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Check Someone Out

Check Someone Out English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: May 11 2010

Themes: Romance, Work

Grammar: Phrasal Verbs


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It can be nice to be looked at. If someone looks you in the eye as you shake hands, that’s a good feeling. And who wouldn’t want to be so good-looking that as you walk down the street, people turn to look at you?

But there’s a kind of look that, at the wrong time, can be really inappropriate and offensive. It’s the kind of look that implies sexual desire and it’s called checking someone out.

When someone checks you out, they usually look at your whole body rather slowly. In the right context, checking someone out can be a compliment. If you’re out at a party and someone you have a crush on checks you out, it probably means the feelings of attraction are mutual.

But it’s not really appropriate to check someone out in an office. See what happens when Mason notices Jeff checking his coworker Ella out on his way out of the office. Of course, Mason has been known to check out Ella himself. But when he sees someone else doing it, it’s different.

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





Mason:  Excuse me, friend! Excuse me, a moment of your time?

Jeff:  How can I help you?

Mason:  Yeah, I’d like to know what you were doing checking my friend Ella out?

Jeff:  What are you talking about?

Mason:  I think you know! I saw you checking her out!

Jeff:  Excuse me, let me introduce myself. I’m Jeff with Heathcoat and Silverman.

Mason:  I don’t want to shake that hand, Silverman. Silver fox! I’m not having it! Not until you treat my friend Ella like a lady! With respect!

Jeff:  Are you accusing me of checking that employee out?

Mason:  I am absolutely accusing you of checking that employee out! Looking her up and down! Giving her the once over!

Jeff:  I haven’t the slightest what you’re talking about.

Mason:  Gazing with a sexual intent? I mean what else would you call that other than “checking someone out”? Huh? I’d like to know!

Jeff:  Hey, we don’t have to take it there. This is a professional environment, I think we can talk this out.

Mason:  Oh yeah?

Jeff:  However I can make you feel at ease in this situation.

Mason:  Oh! That sounds great! You know what makes me feel at ease? Stay the heck away from her.

Jeff:  We’re working out a deal so you’re going to be seeing a lot of me around here.

Mason:  Oh really?

Jeff:  Yes.

Mason:  I’m a janitor, my friend. You don’t want to know what I’m capable of.

Jeff:  I’m at a loss for words here.

Mason:  Oh yeah? You’re at a loss for words? I’m at a loss for hat now, friend! It just got serious up in here! If I see you checking out my friend again I’ll see you in court! Hats off!


Grammar Point

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As he’s leaving the office, Jeff pauses to check Ella out. Mason notices and follows after him. He’s angry and tells Jeff not to check Ella out again. Jeff denies that he checked her out and says he has no idea what Mason is talking about.

It sure did look like Jeff gave Ella the once over, but Mason might be particularly sensitive about it because he has a crush on her. Do you think Mason is overreacting? When is it OK to check someone out?



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Viet Nam

This situation is so funny. Maybe it was an unlucky day for Jeff. He was at a loss for words when Mason chased him. Absolutely, looking someone up and down like that in the profesional environment is not permitted, and Mason's attitude is also overreacting.

Sometimes I walk down the street,  there is someone check me out like that. It makes me so confused at that time, because I think if there is something wrong with my face or my body. Uhm, I am often at a loss of words at that time.

01:54 AM May 11 2010 |

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