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One Upping
One Upping English, baby! Video Lesson

Present perfect English lesson with fun American slang

Date: Nov 30 2010

Themes: Soap Opera

Grammar: Present Perfect Tense


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Some people have a competitive nature. These people just have to win all the time. They often become athletes and compete for championships. Sometimes, though, they end up in offices and compete for…no reason, really.

Dale and Jeff have a competitive streak. A simple, daily task can cause them to start one upping each other endlessly. Each has to be a little better than the other. Find out who will outdo whom today.

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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.







Dale:  Hey, Jeff! Do you have a pencil?

Jeff:  Pencil?

Dale:  Yeah. Just a pencil.

Jeff:  I’ve got a bendy pen.

Dale:  Bendy pen?

Jeff:  Pencil…

Dale:  Are you trying to one up me?

Jeff:  What are you talking about?

Dale:  You’re trying to show that you’re better than me! Hey, how long did it take you to become a lawyer?

Jeff:  Six months.

Dale:  Six months? It took me six months to pass the Police Academy. Have you ever arrested anybody?

Jeff:  No, but I’ve put plenty of people in jail.

Dale:  Have you ever shot anybody? Have you ever been a partner with Ella? I have!

Jeff:  First and foremost, that’s none of your business...

Mason:  Excuse me, guys.

Jeff:  ...but wouldn’t you like to know.

Mason:  I couldn’t help but notice, Jeff, that you’re trying to one up my friend here.

Dale:  Yeah!

Mason:  Constantly trying to tell a story that’s better than his in order to gain some sort of advantage. And quite frankly, I mean…

Jeff:  I know what that means.

Mason:  ...your stories are not better. But really, Dale, and I hate to do this to you, I’ve got the best story. That I think you’ve heard me tell before…

Dale:  So you’re trying to one up me?

Mason:  I once saved an elephant from drowning with this very mop, so.

Jeff:  I think we know who stands at the top of the podium!

Mason:  Right!

Jeff:  Here. And it’s definitely not you.

Mason:  Quite frankly, guys who can do this—top of the food chain!

Jeff:  Bronze! Bronze.


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Dale asks Jeff if he can borrow a pencil. When Jeff offers him a fancy pen, he takes offense and believes that Jeff is trying to one up him. He starts asking Jeff about his life to prove he is better than him.

Jeff claims to have become a lawyer in six months. Dale says that’s how long it took him to become a police officer. Both of them have thrown people in jail, but Dale has shot someone and used to work with Ella to solve crimes.

Mason shows up and decides he can one up both Jeff and Dale. He says he once saved an elephant from drowning. Jeff compares the three men to Olympic athletes and says that Mason should get the bronze medal, while he would stand on top of the podium.

Do you think any of these stories are true? Are you competitive? Do you like to one up people?



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Hahaha I guess that is all a big bullshit! :P Sometimes I really like to gain a certain advantage over people but not always even more if I don't have enough knowledge about the issue hehe I'll go mine ;)

12:07 PM Apr 02 2011 |



Saudi Arabia

nice lesson Kiss

actualy i like to compet my self not anybady by do anything impossible

05:06 AM Dec 05 2010 |




like chinese words hua gan hua 

words catch another words

03:19 PM Dec 02 2010 |



All of them are full of BS. None of those stories could be true.

Everybody, or almost everybody, is competitive. They all want to be the best, but that can not be happening. Being a competitive person is good thing. That means you are passional and eager. That is the base of success.

I know somebody, who are very competitive, are very succeseful. BTW, I am competitive too, I want to be the best of everything.

04:24 PM Nov 30 2010 |



I think if competition is like a joke it could be positive or funny too and people do things better sometimes, but if there is hate or no respect for others  than competition is very bad.

11:10 AM Nov 30 2010 |



sometimes i wanna one up someone,who may be my friend or colleague,i'm not sure.sure,i don't like that kind of people as well.i'm trying to be cool and kind person to everyone.

10:58 AM Nov 30 2010 |




no, i dont believe if they r saying true, yes m competative . and yes i wud like to one up my friends, who r  competing withe me


10:19 AM Nov 30 2010 |




I can't agree with the previous person. I happen to know many people who aren't competitive at all. So, don't you say all of us are the same by nature. People are different but most of  them have a competitive streak, that's true. I am competitive too , I think.  I can't be sure though cause I'm one-upping everyone around me without such an aim. Just I am always happen to be better than the rest of other people…

08:57 AM Nov 30 2010 |



Saudi Arabia

I think I am a competitive person, I mean who is not! It is something we were born with in order to motivate us to move, and that's my perspective.

08:23 AM Nov 30 2010 |

Amar pandey


Being a human we are tempted to one up instinctively. This is our very nature. we just cann't help it. I always try to outdo my peers whether it is at work or at Isntitute. I just cann't see myself lagging behind.

You see, All together it is good thing to happen. But whatever has been shown in vedeo ( audio as well) is a kind of jealousy. If you want to one up, just put your best effort in your restpective field and things will be taken care fo itself. Anyway it just my views…... that's it.


06:45 AM Nov 30 2010 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

no that's just for better undrestanding…. and i like competitive people as long as it's constructiveLaughing

04:33 AM Nov 30 2010 |

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