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It's Like Pulling Teeth
It's Like Pulling Teeth English, baby! Video Lesson

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Date: Nov 12 2013

Themes: Party, Soap Opera

Grammar: Modal Verbs


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Have you ever had a tooth pulled out by a dentist? Dentists often have to pull teeth out because they aren’t falling out on their own, or sometimes to make room for other teeth. Usually the teeth being pulled are really, truly stuck in your mouth, doing everything possible to stay there. It takes a whole lot of effort for a dentist to get them out.

When you try to get a friend to do something and they’re being stubborn, it can feel a lot like trying to get that stuck tooth out. Teeth are supposed to be attached to our mouths, of course, but people should be a little more flexible. It can get truly frustrating when you want someone to agree with you and they simply refuse to see your point of view.

Learn about who’s making Marni feel like she’s pulling teeth in this English lesson about a surprise party.

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







Jeff:  So, what did you want to talk to us about, Marni? I kind of have a lot of work to do.

Lily:  Yeah, I’ve got a lot to catch up on, too, since I got back.

Jeff:  And I have to leave early for a dentist’s appointment. I’ve got a really bad toothache.

Marni:  OK, you guys. I just wanted to come in and talk to you about this idea that I have. While Amanda and Mason are gone to the baby doctor, I think that we should throw them a surprise baby shower! Oh, come on, you guys. It’s such a great idea!

Lily:  I don’t know, Marni. I’m excited for them and everything, but I’m really trying not to take on too much right now. My therapist told me that I needed to really take it easy.

Jeff:  Yeah, me too. It’s great for them, but it’s hard to get excited about babies at the moment when Greta’s doing that baby movie with that Dustin Holt.

Marni:  Oh, yeah. Did you ever hear back from her?

Jeff:  No.

Lily:  Ouch.

Marni:  OK. Well, maybe this is just what the two of you guys need to take your mind off your troubles. It won’t be stressful. Right? We’ll just be easy. We’ll just have some cake and open presents. Gosh, you guys, I just want to do something nice for our friends, but it’s like pulling teeth to get you guys to agree to anything!

Jeff:  You know what I hate?

Lily:  What?

Jeff:  Those stupid baby shower games they make you play at those things. Have you been through that?

Lily:  Oh, yeah. Oh, man! Like the one where they melt chocolate and then put it in diapers? It’s so gross!

Jeff:  Don’t mention chocolate. It makes my tooth hurt.

Marni:  OK. We don’t have to do any of those things. It can just be casual. Just a little snack, open some presents, let them know we’re happy for them. Do you think you can handle that?

Lily:  If it’s that simple, why didn’t you tell us that in the first place?

Jeff:  You know what? It’s like pulling teeth to get her to tell us what she actually wants to do. You ever notice that?


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Marni has a great idea. She wants to host a baby shower for Amanda and Mason with the help of Jeff and Lily. She’s really happy for her friends and wants to show them by surprising Amanda and Mason with snacks, cake, and presents. It’s the perfect plan.

Unfortunately, Jeff and Lily are being very difficult. Lily doesn’t want to take on too much responsibility because her therapist told her to take it easy. The new baby makes Jeff think about Greta, who’s away filming a movie about babies with a famous, good-looking actor. He also has a toothache, which is putting him in a bad mood.

Finally, Marni convinces Jeff and Lily to participate in the party, but it’s like pulling teeth to get them to agree.

Would anyone say it’s like pulling teeth to get you to do something? What is it, and why is it so hard for them to change your mind?



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GrammaristSuper Member!

United Arab Emirates

this kind of activity is omnipresent that you might notice every where. we used not to give a big deal to this called baby shower, but nowadays, one should give a gift or money to the parent’s baby !! it is really wierd that in my culture people tend to bring choclate, buy stuff for the baby, and most importantly give money !! it is just momentary and this party , to my mind, is not like pulling teeth as many think :)

maybe it is to women !! 

02:42 AM Nov 13 2013 |




  Babies  shower parties  are  very usual in the US only that as far as i know  only women  take part of it ,so  Jeff shouldn`t  be  concerned about  it .  On the other hand , Lily  should have  been more enthusiastic from the get-go and accepted  Marni`s  idea. Whenever I am asked to work overtime  it`s like pulling teeth  to them, I am adamant in my refusal ,after  five o`clock  I like get back home, unwind and  have a cup of coffee .

09:19 PM Nov 12 2013 |




Yeah, sometimes I’m stubborn and I can’t change my mind…...

03:14 PM Nov 12 2013 |

1 person likes this



Iran, Islamic Republic Of



dadam iandi!


yes, they are very speedly and fast in speaking each other!

it isnt real speed of speaks!:)

i think they saw a lion in room! or drakola!


02:16 PM Nov 12 2013 |



Congo, Democratic Republic Of The

I often attend some meetings at my job, with personally my boss, and all of our members. We can discuss about a specific subject which draws the attention of everyone. So, the boss can allow us to show our points of view about the new project or something else, there everyone’ll start talking, but if it’s my turn to speak it’s like pulling the teeth to get my boss understand or put in practice my idea. Because I’m so young at my job !!!

01:33 PM Nov 12 2013 |



I don’t khow, but I can’t catch all the conversation. It’s really very difficult to unterstand what they say. It’s too fast and unclearly.

09:29 AM Nov 12 2013 |




i snack between meals almost every day . expecially fruits .

so it’s like pulling teeth not to eat even one piece of fruit a day for me .

if not , i wouldnt focus on my job and couldnt take my mind off some stuffs . hehe .  my friends said that i’m a chowhound . but i dont think so . haha .

08:30 AM Nov 12 2013 |

2 people like this




to make my boss to understand about mine problems  , it’s like pulling teeth .

04:50 AM Nov 12 2013 |

1 person likes this



It is good to read..

03:16 AM Nov 12 2013 |




I see that, Hazelgirl :)

01:22 AM Nov 12 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Nothing is impossible Ola!! 

02:58 PM Nov 11 2013 |




Hazelgirl, how did you manage to see that lesson? ;)

11:56 AM Nov 11 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

“At a baby shower, friends and family members of the parents-to-be show their love and support by throwing them a party and bringing them baby gifts. It’s also a chance for those who have already had children to share what they know with the new parents.”

It seems to be nice traditional party, in Iran we have kind of this ceremony too, of course in some regions not in whole; in the past it was done only to inform relatives about a pregnant woman, then all try to take care of her and her baby to prevent her being in charge of a heavy load.

About me, YES!! it was mostly when i refuse to visit somewhere or someone, then my mother always says, “its like pulling teeth to persuade you to take part in those places.” in fact, in some cases i’d rather be alone than see some people i dont like, some people just know how to annoy others by their words and how to give unpleasant points and negative energy to them during a day, so if i have to choose between going to get together or being on my own, staying at home and feeling lonely would be the best choice then, at least i can do whatever i like and take my time to achieve my desires. 

05:41 AM Nov 11 2013 |




In general I’m very agreeable person. To bring coffees for the whole crew, to prepare something exciting, to make someone’s day like going to the movies that you don’t like and don’t want to go and all in that vein. But when it concerns something that against my principles, I’m stubbon like a rock. It wouldn’t be fun for me to follow someone’s lead at the cost of someone’s misfortune. Like when a guy doesn’t like someone and tells stories about that person and expect me to agree on that and do all the nasty things to that person. Sorry, it would be like pulling not just simple teeth, it will be pulling wisdom teeth to get me to agree. And it’s like the surgery will never be done. ;) Will never agree to disagree in that case.


03:05 AM Nov 11 2013 |

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