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Twist One's Arm
Twist One's Arm English, baby! Video Lesson

Learn English with this relationship English lesson

Date: May 21 2013

Themes: Soap Opera

Grammar: Modal Verbs


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Sometimes winning an argument is just about applying pressure. It’s about pushing a little harder than the other person. Let’s say you really want to go out one night, and your partner really wants to stay in. You go back and forth about it for a bit, and then you say, “Please?” And then you say, “Oh, pretty please?” And then you say, “If we go out tonight, we can stay in all of next weekend.” That’s really putting pressure on your partner.

You call that kind of pressure twisting one’s arm. If you were in a physical fight with someone, you might stop them from hurting you by pinning their arm behind their back. But the way to really get them to give up is to twist their arm, so it hurts, and then they have to declare you the winner.

Mason still feels stuck about a disagreement he’s having with Amanda, but is it right to twist her arm? Find out in this relationship English lesson.


你可以将这种施压行为称作“twisting one’s arm”(强迫某人让步),这个词语的本意是拧某个人的胳膊。如果你正和某个人搏斗,你可能会将他的胳膊弯到他的背后,从而制止他伤害到你。但真正让他们缴械投降的方法是拧住他们的胳膊,这会很疼,他们也会因此不得不承认你赢了。


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





Mason:  So, I don’t know what to do. I really want to have a family right now. I’m so excited! But I don’t want to force Amanda to do it.

Marni:  Yeah, you don’t want her to have a baby before she’s ready.

Mason:   Right? I don’t want to twist her arm. It seems like the wrong way to bring a child into the world. How’d you get John to do it?

Marni:  Well, I didn’t have to get him to do it. We were just both ready.

Mason:  Huh. I’m jealous. You guys seem like you have the perfect relationship.

Marni:  Trust me, it is anything but perfect.

Mason:  OK, in what ways is it not perfect?

Marni:  Well, for example, I really wanted to paint the baby’s room yellow, and he really wanted to paint it blue. And I just had to twist his arm to come around to my way of thinking. But now he loves the yellow room, so…

Mason:  Yeah. Still jealous. That’s not that hard. Wait. Did you see that?

Marni:  Did that guy just steal that woman’s purse?

Mason:  Hey you!

Marni:  Oh god, I hope he doesn’t get hurt. Amanda will freak out. Oh my god, he caught him! Oh my god, that was amazing!

Mason:  Pretty great, huh?

Marni:  I can’t believe it. Especially when you pinned that guy down and twisted his arm behind his back.

Mason:  Yeah.

Marni:   I didn’t know you could do things like that.

Mason:  Well, you know, I was on the wrestling team in high school. I haven’t had the opportunity to bust out that move in awhile, but I guess I’ve still got it.

Marni:  I don’t think John can do anything like that. Wow. That was impressive.

Mason:  Yeah. I wish Amanda would’ve been here to see me do that. It probably would’ve convinced her to have a kid with me, right?

Marni:  Well… maybe.


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Mason and Marni are taking a walk. Mason is telling Marni that he still really wants to start a family, but he wants Amanda to do it when she’s ready. He doesn’t want to twist her arm.

Marni agrees that that seems like the right approach. Mason is jealous that Marni has it so easy in her relationship. Even something she thinks was a problem doesn’t sound like a problem to Mason.

Then, they both see someone commit a crime! Mason runs after the robber and uses a wrestling move he remembers. He twists the robber’s arm behind his back. Marni is very impressed. Unfortunately, though, that’s not the way to get Amanda to have a baby.

What do you do when you’re stuck in an argument with someone? What are ways you have of twisting someone’s arm?



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well,Ihave to say that I need twist my arm to pass my exams…

05:24 AM Jun 03 2013 |



Syrian Arab Republic

keep talking and giving examples and evidences

02:22 PM May 21 2013 |

Nicte ha

Nicte ha


I think I must twist my boss arm in order to get a better salary, hahahaha

02:11 PM May 21 2013 |




I will remember this phrase because of using it in literal and figurative sense in video :D And I don’t like when someone twists my arm and also I try not to do to others. 

01:39 PM May 21 2013 |

Ya Nina


Frankly speaking, I like very much when other people (who I need) take up my view point and my opinion. It doesn’t mean that I am a very hard-edged person who always try to give my opinion to somebody. It just means that it is very pleasantly when other people confide you. Certainly. there are times and very often when you need to hear different view points and opinions. Definitely, it is very important.

For me, if I need to twist someone’s arm, I try to give strong arguments, important details, instances of similar situations and its solution. In the another word I try to convince other person only honest understandable ways. Otherwise, false, indecent ways or direct force never make you happy even you become a winner at the some discussion or any other situation. 

12:30 PM May 21 2013 |



United Arab Emirates

i didn’t use this phrase before and i dont like to force someone to agree with me. if there are not agree with my opinion then that’s up to them.

11:43 AM May 21 2013 |

1 person likes this




I`d rather prefer  to reach  a consensus  decision  than putting preasure on  the other person  to accept  my way of thinking . I don´t like to twist anybody`s arm. If anything turns out wrong, then  I wouldn´t be  solely responsible  for  getting the other person into a wrong decision and be blamed for my poor choice.

11:10 AM May 21 2013 |

lion tear

lion tear


In our Arabic culture, the phrase “twist someone’s arm” has a slightly different meaning. It actually means to kind of threaten someone to do something by telling them that you will do something bad to them if they didn’t do what you want them to do. :P

But I guess both uses of the phrase are quite similar.

10:14 AM May 21 2013 |

1 person likes this

omar saidi

omar saidi

Tanzania, United Republic Of

It’s not a good jorking , you may broke your friend’s amr

I suggest ” Don’t try this for any one “

10:07 AM May 21 2013 |


NuriaRuizSuper Member!


I normally do not try to twist anyone’s arm. I don’t know why but I don’t like discuss and I’m prefer to twist my arm.

06:19 AM May 21 2013 |




My technique of convicing or having someone do thing in my way, in some extent, is similar to twist one’s arm. Just put the puresure on where it count at all cost.

05:29 AM May 21 2013 |

1 person likes this



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

sorry guys for saying that but Mason seems being all thumbs! if he really wants baby, he should have it already!! :D by the way, the best solution for him is to know why his wife hems and haws for being mother. you can clip your partner’s wings to reach what you want sometimes, but it lets her/him to play cat and mice with you to avoid being trapped next time! so i think twisting one’s arm doesn’t work always especially in a serious relationship, it’s just a way to scape from an awkward situation for a short time! hey guys!! please pay attention, never examine a woman by doing twist her arms, it may have some irrepairable results!!

05:21 AM May 21 2013 |



South Korea

to pin someone down on the ground or to twist one’s arm ….is a way to get winning . 

05:16 AM May 21 2013 |

1 person likes this



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

i think twisted the arm behind  back is the best way to do…

when do this , some body who commit the crime , can’t do anything i think

03:54 AM May 21 2013 |

1 person likes this

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