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The Last Straw

The Last Straw English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Nov 23 2010

Themes: Soap Opera

Grammar: Simple Future Tense


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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When something bothers you, you can usually deal with it for a while. But there’s a limit to what you can tolerate. At some point, you’re going to snap. When you do, it may seem like you’re overreacting to a small problem. Really, though, you’ve been building up frustration for a long time and the thing that upset you was just the last straw.

This phrase is a shortened version of an older idiom: “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” A camel can carry a lot of weight. But at some point, it will reach a limit, and if you add one more straw, even though it doesn’t weigh much on its own, it will be too much for the camel to hold up.

No one would know that Ella has been bothering Jason. She doesn’t work very hard and can be a little distracting, but Jason’s a pretty easygoing guy. Nonetheless, watch what happens when Ella makes a disgusting noise while finishing a drink.

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


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.





Ella:  Slurp…slurp...

Jason:  OK, that’s it!

Ella:  What?

Jason:  The noise! It’s driving me crazy!

Ella:  I’m thirsty!

Jason:  That’s the last straw. I’m reporting you to Devan.

Ella:  What do you mean, it’s the last straw?

Jason:  What do I mean it’s the last straw? I mean, you have such a poor work ethic, you date your coworkers, you make noise! That’s it! That’s the last thing! That’s the one that pushes me over the edge!

Ella:  What?

Jason:  I mean, that’s the last in a series of annoyances and disappointments that has led me to lose patience, trust and hope.

Ella:  You’re gonna be sorry, Jason…

Jason:  Oh yeah? Am I? Am I, now? Am I, really? Enough is enough, you know. OK, that was the last straw. I was kidding before, about that being the last straw, but that is the last straw!


Grammar Point

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While Jason is using the fax machine, Ella is standing next to him slurping her drink and making an annoying noise. Suddenly, Jason gets upset. He tells Ella that she has been bothering him for a long time and that the noise she was making is the last straw. He’s going to talk to their boss about her.

Ella doesn’t understand, so Jason explains that he thinks she’s a bad worker and has reached the end of his patience. Clearly, he’s angry since he complains that Ella dates a coworker, forgetting that he does too. Naturally, Ella is hurt and tells Jason he’ll regret what he has said.

Then, she throws a whole box of straws on Jason’s head.

Of course, this makes him even more upset. He says he wasn’t serious before, but this new offense really is the last straw.

Is there something or someone that bothered you for a long time before you got upset? What was the last straw?



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Hummm there haven't anyone or anything that got me upset recently but I really get bother with "slow people" it drive me crazy :P I guess I'm very practical so when I encounter with slow people it makes my patience to be over :P

12:53 PM Mar 18 2011 |





my sister

somethimes its very annoying

because she is always saying things without sense

and thats make me really upset

i remember one time when i was telling her that she was wrong

and she only said ajaja im right you´re wrong

that was the last straw !!!!!

01:44 AM Dec 12 2010 |



Saudi Arabia


i really hate this sound

05:29 AM Dec 05 2010 |



it's tru i'm crazy too when i' m working


05:03 PM Nov 26 2010 |




Everyone has a limit of eveything. I might not control myself if someone or something let me to lose patience, espacially someone nag at me. I will try to be calm down first, and then if i really cannnot take it anymore, I will be like Jason.

12:25 AM Nov 24 2010 |




Thanks god, i have never exeirienced such situation as a last straw. That is i don't really know how i would behave in this situation. I am the one that is not easy drives crazy.

I am reading right now what Zaccarias says. I know too an expression like "hhe last straw" as "the last drop". Interesting, different countries -  just the same expressions. Greetings to Brazil!!!

10:03 PM Nov 23 2010 |




I know what is to lose the patience by the last straw. I'm Portuguese the expression is "the last drop" (which overflowing the cup). It already happening with me and this is the lesson that I learned: When we lose the patience, usually we lose the control, and by that, the reason. We hurt ourselves and the others too. Patience is a virtue forged in the life's turbulences. May God bless you all.

08:04 PM Nov 23 2010 |




07:41 PM Nov 23 2010 |



Russian Federation

Great lesson!:)

06:50 PM Nov 23 2010 |



Finally I got a place to complain.

Complain is not good. I don't usualy do it, but I will go ahead.

I really hated my last job. At the beginning, I was kind of like it. Since I got a new boss, that job became a disaster for me. My new boss was a woman. She wasn't very good at what we were doing.(By the way, I was a java programer.) She were always late for work and brought all kinds of food to eat during work time.Because of she, I began to hate the job. So, I quited it and found a new.

Now, I work for a foreign company. The salary is good. Everybody is hard-working. I am very happy about this new job.

02:53 PM Nov 23 2010 |



hmmm it happens to me sometimes too ;( 

01:32 PM Nov 23 2010 |



South Korea

I don't appear  to lose my temper even if it's the very last straw for me, but to be honest, inside of me it's like I'm getting them bent.

12:24 PM Nov 23 2010 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

yeah there is but i never count as the last straw. im easy going and seldom get upsetCool

11:43 AM Nov 23 2010 |




hahhaa I like Jason's last reacting:)ok. i was kidding before but this is the really last strawww!! :))

08:16 AM Nov 23 2010 |



Viet Nam

bookmarks this page on yr computer.

07:02 AM Nov 23 2010 |



The last straw ….I think at most of time people do not lose their temper . But if there is someone driving him mad ,upset or even degrading him , he will rebell aganist it . It is rational . So do not drive the other people say ” IT IS THE LAST STRAW FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE ” .You know the consequence is dangours ..

06:35 AM Nov 23 2010 |




hahahaha .. thought it's funny to watch this video .. but it's really nerve wracking in real life .. people who got no table manners are very irretating .. i can't stand them at all!!!!!!!!! i remember 1 time i was doing a project with 2 young men .. they brought some snacks .. there was more than slurping and chewing .. gosh!! as if they are having a fight with food! i really dont know how i kept my cool and didn't end up killing them!!!

06:28 AM Nov 23 2010 |


Viet Nam

HI everyone, this is great site not only to learn english but also for news, culture etc. But I have one question that "How to keep to see this site every day for a long time?"

Your advices are highly appreciate.


02:40 AM Nov 23 2010 |



United Arab Emirates

ohh funny lol

01:32 AM Nov 23 2010 |

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