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Rat Race
Rat Race English, baby! Video Lesson

Learn the Definition of the Slang Phrase 'Rat Race'

Date: Nov 20 2012

Themes: Soap Opera, Work

Grammar: Verbs with "-ing"


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Big cities are full of opportunity. With so many businesses and people close together, great things happen. Gridlock also happens.

While cities are exciting, living in them can be hard. Apartments are often small and expensive, and with so many people around, there is usually lots of traffic.

We call the difficult side of city living the rat race. Working long hours and living in small spaces can make you feel like a rat.

After a long day at work, Jason and Devan sat in traffic for hours on the way home and it didn’t make them feel good. Watch this English lesson video to learn more about the meaning of the English idiom, “rat race.”




詹森和德凡结束了一天漫长的工作后,坐在回家的公车上,数小时的交通拥堵使得他们的心情差到了极点。请观看本节英文课视频,学习英语习语“rat race”的更多含义。

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Jason:  So much traffic.

Devan:  I know. I can’t believe it took us 90 minutes to go 6 miles. It’s so late that I don’t even want to eat dinner now. I just want to go to bed.

Jason:  Yeah, and get right back up and out into that traffic again for the morning rush hour.

Devan:  Wow, I think that’s a new record. 15 emails and 3 voicemails on the drive home? I guess I’ll reply to these.

Jason:  We need a vacation. Do you want to go camping this weekend?

Devan:  The weather is supposed to be nice. But I just have too much stuff to do on the weekends. That’s when I have to do laundry and all the other things I can’t do during the workweek.

Jason:  Yeah, like sleeping.

Devan:  I’m so exhausted. All the long hours and the stress of living in a city. The rat race is just too hard for me these days.

Jason:  Maybe we need more than a vacation.

Devan:  What do you mean?

Jason:  Maybe we should get out of the rat race altogether. I mean, Amanda bought your share of the company, right? So, we can leave anytime we want to. We have all this money in the bank. We could just travel around, see where we like it. You know, find a place and settle there. Maybe a nice, small town that doesn’t have a rat race?

Devan:  Wow, just talking about this makes me feel better. I really don’t think I can face the rat race anymore, and you’re right, there’s nothing keeping us here, except for our friends. Won’t we miss our friends?

Jason:  Of course we’ll miss our friends. But I won’t miss the rat race and to tell you the truth, I kind of miss you. I mean, all this working and commuting…I feel like we don’t get any quality time together.

Devan:  OK. Let’s do it. Let’s go!

Jason:  Alright, let’s do it!


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Jason and Devan arrive home after a very long commute. Devan is so tired after being stuck in traffic that she wants to skip dinner and go right to bed. Unfortunately, she has many emails and messages from work that she must respond to first. Jason is already worried about the morning rush hour. He suggests that they go camping over the weekend for a short vacation. Devan likes the idea, but she says she just has too much to do. The rat race of city life is exhausting.

Then Jason has an idea! Because Devan sold her part of the company to Amanda, the couple is now free to move away. A small town without a rat race would allow them to spend more time together. Devan and Jason agree to leave the rat race and hit the road.

Have you ever felt tired of the rat race? Do you like city life?



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i think i can’t live without rat race, so dynamic life, i like it!

12:19 PM Nov 20 2012 |




For who lives in a big city is common to take a rat race. I don’t like the big citis because the people haven’t a good quality life. I preferer the country. My city is quit and short. But the Capital is more stressful.  

12:16 PM Nov 20 2012 |




I sometimes do get tired of the rat race and want to spend some time in the countryside. However, quiet and peace of the country life is not for me – I can’t stay there for a long time, as I start getting bored.

11:53 AM Nov 20 2012 |




bellaboo,   tom and jerry,    jejejeje!!!! good example.

10:20 AM Nov 20 2012 |



we unainmously agree that life in a city is acutly a rat race like tom and jerry always busy in some sort of stuffs. this rat race is riping off our life from us and we are looking it sitting still. it yells on us daily wake upppppp and be a part of the race and we blurt out yes to reciprocate. i feel it is hard and headed enough to perplex us oftenly. but thanks to Allah Almigty he blessed us with a unique property of hardiness so we are successfuly handling ups and downs of daily grind.

its good to spend holidays at some fine place away from city to hang out and enjoy the composoure of natture with beautiful and bright mornings and exoting sun sets. i love to stay in cool and fresh atomosphere with lots of greenery and nature around. i have spent many holiday winter nights with lots of fog and cold and i can’t varblise the great experience of being there in a small village. i can’t forget the crackling sound of burning woods and murk of chilled night so i always long for to enjoy it again and again. i think its a best way to compansate the rancour of rat race.

09:56 AM Nov 20 2012 |



Life is funny though. Years ago i gave one solution to pollution´s problems, gridlocks, pack-jams, and all the lovely things we have in big cities. Why don’t we move big cities to countryside? That is the perfect solution for everybody, countryside people would stop wondering what is like living in a big city, and city’s people ould be fullfill their dreams about living a life without stress. wouldn´t be a wonderful world, woud it?

09:56 AM Nov 20 2012 |




Yes i agree with them, city life is getting hard day by day and in my opinion not just the heavy traffic and the stress and the constant competition that makes the city life difficult but also the routine the same people, the same work, the same responsibilities so taking a vacation in any relaxing and quiet place would be great and for me i’m gonna take this vacation hopefully so soonWink

09:06 AM Nov 20 2012 |


Saudi Arabia

That is what happen with me when i go to work and when i come back over and over

i wish i can wake up 30 minutes earlier to avoid the rat race , but you know 30 minute sleeping during the workday equal 30 hours on weekend


04:37 AM Nov 20 2012 |




Rat race is like a caucus race from Alice in Wonderland. We run, run and run until we get dry :) But why do we run, what for, we run that’s the question. So, maybe it’s better to a contryside and get mingled with the nature. Not bad as well ;)




Rush hour,  bumper to bumper cars,  the inevitable line  up at the bus and metro stop, and to top it off  a high level of intolerance is evident in the streets , I can understand Devan and Jason that  are planning to live  in a small town  .Though unrealistic, I have also that dream  ,to get away, out of the game ,over, I am fed up with my city and the rat race, I can imagine myself living in the countryside, waking up each morning hearing the chirping of the birds,watching the sun rise and set  and at night gaze at the stars and  being amazed at the sight of the milky way, Smile

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