Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

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.

Go Super to Listen Go Super!

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

Go Super to Listen Go Super!

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.

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

Log in to Listen

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.


Grammar Point

Go Super to learn "Present Progressive Tense" from this lesson Go Super!


Go Super to take Quiz Go Super!


Lesson MP3

Go Super to download full lesson MP3 Go Super!

The iTEP® test

  • Schedule an iTEP® test and take the official English Practice Test.

    Take Now >


Go Super to Listen Go Super!

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?



Log in to Comment



Am a slacker

09:25 AM Aug 17 2010 |


Saudi Arabia

I like to slack off. Working all the time is a bit boring :)

08:21 AM Aug 17 2010 |



ya  sometimes i do ..good lesson & good new vocab

07:47 AM Aug 17 2010 |



Saudi Arabia

Nice lesson I DID like it CoolWhen it comes to me i'm a bit SLACKER I do like to go somewhere or to involve myself in other things rather than get things done on time. It normally takes me longer time than the normal to fulfill what I'm supposed to do but at last I get them done even though I'm a bit late. I rarely pick up the slack instead I slack off most of the time Laughing

05:26 AM Aug 17 2010 |

Zico hani

United Arab Emirates

It's very good


04:54 AM Aug 17 2010 |



Saudi Arabia

Well slacking isn't my thing, it's normal to finish tasks then take some rest, and sure few five minute break won't hurt either :P

12:44 AM Aug 17 2010 |

Likes (27):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast