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Wear the Pants
Wear the Pants English, baby! Video Lesson

Past Perfect Tense

Date: Feb 15 2011

Themes: Romance, Soap Opera

Grammar: Past Perfect Tense


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Until fairly recently, women didn’t wear pants very often. They wore dresses. And typically, men had more control in relationships.

But present-day relationships are more like partnerships. Couples share the power and often both wear pants. Sometimes, the woman is the more dominant partner and usually the one in charge. When that happens, regardless of what clothes she has on, you can say that she wears the pants in the relationship.

The person who wears the pants in the relationship is the one with the most control. In today’s lesson, we learn that while Ella likes to wear pretty outfits every day, she also likes to wear the pants in her relationship. Watch her and Jason discuss her relationship with Jeff while they wait for the heat to get fixed at their office.

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Jason:  Man.

Ella:  So cold!

Jason:  I hope they get the heat fixed in here soon!

Ella:  It’s ludicrous!

Jason:  Man. Of all the days for the heat to go out, the coldest day of the year…

Ella:  I know…

Jason:  Makes me wish I’d worn two pairs of pants!

Ella:  I know! I’m layering up and I got this hot cocoa to try to keep me warm.

Jason:  Yeah.

Ella:  Speaking of layers, I’m getting sick of my relationship.

Jason:  What does that have to do with layers? What do you mean?

Ella:  He just…you know, pants? He just wants to wear the pants in the relationship all the time! I can’t handle it!

Jason:  What do you mean? Like, what does he do to try to wear the pants?

Ella:  I don’t know, he kinda, like, tells me how to dress, the way I’m looking and all this stuff. Or tries to make suggestions of what to do for the night…I don’t know, just tries to really take charge. And I feel like I want to be the one with the control. ‘Cause I have way cuter pants than him. My wardrobe is fabulous. I have more pants than him, you know? So therefore, due to quantity, I should wear the pants in the relationship.

Jason:  I gotcha. So, you want to wear the pants.

Ella:  Yeah.

Jason:  You wanna control the relationship and make the decisions.

Ella:  Totally!

Jason:  And be the more powerful partner.

Ella:  Power! That’s me.

Jason:  That makes sense, I guess. I don’t know.

Ella:  Who wouldn’t wanna wear the pants?

Jason:  I guess there’s people who wanna wear the pants, and people who don’t.

Ella:  I’m a pants wearer.

Jason:  Yeah. And you can only have one, really.

Ella:  I’m all about it.

Jason:  Or there’s gonna be trouble.

Mason:  Hey dudes! Excuse me, just cleaning up a little bit. Don’t mind me.

Jason:  You a little cold there, buddy?

Ella:  Mason, the heater’s not working…

Mason:  You know, pants are out this season, man.

Jason:  It’s, like, 12 degrees in here though…

Mason:  Don’t matter, dude. Fashion forward. Heidi Klum. She’s my hero.

Jason:  No pants, huh? Well, I guess if it’s a fashion trend maybe it’ll catch on around the office here!

Mason:  Are you kidding, man? I got this extra pair! You should put them on right now!

Jason:  Yeah…I’ll do that…right now…


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It is the coldest day of the year and the heater is broken in the office. Naturally, instead of working, Jason and Ella are having hot drinks and talking.

Ella says that her boyfriend Jeff wants to wear the pants in their relationship. He likes to make decisions and even wants to control what she wears! It’s a problem because Ella also wants to wear the pants in the relationship. She jokes that she should get to wear the pants because she has better fashion sense.

Suddenly, Mason arrives. Even though the office is very cold, he is wearing shorts! He tells Jason and Ella that he doesn’t like pants and that shorts are the new style. He must have overheard Ella talking and decided he would show her that he doesn’t like to wear the pants in a relationship.

Are you someone who likes to wear the pants?



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It is interesting to know the origin of the term ‘to wear the pants’ explained in the above. So in other words, it meant at first who was the man in a relationship, and, of course, that means the man was entitled to the charge and the woman was supposed to follow him subserviently.

Hilary Clinton, sorry, Hillary Rodham Clinton always wears a pair of pants. So do I but I am a guy and so did Boy George, remember?

Language seems to sustain its form longer than the society in which it is used. There must be more expressions whose original contexts don’t exist anymore, like…I can’t think of good exaamples.  Anyone? 

06:59 PM Mar 01 2014 |


Viet Nam

for me, people who wants to wear pants in a relationship is likely to be self-centered and selfish, domineering, lacking of tolerance and respect to others and as you all know, these features would not bring about a good relationship. A couple fall in love to one another and then they make complain about how incompatible they are but most of the time they do not realize that one or both of themselves are insisting on wearing pants in their relationships. 

I always prefer wearing pants to skirts but i  am not a type of person who want to wear pants in a relationship with my partner. Laughing

11:13 PM May 15 2011 |


Saudi Arabia

think you english baby


04:12 PM Mar 13 2011 |



I think I would be the one who likes to wear the pants, but not most of the time. When it comes to big decisions, I would like both partners in the relationship to wear the pants. We need to respect each other.

06:02 AM Mar 10 2011 |

alfpcSuper Member!

Dominican Republic

Ohhh yeah, In my relashionship I'm the one who wear the pants. When my partner ask for someting I always say "Yes dear".

02:41 AM Feb 21 2011 |


Viet Nam

hi everyone!

please , tell me where i can listen the dialog?

08:23 AM Feb 20 2011 |



hay a want to learn english plz help me

02:34 PM Feb 19 2011 |



Russian Federation

You see! Mason is even ready not to wear pants for Ella:) What deep feelings! As for me I prefer pants, but I agree, respect is very important.

11:19 AM Feb 16 2011 |




well, the point is what kind of relationship (just for fun, a serious or the unclear one) are you trying to hold. its no important to know who's dominant or the decision maker if you cant identify what kind of relationship you have

02:31 PM Feb 15 2011 |



In my relationship, she and I don't wear the pants, I don't like to be dominant, and try to change her manner, and also she is special with me, she lets me to do things I want, It's a nice relationship, I like this way. :)

05:15 AM Feb 15 2011 |


Viet Nam

It's funny. Ella is smok'in hot. Even though, Mason should be careful. He might caught sick doesn't he? I am 100% sure that Mason will not be dominant in relationship with Ella if they have. 

People who wear the pants in the relationship is Ella. Do you think so?

02:02 AM Feb 15 2011 |

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