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Slack Off

Slack Off English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Aug 17 2010

Themes: Work

Grammar: Present Progressive 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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During the work day, everyone has to take breaks. Breaks help refresh you and keep you efficient. But for some workers, the day is mostly breaks and very little working. That’s not productive at all. Someone who relaxes all day and doesn’t get much done is slacking off.

This idiom comes from sailing. If something is slack, it means it’s loose. On a ship, there are lots of ropes that need to be kept tight. If you’re not doing your job, slack builds up. You’re slacking off. Someone who does more work than is required of them is said to be picking up the slack.

It seems Ella is slacking off a bit at work. Watch Marni try to convince her to focus and get something done.

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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.





Ella:  Oh my god! Oh, man.

Marni:  Ella?

Ella:  What?

Marni:  What are you doing there?

Ella:  My friend sent me the goofiest picture. It is hilarious!

Marni:  Okay, but… it’s still 4 o’clock… we’re still working.

Ella:  Yeah.

Marni:  Yeah?

Ella:  Yeah!

Marni:  Did you… ...did you ever hear back from Christian Van Der Slice about the marketing research? You were supposed to call Christian?

Ella:  Oh yeah, I was going to wait ‘til about 5 o’clock because that’s when people’s voicemails turn on, you know, so I don’t have to talk to him directly.

Marni:  But we want to talk to him directly.

Ella:  No, well, not I. Not I. I feel like it’s more efficient on voicemail because then they can hear the same answering message several times and they get a real grasp of what I’m trying to say.

Marni:  Okay. Um, I can’t help but notice those files are still sitting on the desk. Do you think that you could get to that maybe in the next hour?

Ella:  I really appreciate the colors, so I’m just going to stare at them a little more.

Marni:  Okay, I gotta be blunt. It appears to me that you are slacking off.

Ella:  Sla-what? Are you accusing me of slacking off? Because I work hard. I work really hard. I do all the stuff that no one else wants to do. You know? Slackers, they don’t do that! They just sit around and wait for things to get done. I get them done! Even if it takes a little longer than normal. But I don’t slack off! I don’t slack off at all.

Marni:  Well, you’re…you know…not doing any of the filing I asked for, and you’re talking or looking at pictures on your phone, and you have a magazine open. To me, that’s slacking off. That’s not working. Not being productive. You know, I don’t really need enthusiasm, I just need you to work. I need you to be productive! Yeah?

Ella:  Maybe… okay.


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Ella starts laughing because a friend of hers sent a funny picture to her phone. Suddenly, Marni notices that Ella isn’t working at all. She hasn’t done the things she’s been asked to do and is reading a magazine. She intends to make an important call after the work day ends so she can leave a message and won’t have to talk to anyone.

It’s clear that Ella is slacking off. Marni confronts her directly. Ella tries to argue that she works hard, but it’s hard to argue with the work she hasn’t done and the magazine on her desk. At the end, she reluctantly agrees to get some work done.

Do you like to slack off? Or are you someone who picks up the slack?



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slacking off!!!!!! you know i love it…........... at some level

we are human, not a cyborg , i would like everyone to slack off a little bit, but not all the time,because if we didn't do that we will explode on our desks. 

09:42 PM Aug 17 2010 |


United Arab Emirates

i hate slacking off but sometimes u need it if u were tired or if u need a break .. atherwise no need to do that just because u r feeling lazy always ,,,

so people do it every day even if they have so much work which is not acceptable at all..

08:21 PM Aug 17 2010 |



Somedays, if it no stress at the office and my boss is on holiday… I slack off a little bit. But I do it really seldom.  Nowadays is not easy to find a good job. I have got a good one.

08:00 PM Aug 17 2010 |




At my work place i have alto of free time.I really do my best to make use of it.

Some time i study,and the other playing call my friends.But i' not a slacker 

07:12 PM Aug 17 2010 |

why not ?!

why not ?!

Saudi Arabia

I am a LAZY person :)

But when I have to do something, I like to do it perfectly and I like to be honest.

06:18 PM Aug 17 2010 |




I'd like slaking off after hard working staring at what I've done and thinking of the working how it was executed to be assured , the slacking off or relaxing , taking a rest it's requested to have employees productive after that and they revive their souls or refreshing to get along with job hereafter , the wiser boss who's mindful to give a the workers a little while of slacking off depending on the productions and the hours of working it's as enjoying for them , they come after that freshened for working again ,, I'm by side of slaking off after hardworking , 

05:07 PM Aug 17 2010 |




I´ve my times…

I couldnt post here that I pickup the slack all the time…

that is not real…

actually, I slack off sometimes…

but just when my work is boring, with simple activities…

I just like to pick up the slack when my goal is hard…

I like to do difficult things… 

Maybe this can be a problem… But with things with no much matter…

I slack off easily…

but at my case I like to hear music and see some cartoons on computer….

04:44 PM Aug 17 2010 |




someone was lazy

03:47 PM Aug 17 2010 |



sometimes you can being a slacker because your boss doesn’t pay your salary or give stupid job. if you feel they don’t consider you, you’ll slacking off

03:27 PM Aug 17 2010 |




I really like the video. I really hate people like the one who is slacking off in the clip, I'm not like that, not  all over the day. It is relaxing sometimes, but I really hate when people slack off around me, and I also dislike picking up the slack.

02:58 PM Aug 17 2010 |




It deponds on the situation ,sometimes I am the poerson who picks up the slacvk of the others and I find my self so motivated because I feel the value of my efforts in making the job better but some times when I am tired or depressed I prefer to slack off in ordre to change my mood.

02:41 PM Aug 17 2010 |



Hong Kong


02:36 PM Aug 17 2010 |

rebel lee

rebel lee


I am Java programmer, I work for a big company. And I have been working for the company for about two years. At the beginning, I worked very hard. But nowdays, I slack off sometimes, because I am sick and tired of the job. My contract will be done by the end of this October, I will leave this company and find a new job. I hope the new job can keep me busy and meaningful.

02:31 PM Aug 17 2010 |


Cote D'Ivoire

working is important im productive  but sometimes i need to slack off a wile,i hate picking up the slack is very unfair to do others work

02:04 PM Aug 17 2010 |




someday i slack off too but only when i have less things to do :P

01:36 PM Aug 17 2010 |




Sometimes I slack off for a moment,cuz I wanna relax myself and it will make me refresh.I think slacking off for a little time is necessary.But not to exceed that degree.

01:33 PM Aug 17 2010 |




i neither like slacking off nor like picking up the slack. because i feel as a worker should fulfil his/her work according to company's rules. so i am not a slacker but a efficient worker.

01:14 PM Aug 17 2010 |




i'm slacking off recently

11:58 AM Aug 17 2010 |




I work in a textile mill and it is so noisly,so I always have headache, I need to slack off everyday.

11:20 AM Aug 17 2010 |

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