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0266 Making a Move on Someone

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 266: Making a Move on Someone.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 266. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Remember to visit our website at eslpod.com and download the Learning Guide for this episode.

Our episode number 266 is called “Making a Move on Someone.” It's a conversation between A.J. and Gloria about a man who A.J. thinks is romantically interested in Gloria. Sounds interesting. Let's get started.

[start of story]

A.J.: What was going on with you and Tiago in his office earlier today? You two were pretty cozy in there.

Gloria: What? Oh, I was a little upset about messing up my presentation in the morning meeting, and Tiago was trying to reassure me about it.

A.J.: It looked like he was doing more than comforting you. He was sitting really close to you and he had his hand on your shoulder. If you ask me, he was making a move on you.

Gloria: Don’t be ridiculous! Tiago and I are just friends.

A.J.: Would you notice if he was? Remember Paul? He hit on you for two weeks before you noticed.

Gloria: That was completely different. He wasn’t hitting on me. He was bothering me, and I actually had to file a sexual harassment complaint against him before he’d stop. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

A.J.: I’m just saying that you’re not the most observant person when it comes to these kinds of things. Mark my words. Tiago is interested in you.

Gloria: If he is, I’m flattered. He’s a very attractive guy.

A.J.: That’s what all the women say. Some guys have all the luck. To add insult to injury, he doesn’t even know that women find him attractive. Even the other men in the office think he’s a nice guy.

Gloria: What can I say? Tell me the truth. Do you really think he’s interested in me?

[end of story]

The title of this episode is “Making a Move on Someone.” “To make move on someone” means to show or express your romantic interest in them. To talk to them, perhaps to invite them to dinner or for a coffee; that would be, or could be, making a move on someone. You are showing the person that you are interested in them romantically.

A.J. begins the conversation by saying, “What was going on with you and Tiago.” The expression “what's going on with” means what is happening – what is taking place between you two. “You two,” he says, “were pretty cozy in” the office – in his office. “To be cozy” (cozy) means to be very comfortable, and often very close to someone else. If you say, “He's cozy with her,” you mean he is physically close to her. “Cozy” can also be a general adjective to mean comfortable, very comfortable – “I am cozy sitting in my living room watching television.

Gloria is surprised by A.J.'s comments. She says, “What? Oh, I was a little upset about messing up my presentation in the morning meeting.” “To be upset” (upset) means to be unhappy – to be sad, maybe even a little of angry or mad; that is “to be upset.” Gloria was upset because she messed up her presentation. “To mess (mess) up” means to make a mistake; it's one of those two-word verbs – to make a mistake – “to mess up.” To do something wrong, or to do something incorrectly is “to mess up.” Usually it's a small mistake, but it could be something more serious. The word “mess” (mess), as a noun, usually means something that is not clean and in good order. Something that is disorganized would be a “mess.” My desk, for example, is always a mess at work. But, “to mess up” means to make a mistake.

Gloria says, “Tiago was trying to reassure” her about her presentation. “To reassure” (reassure) means to make someone feel better about something – to help someone feel less worried or less scared about something is “to reassure” someone. You could say, “I was very worried about missing my airplane, but my wife reassured me that we would make it to the airport on time.”

A.J. says that “It looked,” to him – to A.J. – like Tiago “was doing more than comforting” Gloria. “To comfort” (comfort) means to try to make someone feel better when they're sad, or when they are worried – “I'm going to comfort” someone. We also use that word, for example, if someone dies, and you talk to one of the friends or family members, you may try to comfort them – make them feel better because they are sad that something bad has happened.

A.J. says that Tiago “was sitting really close to” Gloria, and his hand was on her shoulder. He says, “If you ask me, he was making a move on you.” “If you ask me” is a common expression to mean I'm going to give you my opinion even though you didn't ask me, sometimes. “If you ask me” means in my opinion. A.J. says that Tiago “was making a move” – showing his romantic interest in Gloria. There are other meanings of this expression, “to make a move on.” You can look at our Learning Guide for this episode for additional explanations.

Gloria tells A.J., “Don’t be ridiculous!” “To be ridiculous” (ridiculous) means to be absurd; to be silly; to be unreasonable; when you say something or do something that makes you seem weird or silly or difficult to believe. Gloria is telling A.J., “Don't be ridiculous,” in other words, you are completely wrong. “Tiago and I,” she says, “are just friends.” Ah, yes, “just friends!”

A.J. says, “Would you notice if he was,” meaning would you notice if he was making a move on you. “To notice” (notice) means to pay attention to something; to hear or to see something and become aware of it. A.J. is telling Gloria that she would not notice – she would not realize that Tiago was making a move on her.

He says, “Remember Paul? He hit on you for two weeks before you noticed.” “To hit on” someone means to say something that would express your romantic interest. It's very similar to “to make a move on” someone. “To hit on” someone is to show them that you are interested in them romantically. This is an interesting verb, because the verb “to hit” means to punch someone or slap someone. “To hit on” means to show you are romantically interested – just the opposite. Although, if you hit on a woman who's not interested in you, you might get hit, so be careful!

Gloria says that the situation with Paul “was completely different. He wasn’t hitting on me,” she says, “He was bothering me, and I had to file a sexual harassment complaint against him before he’d stop.” “Sexual harassment” (harassment) means when you do something or say something, usually at work, that is considered inappropriate, something usually related to having a romantic or sexual interest in another person. But you do something that is against the rules; you say something or do something that makes the person feel uncomfortable. Many companies, and the government, have rules and regulations about how people at a workplace talk to each other and behave toward each other. This is something that is fairly new in the last 25 years or so.

So, Gloria is saying that Paul was sexually harassing her, causing her problems. She says, “You’re comparing apples” to “oranges.” The expression “to compare apples and oranges,” or, “apples to oranges,” means you are trying to compare two completely different things – things that are very different. Even though they are different, you are trying to say that they are the same.

A.J. says, “I’m just saying that you’re not the most observant person.” “To be observant” (observant) means to be aware of what is happening around you – to be paying attention. Someone who is observant notices things around them. A.J. is saying that Gloria is not a very observant person.

“Mark my words,” he says. The expression “mark (mark) my words” means listen carefully to what I'm saying and remember this. Usually it is something you say before making a prediction, or saying something that will become true in the future – “Mark my words.” So, A.J. says, “Mark my words. Tiago is interested in you.”

Gloria says, “If he is” – if he is interested – “I’m flattered.” “To be flattered” (flattered) means to be happy or pleased to know that another person thinks you are good, or pretty, or smart, or talented. Someone says, “Oh, you are a very beautiful woman,” and you say, “Oh, I'm flattered!” Somebody said that to me once; I wasn't flattered!

A.J. says, “That’s what all women say. Some guys have all the luck.” The expression “to have all the luck” means to be very lucky; to be very fortunate. “To add insult to injury,” Tiago “doesn’t even know that women find him attractive.” A.J. is saying, “To add insult to injury” (injury), which means that you are describing a bad situation that is even worse or becoming worse. Something bad or negative that happens after something else bad and negative happens.

For example, I lend a friend of mine $10, and the next day I see him and I say, “John, do you have my $10 I lent you yesterday” – he has to give me the money back. He doesn't give me my money back; to add insult to injury, he says that I never gave him the $10. So, there's a bad thing – he doesn't give me back my money – followed by an even worse thing – he doesn't admit that I gave him the money.

So, A.J. is saying that not only is Tiago an attractive guy, “he doesn't even know that” other “women find him attractive.”

Gloria says, at the end, “What can I say? Tell me the truth. Do you really think he’s interested in me?” The expression “what can I say” is one that we use sometimes to show that you have no control over a situation; you are helpless. In this case, Gloria says, “What can I say” meaning she has nothing to do with – she is not responsible for Tiago being interested in her. But, it's also something of a joke sometimes. “What can I say, everyone loves me” means I can't help it. I'm so great that everyone loves me – that would be a funny use of that expression.

Gloria, of course, now is wondering if Tiago is interested in her, and so she is asking A.J.

Now let's listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of story]

A.J.: What was going on with you and Tiago in his office earlier today? You two were pretty cozy in there.

Gloria: What? Oh, I was a little upset about messing up my presentation in the morning meeting, and Tiago was trying to reassure me about it.

A.J.: It looked like he was doing more than comforting you. He was sitting really close to you and he had his hand on your shoulder. If you ask me, he was making a move on you.

Gloria: Don’t be ridiculous! Tiago and I are just friends.

A.J.: Would you notice if he was? Remember Paul? He hit on you for two weeks before you noticed.

Gloria: That was completely different. He wasn’t hitting on me. He was bothering me, and I actually had to file a sexual harassment complaint against him before he’d stop. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

A.J.: I’m just saying that you’re not the most observant person when it comes to these kinds of things. Mark my words. Tiago is interested in you.

Gloria: If he is, I’m flattered. He’s a very attractive guy.

A.J.: That’s what all the women say. Some guys have all the luck. To add insult to injury, he doesn’t even know that women find him attractive. Even the other men in the office think he’s a nice guy.

Gloria: What can I say? Tell me the truth. Do you really think he’s interested in me?

[end of story]

The script for today's podcast was written by Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, 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 2007.

Glossary
cozy – very comfortable and close

* Betti spent a cozy evening at home, sitting on her favorite chair with a warm blanket, a good book, her cat, and a hot cup of tea.


upset – a negative feeling of unhappiness, sadness, and anger

* The boys were very upset when they lost the baseball game on Saturday.


to mess up – to make a mistake; to do something wrong or incorrectly

* Andrea messed up her dance performance by accidentally falling in the middle of the song.


to reassure – to make someone feel better about something; to help someone feel less worried, doubtful, or scared about something

* Trisha was very worried about losing her job, but her boss reassured her by telling her that she won’t be fired if she continues doing good work.


to comfort­ – to try to make someone feel better when he or she is sad, frightened, or worried about something

* When Brian is stressed or worried about school, he sometimes tries to comfort himself by eating, but that isn’t very healthy.


to make a move on (someone) – to do or say something to try to begin a romantic or sexual relationship with someone

* Paul and Rebecca have always been good friends, but yesterday Paul made a move on her by reaching for her hand while they were watching a movie together.


ridiculous – absurd; unreasonable; not possible to believe; very silly

* Don’t you think it’s ridiculous to pay $100,000 for a car?


to notice – to pay attention to something; to see or hear something and become aware of it

* Janette was reading a book while she was walking, so she didn’t notice the big hole in the sidewalk and she almost fell into it!


to hit on (someone) – to do or say something to try to meet someone for a romantic or sexual relationship

* Men often hit on women in bars by offering to buy them drinks.


sexual harassment – inappropriate words or touching that are offensive and/or illegal at work because they are related to sex

* The trainer at work told us that we should never tell sexual jokes at work, because people who hear them might think that they are a type of sexual harassment.


to compare apples and oranges – to compare two things that are very different; to look for things that are the same between two things that are very different

* Comparing the salaries of computer programmers in Singapore and the United States is like comparing apples and oranges, because those programmers live in countries with very different economies.


observant – aware of what is happening around oneself; paying attention to things that are said and done; easily able to notice things

* Police officers are taught to be very observant so that they can easily remember the faces of people they see where crimes happen.


to mark (one’s) words – to listen carefully to what one is saying and remember it for the future

* Mark my words! That company is going to grow very quickly over the next ten years. We should invest in it now.


flattered – pleased to know that another person thinks one is good, pretty, talented, or smart

* Fatima was flattered when her husband told her that she was the most beautiful woman in the world.


to have all the luck – to be very lucky or fortunate

* Last year Bala won a free car, a new boat, and a trip to Hawaii. Some guys have all the luck.


To add insult to injury,… – a phrase used to describe a bad situation that is becoming worse; something bad or negative happening after something bad or negative has already happened

* This morning Chris spilled coffee on his shirt, lost his car keys, and couldn’t find a place to park his car. To add insult to injury, when he got to the office his computer wouldn’t start and his phone was broken!


What can I say? – a question used to show that one is helpless and has no control over a situation

* Bala’s friends were jealous when he won a free car, a new boat, and a trip to Hawaii. He just smiled and said, “What can I say? I guess I’m lucky.”

Comprehension Questions
1. What reason does Gloria give for Tiago sitting close to her?
a) He was messing up her presentation.
b) He was reassuring and comforting her.
c) He was making a move on her.

2. What does Gloria mean when she talks about comparing apples and oranges?
a) It was hard for her to get Paul to stop throwing fruit at her.
b) She is very observant when comparing apples and oranges.
c) Tiago and Paul treated her is very different ways.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
to make a move on

The phrase “to make a move on (someone),” in this podcast, means to do or say something to try to begin a romantic or sexual relationship with someone: “Harvey made a move on Gertrude by bringing her flowers and chocolate when she was sick.” The phrase “to move on to (something)” means to begin doing something new or to start talking about something new: “If no one has anything else to say about the marketing plan, let’s move on to the next item of business.” The phrase “to move on” can also mean to start leaving a place, especially if one is in a vehicle: “At an accident, police officers often ask drivers to please move on and not drive more slowly to see what happened.”

to notice

In this podcast, the verb “to notice” means to pay attention to something, or to see or hear something and become aware of it: “Did you notice that Chanterelle was crying? I wonder what happened.” The phrase “to give (a number) weeks’ notice” means to tell one’s employer that one is going to stop working there in a number of weeks: “At most companies, employees are asked to give two weeks’ notice before they quit.” The phrases “on short notice” and “with short notice” mean without knowing about something in advance, or being surprised by something: “Felipe read about a good job opportunity, but he had to finish his application on short notice, because applications had to be sent to the company by the next day.”

Culture Note
In the United States, most companies and organizations have sexual harassment policies. A “policy” is something that is written to describe what a person or organization will do in a specific situation, so a “sexual harassment policy” is a written description of what a company will do when there is sexual harassment at work.

Most sexual harassment policies begin with definitions of sexual harassment and descriptions of the types of “behavior” (actions) that might be sexual harassment. Some common types of sexual harassment include “dirty jokes” (jokes that are sexual), “comments” or things that are said about a person’s “physical appearance” (how one looks), and touching that is not wanted or welcomed.

At most companies, the person who is the “victim” (a person who has been hurt by a wrong or illegal activity) is supposed to ask the “harasser” (the person who is doing the sexual harassment) to stop. If the victim is too uncomfortable to do this, he or she should report it to his or her “supervisor” (boss). If the sexually harassing behavior continues, the supervisor will talk to the harasser and “report” (give information about something) the sexual harassment to the “human resources department,” which is the department in a company that is responsible for taking care of employees.

The harasser is usually given “written warnings” (letters) that tell him or her that if the behavior doesn’t stop, he or she will be “fired” (lose his or her job). If the harasser doesn’t believe that he or she is “engaging in” (doing) sexually harassing behavior, he or she can go to a committee of people at the company to “plead his or her case,” meaning that he or she will explain the situation from his or her point of view. Then the committee can make a final decision.

Comprehension Answers
1 - b

2 - c