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One Upping

One Upping English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Nov 24 2009

Themes: Soap Opera, Work

Grammar: Count and Noncount Nouns


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When you run into someone you haven’t seen in a little while, you usually want to put your best foot forward. No matter how things are going for you, you want to make it seem like things are going at least fairly well, especially if you have a bit of a rivalry with that person.

This week on the Ebaby! soap opera, Mason is just doing his job, cleaning the office of Devan’s company, when he runs into Marni in the hall. What is she doing at their office? Marni was so mad after Devan decided not to hire her that she went ahead and started a very similar company that also helps exchange students find dates. Whatever Marni’s reason for being there, Mason had better not let on that Devan is freaking out about how much better Marni’s company is doing than hers.

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1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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





Mason:  Whoa!

Marni:  Oh. Hi.

Mason:  Uh, Marni.

Marni:  Hi Mason. How are you?

Mason:  I’m good. What are you doing here?

Marni:  Uh, I actually had to lease some space in this building. My company is going gangbusters so we had to get more space.

Mason:  Really?

Marni:  Yeah. How are you guys doin’? How’s the Dream Date?

Mason:  Uh, oh…It’s date-tastic. I mean, you know, things are poppin’, crackalackin, sky’s the limit, glass ceiling is being pushed, actualization is occurring. It’s great. Everything’s awesome.

Marni:  Good to hear stuff’s…Good for you. Awesome.

Mason:  Yeah, yeah. What kind of visitor-ship do you have? Like, one thousand members or so?

Marni:  We are, like, about to exceed a million.

Mason:  Yeah.

Marni:  And we keep gaining more members. I think our average is like two thousand new members a day.

Mason:  Right. We’re at least one more than whatever it is that you have.

Marni:  Oh, wow!

Mason:  I just know that.

Marni:  Yeah. And you know what the crazy thing is? I actually…I don’t mean to brag, but…I actually was just given another award. We’ve won, like, several awards for how, you know, our website is just connecting people around the world and it’s actually bringing around people of all different nationalities.

Mason:  That’s interesting. Interesting. Yeah.

Marni:  And, you know, I’m kind of hoping to kind of bring about world peace, but that’s a lofty goal so…

Mason:  Yeah. Huh. Well.

Marni:  Yeah.

Mason:  I mean, you know, you can’t get a Nobel this year so…

Marni:  Not this year, but…

Mason:  Sorry about that. Well, that’s awesome. Good for you, you know. I’m glad you’re not too depressed that we’re constantly kicking your butt at what you do.

Marni:  Well…

Mason:  Anyway.

Marni:  I don’t know that you’re kickin’ my butt, but…

Mason:  I’m just, you know…Hey. It’s cool. There’s no reason to be jealous. Let’s just leave friends.

Marni:  Absolutely.

Mason:  Friends.

Marni:  Friends.

Mason:  Mm-hm. I’ve got some stuff to clean this way.

Marni:  OK. You get back to that. Good to see you.


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It turns out that Marni is in Devan and Mason’s office building because her company is doing so well she had to lease more space…and she happened to lease some there. Her international dating website is really popular and is even winning some awards.

Devan’s company, which Mason works for, is not doing as well. So he makes up words like “date-tastic” as he struggles to lie to Marni and tell her the company is doing well.

Marni and Mason continue one upping each other. Eventually, Mason tells Marni that his company is “kicking her butt,” which means winning by a lot, and that’s just taking it a little too far. Marni repeats that she’s doing just fine and she and Mason agree that they are still friends.

Have you ever run into someone and had to pretend like you were doing a little better than you really were? Do you think Marni will be able to keep her friends even though they all work for Devan’s company?



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Unfortunately most of people here behave like Marni and Manson. They lie on each other and they think that they are smart…. In fact they lie on nobody but on theirselves….I can't get along with this kind of people.

11:01 AM Nov 24 2009 |

Ahn Soo-hyun

South Korea

Honestly, I can't understand this situation. Who is a liar, and who told the truth?

I think all of them lied each other.(right?) But Marni might tell the truth. Anyway, I can't understand this situation. Have a happy days!

08:49 AM Nov 24 2009 |




pretend someone like doing a little better ,in my mind it just like win on the word,there is no real purport.

06:21 AM Nov 24 2009 |




Ran into someone and pretend like you are doing better than you really are, is like fooling your own self. It's better to tell the truth than to tell a lie, lying doesn't make you happy at all.

06:16 AM Nov 24 2009 |

Whitney S

Whitney S


hahahhaa ROFL!

They're acting like children! 

05:56 AM Nov 24 2009 |




Never  to brag.It can do nothing just refect ur foolish.

To be modest,face the reality that u r not good right now.

Tack action to make urself to be a successful person.

05:05 AM Nov 24 2009 |



Russian Federation

People do this often. Nobody wants to be a looser. But I love truth so in such situations I tell nothing or the things they are in reality. Bragging is not way out – the truth always comes up sooner or later – so let's hope that Mason will be able to improve business and be successful.

03:19 AM Nov 24 2009 |



I like love at first sight, but do not know if a girl can make me love at first sight. Hope that in the near future, then met a girl, He He

02:36 AM Nov 24 2009 |



No, as I remember I never run into someone and had pretend that I were doing better than I am now, because there was no reason to do that. Marni is nice and I think she will be able to keep the friendship with others.

02:27 AM Nov 24 2009 |




Sure thing…I dont want others to laugh at me when they think I'm not doing very well.It is kind of self-protection that help us keep confidance.And I feel like the most important is what you are gonna do afterwards. To make it better or to leave it at that.that is the point.

02:26 AM Nov 24 2009 |



United States

How's it going Mason?Did you watch the movie liar liar.The point is not to lie.Don't get crazy buddy.

01:50 AM Nov 24 2009 |

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