1. anything but
Librarian：Oh, well I guess you might think that. But when I saw it back then it was anything but boring.
注：近似词组 nothing but 意为“只不过是”
例如：It's nothing but a joke.
2. in such short notice
Student：Hi, thanks for seeing me in such short notice.
3. in person
Manager：Right, the choir. It’s nice to finally meet you in person. So, you are having problems with...
Pro： Ok, basically they have to offer things that most people can find anywhere else, you know quality, that means better exercise equipment,high-end stuff, and classes-exercise classes may be aerobics.
Therefore, it’s best to be a non-conformist – to do your own thing, not worrying about what other people think. That’s an important point. He really drives this argument home throughout the essay.
6. goof off
Student: I went off to the stack and found some really good material for my part, but when I got back to our table, they were just goofing off and talking. So I went and got materials for their sections as well.
7. go down the drain
Student: I know, but I didn’t want to risk the project going down the drain.
8. start from scratch
Student: But we’ve got all the sources and it’s due next week. We don’t have time to start from scratch.
9. come down to
It’s been shaped by constraints over vast stretches of time, all of which comes down to the fact that the best foraging strategy for beavers isn’t the one that yields the most food or wood.
10. open spot
I am afraid we don’t have any openings at lunch time. A lot of students want to work then, so it is really rare for us to have an open spot at that time of day.
11. not necessarily
Well, design doesn't necessarily include things like sculptures or decorative walkways or… or even eye catching window displays, you know art.
Professor：That’s another possible reason although it doesn’t necessarily explain other behaviors such as eating, drinking or sleeping.”
12. be at odds with
They try to fit in with the rest of the world even though it’s at odds with their beliefs and their identities.
Employee：You are lucky to have professor who includes the lesser-known writer like her on the syllabus, you know, not the usual authors we’ve all read.
14. pros and cons
I mean no one really thinks that, say a bee goes through weighing the pros and cons of pollinating this flower or that flower.
15. in a different light
Student: I mean... Being a waiter, I get to see a lot of the professors, like in a different light, we joke around a little you know. In the classroom, they always have to be pretty formal, but …
16. low key
Pro: Oh, that's very thoughtful of you, Eric, but it will be low key, nothing flashy. That's not her style.
17. common denominator
There are variations on this model of course, but the common denominators are always an idea of creating a shopping space that will get people to shop in the city without needing their cars.
18. tongue in cheek
But if you took away all the DNA that codes for genes, you still have maybe 70% of the DNA left over. That’s the so-called JUNK DNA. Though the word junk is used sort of tongue in cheek.
19. pull them from thin air
To begin, how do we create fictional characters? We don’t just pull them from thin air, do we? I mean we don’t create them out of nothing.
20. touch base
Advisor: Hi, Steven I schedule this appointment, cause it has been a while since we touched base.