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Around the Clock
Around the Clock English, baby! Video Lesson

Learn English meaning of the idiom 'around the clock'

Date: Jun 23 2015

Themes: Friend, How To, Soap Opera, Time

Grammar: Imperative Form


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2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

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You open one eye when your alarm clock rings at 6:00am. You get up, shower, eat breakfast, and leave for school. Before you know it, it’s 2:00pm and time for your job at the cafe. At 9:00pm, you meet your girlfriend for a late dinner and a movie. It’s 1:00am before you return home, and tomorrow you need to be up at 6:00am again. You’re studying and working around the clock!

Doing anything around the clock is truly difficult. Sure, there’s coffee. And yes, some people prefer staying busy. But most of us need time to be alone, to eat something healthy, to get exercise, and especially to sleep. If you’re doing things around the clock, it’s hard to find time for the activities that make you feel well and able to be successful.

Jessica has been working around the clock and Gary wants to know why. Read on in today’s English lesson to find out what’s keeping her so busy.

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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.





Gary:  Hey. You’ve really been working around the clock lately. What’s going on?

Jessica:  Do you remember how much I loved theater in high school?

Gary:  Of course. Why?

Jessica:  I’m auditioning for a production.

Gary:  Really? That’s great, Jessica. What’s the production?

Jessica:  “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare.

Gary:  No kidding. What role are you trying to get?

Jessica:  Juliet, of course.

Gary:  Do you want me to help you run lines like in the old days?

Jessica:  That’s very kind of you, Gary, but I don’t have my script here right now. I definitely have a lot to memorize.

Gary:  How does the audition work?

Jessica:  I’ll have to go to the theater, and go on stage. There will probably be other people there, trying out for different roles.

Gary:  And you’ll all audition at the same time?

Jessica:  Maybe. Probably. I don’t really know.

Gary:  I remember back in high school how busy you were. I didn’t see you very much when you were doing your theater stuff.

Jessica:  I know.

Gary:  In fact, I didn’t see you at all. You were doing your theater stuff around the clock.

Jessica:  I know, Gary. I know. Let’s not talk about it.

Gary:  Fine.

Jessica:  Fine.

Gary:  I’ll still help you run lines if you want me to.

Jessica:  Thanks, Gary. You’re a good friend.


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Gary hasn’t seen a lot of Jessica lately. It feels to him like she’s been working around the clock. Jessica explains that she’s trying out for a production of “Romeo and Juliet.” Since Jessica did theater in high school, this doesn’t surprise Gary at all.

Gary is interested to know how the audition will work. Jessica tells Gary that she has to learn what she’ll say in the play and then speak those lines on a stage. She doesn’t know if she will be alone on the stage, or if there will be other people. Jessica wants the role of “Juliet.”

Do you think Jessica will be chosen to play “Juliet”? Do you ever work around the clock?



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george1963Super Member!

South Africa

I think that Jessica will be chosen to play “Juliet” because she always works around the clock.

05:05 PM Aug 24 2015 |


Viet Nam

From the day i changed my job, I am really around the clock. No time for swimming, no time for yoga. A brilliant smile is luxury thing because all day in front of the computer.

09:53 AM Jun 30 2015 |




Once I did work around the clock when was preparing for the exam. It was really barking up the wrong tree, actually. I didn’t know what I was doing. So not having a sleep until 5 o’clock in the morning, I started develping heartache after drinking too much coffee. Then I went outside to take some fresh air. And that exactly a fresh gulp of air enlightened me to never do that again, racing around o’clock. So, I submitted documents for the new University and was very happy after. When you love what you do, it will never be a burden, even if it requires around o’clok-ish stays up;)   

04:13 AM Jun 27 2015 |



Russian Federation

Yes, she can be chosen to play “Juliet” in production “Romeo and Juliet”. But she should memorize her script and if her audition is liked, she will be chosen for this role. But she hasn’t enough time, because she is studying around the clock.

As for me I had a period in my life when I studied and worked around the clock. I studied in the internship as doctor Orthopedic, so I stayed at hospital from 7.30 am till 7-8 pm. And 2 times a week I worked at night to earn some money. And i had to be on call once in month. So it was really tuff.

10:34 AM Jun 25 2015 |




I think Jessica will play role for Juliet, because she loves stage play. I work around the clock usually. My work is management sales team to satisfy customer’s need. And I like exercise and english, so I spend 1-1.5 hours for them.

11:06 PM Jun 23 2015 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

When I have a project or I have an exam which is important to me I work around the clock.
In our life we need to work around the clock to achieve our aims, so It is a pleasure working hard to achieve success.

But if our life were full of working around clock, maybe it will make us physically or mentally ill.

So, in my view, for man, living in comfortable position, or living in a very difficult situation forever, is not appropriate.

The best life style is meaningful and comfortable life which sometimes we work hard to achieve goals.

Otherwise, a monotonous life absolutely in difficulty or comfort for us would be meaningless and can cause mental and physical problems for us.

06:05 PM Jun 23 2015 |



Sri Lanka

Hello dear Julito and S&W,

It’s true that we earn a lot during festival seasons and I shouldn’t complain about working around the clock. But we, Indian women, just have to complain about something or our heads will explode. 



All women seems a Julietta -Juliet in this life, all of them wants to love and to be loved :)) and all women have a Romeo in real or dreams )) 

There are alot of works we do , for living or for being happy. sometimes we can work around the clock , some people need to burn the midnight oil ..some people need to get up very early ..

our workplaces and houses are a stage for us, all has a role in this production..

and yess, I worked around the clock many times, still ı work , and ı like its happy tiredness..

and yess, ı think Jessica can play Juliet role succesfully ..


12:34 PM Jun 23 2015 |

La Princesse de la vie


Time-oriented people always have to work around the clock. When I arrange a list of things to do through the day, I have to work on them around the clock to have them all done so I can put my head on my cosy pillow and fall into sleep in relief. In other days when I don’t make the list, I don’t feel restricted to any obligation, but when the day ends it makes me feel guilty to be laid-back all the day. So, it’s worth it when you are rewarded at the end of the day :)

I can’t predict if Jessica is going to get the role, but she is a good actor to me. She just has got to run lines over and over again and do her best to pass the audition and get “Juliet” role she is trying out for..

11:34 AM Jun 23 2015 |




“Romeo and Juliet” , a tragic story, if Jessica gets the role ,Gary will need a box of kleenex to wipe out his tears at the end of the play.

S&W,  what is Shoba complaining about ? I would like to see  the face of happiness on her husband at the end of the day, in spite that both will have to work”around the clock”  counting the bounty that  Deepavali  and  Christmas  brought in.  jejejeje




@science boy i have the same experience as you.I had worked around the clock for university entrance exam.Except sleeping and having food,i used the rest of time to study.It lasts almost one year.

@shoba,I bet that you can earn a lot during festival as a payment for your work around the clock.



Sri Lanka

During festival seasons such as Dipavali and Christmas our shop is open around the clock for 12-15 days. On these days, I wake up at 5am and go to bed only at 1 or 2am again.

Burning the candle at both ends is very exhausting and I drink a lot of coffee to fight off sleep. 

Thank God Dipavali and Christmas come only once a year! 

09:44 AM Jun 23 2015 |




I had to take an exam after college to start working as a teacher and that exam was pretty diffucult. I worked around the clock for 4 moths. I was waking up at 5:00 am and study till breakfast and after having breakfast at 7.00 am I was studying during all day. The only times I didn’t study was breakfast, lunch and dinner times. I studied 15 hours a day. So I know what”around the clock” means :)

08:57 AM Jun 23 2015 |

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