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Get Off One's Back
Get Off One's Back English, baby! Video Lesson

Learn English meaning of 'get off one's back'

Date: Mar 17 2015

Themes: Family, School, Soap Opera, Work

Grammar: To, Too & Two

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1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

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2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

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Have you ever carried a heavy backpack? At first, you feel strong. Then you feel less and less able to carry it. Finally, it feels impossible. It doesn’t matter if the backpack has everything you own inside. You’re tired of carrying it and you want to take it off your back.

When someone asks you to do something once, it’s not a problem. But when someone asks you again and again, you become less and less interested in doing whatever it is they want. Over time, you just want them to get off your back.

If you tell someone to get off your back, you’re telling them to stop bothering you. You will do what they’re asking soon, but not now. And you’re not going to do it at all if they don’t leave you alone!

Both Jessica and Joun Kim want their parents to get off their backs. What’s the problem? Learn more in today’s English lesson about their families.

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Dialog

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2. 学問 - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.

Jessica

Jessica

Joun Kim: What’s it like to be living at home again?

Jessica:  Not so great. Some days I wish I could just tell my parents to get off my back.

Joun Kim: Why? What are they doing?

Jessica:  They treat me like I’m a kid. They remind me to do my chores, and they give me an allowance.

Joun Kim: Don’t they know you have a job?

Jessica:  It’s totally ridiculous. Last night, my mom sent me to my room without any dinner. And then she threatened to ground me for something I said to my brother.

Joun Kim: That’s so crazy. If it makes you feel better, my parents are difficult, too.

Jessica:  Wait. Don’t they live in Korea?

Joun Kim: Yes, but they find ways to make trouble from afar.

Jessica:  No. What do they do?

Joun Kim: They e-mail me every day, and they get worried if I don’t reply. They expect me to call them once a week, too.

Jessica:  But you’re so busy. Aren’t you taking four classes right now?

Joun Kim: They need to get off my back. I love them, but I spend too much time trying to make them happy.

Jessica:  Parents! It must be hard for them to watch us grow up. We used to be their babies.

Joun Kim: Yeah, you’re right. I should cut them some slack, but…

Jessica:  I know, I know.

 

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ディスカッション

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Jessica is having a difficult time living with her parents. Her mother and father are acting like she’s a child, but Jessica is an adult. It doesn’t help that her brother is living at home as well. It’s like they’re children all over again… fighting, getting an allowance, and doing chores.

Joun Kim understands what it’s like to have problems with one’s parents. Since she is studying far from home, Joun Kim’s mother and father email her all the time. They call her every week, and they become nervous if she doesn’t answer. Joun Kim is very busy, however, so she can’t always write or talk to them.

Have you had the same experience as Jessica or Joun Kim? Is it ever OK to tell someone to get off your back?

 

コメント

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allenzhaojl

China

Sometimes I really want my parents to get off my back, like when my parents see me not doing homework they yell at me and it is not good!


03:08 AM Aug 15 2016 |

forugh

forugh

Iran, Islamic Republic Of

same here.my parrents don’t beleive that I have become an adult:(

04:20 AM Mar 18 2015 |

ola33

ola33

Japan

Snow, in Ukraine, we also bargain on the market. A good deal, for sure, will make you smarter. But the bargaining was done just on the spot, without preliminary ads for it like somebody was calling you, following you or begging you. In Ukraine, if you didn’t make a good deal – it’s ok, just shrug your shoulders, sign and move on. I love bargaining, even in stores. In canada the best bargaining skills to show your smartness is when you buy a car. This is where a lot of homework needs to be done.

03:19 AM Mar 18 2015 |

3 people like this

S&W

S&W

China

@julito and ola33,In old times,bargain with the seller was common phenomenon no matter what you buy ,at least bargaining within ten minutes,It always becomes a way to show how intelligent you are and how well you are familiar with the market quotation.sometimes you pretent to go and the seller will persuade you to stay and give you a discount.but now ,we prefer to the store with no bargain and no sale followers.

02:57 AM Mar 18 2015 |

S&W

S&W

China

I think everyone had the same experience as jessica and kim.I will never tell my mom to get off my back.i am happy my parent was there give me allowance and doing the chore.deeply i know one day no one would do this for me.

07:56 PM Mar 17 2015 |

ola33

ola33

Japan

Julito, I heard one guy so much exelled in it that a seller was running after him begging to return the item, so good a deal was. Too much honor the buyer paid to the seller:)

03:55 PM Mar 17 2015 |

2 people like this

julito1

julito1

Argentina

OLA, i was told that in the Middle East if you don`t bargain it is almost as an insult to the  shop owner . Bargaining is mandatory !!!  jejejejeje!!!  I guess that it is part of their culture . Native people  go shopping and start arguing about the price ,sometimes got into a fierce discussion over it, but this doesn`t stop the owner from offering to the client an anisette that is gladly accepted. In the end ,after much arguing and more anisettes the client got a substantial discount and everybody is content.    :)))))

01:46 PM Mar 17 2015 |

2 people like this

ola33

ola33

Japan

Julito, bargaining in Asian countries is really an art! Imagine how many gullible once that boy relentlessly follows and somebody for sure would fall for that and would be brought into the ‘treacherous store’. I probably would have been the one :)))

12:36 PM Mar 17 2015 |

1 person likes this

dayu1

dayu1

Mexico

oh god i have a similar expirience here :(

12:13 PM Mar 17 2015 |

Shoba

Shoba

Sri Lanka



Your story is so hilarious, dear Julito. I wish I had been there to see you getting all irritated when the boy showed up again. 


It was nice to see your profile page finally and learn that you’re a graduate of the school of hard knocks. It certainly is the best school in the world, isn’t it? 



09:27 AM Mar 17 2015 |

evil_genius

Turkey

yeah when I was in high school, I had to stay with my parents. it was quite disturbing when I was late from school, they were suspecting of me that I may be hanging outside or playing games with friends. what was wrong with playing?they even stalked me, about where I was going…obviously, too much care is annoying. but parents should take care of their children in a way that could balance and not choke them. this way, the child will take his own responsiblities and decisions.

09:12 AM Mar 17 2015 |

julito1

julito1

Argentina

Ola, hola, yes,i couldn`t believed that he had been following us all along and up to the 3rd. floor of the mall. He was so adamant in his request that we should buy  at the place he had in mind.A relentless fly all over me, i was really pissed off with him. :))))


When  shopping in Asian countries one`s must be very focus if you want to cut a deal , i mean bargaining and all that , but i was so nervous that i couldn`t get the boy off my back that half  jokingly and half seriously I told my friend that next time go on your own . Hands off Julito !!!!

08:43 AM Mar 17 2015 |

3 people like this

La Princesse de la vie

Egypt

Now, I’m so grateful that I have more freedom my dad and mom allowed me after I joined university. Before, I couldn’t even hang out with my friends.


They were caring for me, and they were always saying it was for my interest, but it was still bothering me. I mean of course I wanted some room to do what I want, decide the best for my own by myself, but they always interfered. 


The most funny that my little brother, and he’s a teen, has started lately to go out with his friends till late, and I feel worried about him all the time, and I can’t even sleep until he’s back home maybe a bit before midnight, and when I try to talk to him, he tells me to get off his back and to leave him alone.


Now I realize that parents are always right, because no one will ever care about you like them, even yourself..


08:04 AM Mar 17 2015 |

ola33

ola33

Japan

Julito, your post made me laugh. You were so happy not to see the boy again…but here he is.. :))

05:58 AM Mar 17 2015 |

ScienceBoy

ScienceBoy

Turkey

Joun Kim’s parents are worried as their beloved daughter is far far away. Of course they will want to hear from Joun. And they expect her to call one a week. How is that too much. It wound’t be much even if they expected her to call everyday. They are her Mom and Dad. Joun, you have no right to tell them to get off your back. 


I think people who have kids understands better why we shouldn’t tell our parents to get off our back. Like buttafly wrote.

04:28 AM Mar 17 2015 |

julito1

julito1

Argentina

I don`t quite agree with this subject. At least in the west, parents give a lot of freedom to their daughters. And I agree with Dear Shoba and Buttafly , we should never show disrespect to our progenitors


I was in India and my friend wanted to buy silk clothes , as i speak better english than her, she asked me for help. We were in a crowded area looking for a shop to  buy the silk  when  one boy came up and insisted that we go with him to a certain place , i declined ( obviously he was receiving a commission from the owner) The problem was that he wouldn`t accept a “NO” for an answer.  He kept on pestering me  all the way and ,thanks God , finally i lost sight of him. That was what i believed. We went to another area and found a galleria and on the 3rd floor the silk my friend was looking for. Suddenly , out of the blue i saw him bugging  me again .Dear Lord !!i couldn`t got him off my back. 


 

04:14 AM Mar 17 2015 |

buttafly

buttafly

Germany

Never ever whould I dare to tell my parents to get off my back. I think it’s disrespectful. Truth be told, I would feel extremely hurt if one of my girls used this phrase on me. I’m a so called Mama Bear – which means I am commited to caring. My mind is consumed with thoughts about my children’s well-being. I am sure Jessica’s or Kim’s parents are only animated by the best intentions. Although giving a 20 something woman some allowance is pushing it a bit :)) Other than that, parenting is a glorious, never ending adventure. Therefore I’ll never stop providing that service to my girls…just like my parents never stopped providing it to me ;)  Also, if something needs to be done because Mom or Dad said so, this should be it . no further discussion ;)

03:53 AM Mar 17 2015 |

ola33

ola33

Japan

I’d say it’s sort of mutual thing to bug. It can be both from parents and children side. Parents want the best for their kids, that’s why they keep on pestering to clean up the room, to do the homework, to come home before midnight. Teens are usually are in their own world and want to be left alone. Let’s cut them some slack-hormones! But if they’re hungry, they will bug you! They’ve got a huge appetite! So every one has got his bugging share to get on somebody’ back..

03:40 AM Mar 17 2015 |

Shoba

Shoba

Sri Lanka



Parents do get under our skin when they treat us like kids. I really hate it when my mother (who is on a 6-month visit to Sri Lanka at present) makes a big deal when I fail to oil my hair on Saturdays or don’t come back home on time from my classes.


But since it’s done out of love and care for us, telling them to get off our back would be heartless. 


Just bite the bullet and put up with it, Jessica and Joun Kim! 



skminhaj

skminhaj

India

Parents loves us thats why they care for us ,it should not mean that they are bothering us .they just wants us to be happy and safe and  most of the people  reliaze this blessing only after when they become parents its just the blessings from God  .i mean asks those people who dont have parents how they feel .in islam it is mandatory for muslim to take care of his parents and you cannot even raise your voice infront of them so just show patience treat them nicely …

12:22 AM Mar 17 2015 |

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