in tests'r'us

storyville /8/ organizing a party


a new schoolyear has begun and among the things that I will use to improve my students’ English are some new STORYVILLE compilations I have put together. these are designed to teach the students lots of interesting and useful idioms, phrasal verbs and other idiomatic expressions. here is the first one for this year.

organizing a party

introthere’s going to be a wedding and Lilly, who is in charge of organizing it, is exhausted. No wonder, considering the number of things she’s supposed to arrange

be in charge of st … velet, řídit
considering … vzhledem k tomu, že
arrange … zařizovat
napkin … ubrousek
centerpiece … hlavní ozdoba

Okay, the …1… will be there by six. I also confirmed the band, ordered the cake, filled out the place cards, picked up the cocktail napkins and I’m almost …2… making the centerpieces. It’s all so much work, this party is just going to …3a… me …3b….

when will my son find out

intro … Ned has never been good at sports but luckily he’s been able to keep his eleven-year-old son in the dark about this. Not for much longer, though. There’s going to be a ballgame tomorrow. Ned is expected to play and his son will be cheering him on.

keep sb in the dark … udržovat v nevědomosti
ballgame … zápas, utkání (v míčové hře)
cheer sb on … povzbuzovat
humiliation … ponížení
co-worker … spolupracovník

I just keep …4… that time when Dad made us try baseball. I will never forget the humiliation. I mean, I can live with playing badly in front of my co-workers, it’s my son I’m worried about. He’s still at that age where he thinks his father can do anything. I know some day he’s going to have to learn that I’m not perfect, I was just hoping it might be something less humiliating than seeing me make a fool of myself at a baseball game.

here are the phrases that you’re supposed to use in the gaps:

that’s anybody’s guess … to nikdo neví
be nuts … být blázen
brush up on st … oprášit si, osvěžit si (znalosti)
cheat on sb … podvádět (partnera s někým jiným)
be done doing st … být s něčím hotový
fancy … fajnový
in a row … (v řadě) za sebou
get to do st … mít příležitost něco dělat
keg of beer … bečka piva
take st up … začít s něčím (sportem, cizím jazykem)
think back to st … vzpomínat na
treat sb to st … pohostit, pozvat na
wear sb out … unavit, utahat
what is it with them? … co to s nimi je? (proč se chovají divně?)


if you’re a teacher of English, you may want to use the print-out versions of this text, as I strongly advise you should. what you see here is the version for intermediate students, but there is also a version for advanced students, which is not too different. there’s no need to thank me. there’s not even a reason.

are women crazy?

intro … Tim is upset and confused. Although he’s married, he has had a number of affairs with lots of various women but most of them left him puzzled. What do these women actually want?

confused … zmatený
a number of … celá řada (mnoho, eine ganze Reihe)
affair … poměr (milostný)
puzzled … zmatený
these days … v současnosti
either-or … buď-anebo
dump st … vyklopit
bouquet … kytice (aranžovaná)
as for … co se týče
response … reakce/odpověď

…5… women these days? I mean, you …6a… a woman …6b… dinner at a …7… restaurant, and by the end of the night, she’s either telling you you’re the greatest thing ever or she’s dumping a bouquet of flowers over your head. And as for which response you get, well, that’s …8…. So tell me, are all women …9…, or just the ones I …10… my wife with?


fencing practice

intro … Jeffrey’s wife Annie spent months bored out of her mind. Luckily for both of them, she has recently discovered fencing. As luck would have it, her instructor is a German guy. Annie’s German is kind of rusty so she could probably use the practice.

fencing … šerm
as luck would have it … shodou náhod
rusty … zde: zaprášená, dlouho nepoužívaná
she could use the practice … procvičování by se jí hodilo

For weeks, all Annie did for excitement was swim in her pool. But now she’s …11… fencing, and I’ve never seen her happier. She stays up late into the evening, working with her instructor. Manfred was the German champion three years …12…. He doesn’t speak a word of English, so Annie …13… …14… her German while practicing.