Micah like her sugar daddy and wanted him to pay for her new car.


broke – poor; having little or no money

* Nicholas wanted to buy the new video game, but he was broke and could not afford it.

Culture Note
Meals and Meal Times

It can be confusing to hear Americans talk about meals. Both “supper” and “dinner” mean the same thing: the last meal of the day that is served in the evening.

In most parts of the United States, especially in “urban” (city) areas, you’ll hear “dinner” more often than “supper.” “Supper” is also a bit old-fashioned in most parts of the country. You may hear it used for talking about eating that meal at home; it’s less common to hear someone say that they are having supper at a restaurant.

In some “rural” (countryside) and Southern parts of the U.S., you may hear “dinner” used instead of “lunch” to mean the meal in the middle of the day, and “supper” used instead of “dinner” to mean the last meal of the day. However, this usage is also becoming less common these days and the terms “breakfast,” “lunch,” and “dinner” are the most commonly used to describe the three meals Americans typically eat each day.

For most Americans, mealtimes are as follows:

Breakfast – 6:00 to 9:00 a.m.

Lunch – 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Dinner/Supper – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Of course there are many “exceptions” (things that do not follow the rules) depending on people’s schedules and preferences, but these are times that you can expect a restaurant to serve these types of meals.

Many restaurants in many cities close at 9:00 p.m. on “weekdays” (Monday through Friday) and at 10:00 on “weekends” (Saturday and Sunday). You will still be served if you arrive anytime before closing time, but “latecomers” (people who arrive after the appointed time) will be “turned away” (not allowed to enter). There are, of course, restaurants that “cater to” (are made for; are specifically for) late-night “diners” (eaters), and many of these are open 24 hours.