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Wave the White Flag
Wave the White Flag English, baby! Video Lesson

Learn English in this lesson about 'Wave the White Flag'

Date: Apr 19 2016

Themes: Friend, Soap Opera, Work

Grammar: Imperative Form


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Let’s take a trip down memory lane. You probably remember playing sports or games as a child. You probably even remember losing sometimes! How did you react when a game was not going well? Did you give up? If so, you can say that you “waved the white flag.”

We use the phrase “wave the white flag” to talk about giving up or giving in. Long ago, soldiers in battle would literally wave a white flag when they wanted to surrender. Now, people use the expression to talk about giving up at a game or activity. For example, if you lay down and took a nap during a race, you would be waving the white flag. If you tried to eat a whole pizza and just couldn’t finish it, you would be waving the white flag, too!

Why does Sheila wave the white flag in today’s lesson? Watch the video to find out!

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









Sheila:  Alright! I give up. I’m waving the white flag. I can’t work like this.

Andy_H:  What’s wrong?

Sheila:  How many pencils have you sharpened?

Andy_H:  Let’s see… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…

Sheila:  Never mind! That’s not the point. I’ll tell you. Enough! Stop sharpening pencils!

Andy_H:  I’m sorry.

Sheila:  Don’t say sorry. Just work quietly.

Andy_H:  Sorry… I mean… OK.

Sheila:  Jordin, isn’t there another task for you?

Jordin:  What? OK. I could use paperclips, I suppose.

Sheila:  That’s a very good idea. Paperclip to your heart’s content.

Kelsey:  Yes?

Sheila:  Shhh!

Kelsey:  OH, SORRY!

Sheila:  Don’t say…

Kelsey:  Sorry.

Sheila:  Exactly. OK, let’s all play the silent game. See who can be quiet the longest. Agreed? Great, starting now.

Andy_H:  We’re waving our white flags. We surrender. You win the quiet war.


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All the noise in the office is driving Sheila crazy! Andy keeps sharpening pencil after pencil. Jordin keeps stapling papers over and over. And Kelsey won’t stop humming. When Sheila asks them not to make so much noise, they apologize. Sheila doesn’t want them to say, “Sorry,” though… she wants them to stop! She can’t work like this. She is ready to give up.

Sheila tells her co-workers that it is time to play the silent game. Everyone needs to be quiet, and the first person to talk loses the game. However, pretty soon, her co-workers have to wave their white flags. They can’t stay quiet for long! Sheila wins the quiet war.

Do you ever wave the white flag? Have you ever played the quiet game?



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United States

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10:50 PM Nov 27 2016 |


United Kingdom

Let’s play another silent game. Everyone should read in mind the text below and take note:

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And no, you cannot wave the white flag this time :)

10:06 AM Nov 09 2016 |

joao correia


Yes I think so, but I don’t remember it exactly.

04:59 PM Apr 23 2016 |



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11:41 AM Apr 23 2016 |



And ı want to share about “white flag ”. there is a beautiful song which name is white flag. The song is sung by Dido. it’s very nice and meaningful song. i recommend to listen the song. 

06:11 PM Apr 20 2016 |



Yeah I have played the quiet game in the primary school. Of course when we were a child;we always were energetic and were spekaing too much :).  Our teacher was playing this game with us. without this we have another game like this. The game name is be flower :). Teacher said be flower and we were huging ourselves and siting quitely. This turkish mean is ”çiçek olun”.

06:05 PM Apr 20 2016 |

La Princesse de la vie


I used to play “The statues” game when I was a little girl with my cousins. The game rules is akin to those which hermitlady explained for “No move, no sound and no laugh game” and when I went down my memory lane I found out I was a winner in that game. It’s not easy to make me laugh xD 

Yeah, it happens a lot that I wave the white flag when I get enough of anyhting, but after some time off I’m able to get back to my usual persisting self again.

07:54 PM Apr 19 2016 |



there is a time for waving the white flag in real life or in a game …coz Everyone has different limits..for exp : in a boxing,a white towel is used for stopping the match,for keeping one boxer..

in life,in relations sometimes People can feel themselves very exhausted,tired,alone and unhappy after mentally fights,unresultnss discusses,disappoinments,lack of love,care,and then its time for waving the white flag .

not only Soldiers wave the white flag in the wars.

and Cowboys lift their hands up when they gave up in the movies,its another way of waving the white flag :)))

01:35 PM Apr 19 2016 |


ola3Super Member!


the white flag phrase reminded me about beautiful song of Dido, White Flag

I will go down with this ship
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love and always will be


Well, the other day while jogging, I made it through half of my usual routine before I waved the white flag. I hated myself for that after and made a resolution never to surrender during my workout.

12:38 PM Apr 19 2016 |



   Yes. I had played the game of “no move and no sound and no laugh” when I was a child. In this game  every one who took part in the game would be forbidden saying and moving and laughing. If anyone said and moved, he or she would be failed.

Usually, I could not help to burst laughing. I didn’t know  how many things could make me laugh when I was a child. It seemed that there always were many many happy things in the past time as a child.

There was another game I used to wave the white flag which needed two persons stare each other and  couldn’t blink. One person who could hold on a longer time would win.

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