Views #564 | Intermediate 5

The Roommate

Jeff talks about having a roommate.
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Todd: Hey, Jeff this is a very nice apartment.

Jeff: Hmm. It's comfortable. It's cozy. Japanese style.

Todd: I like it. It's got the tatami mat, small kitchen. Do you live alone?

Jeff: I live alone but right now I have a friend of mine staying with me.

Todd: Oh, really, a roommate.

Jeff: Sort of like a roommate, yes. A short term, he's staying with me short-term, so yes a roommate.

Todd: OK, how's that going?

Jeff: Ah, I don't like it.

Todd: Why?

Jeff:He's lazy. He's messy. He drinks too much. He doesn't exercise and he doesn't contribute any money to the rent.

Todd: Ooh, so he lives here and he doesn't give you any money?

Jeff: Well, yeah, he doesn't give me any money. The money's not so bad, though, it's just that he's lazy and he doesn't do much all day.

Todd: That's got to be pretty annoying.

Jeff: He's a great fellow. He's a good friend of mine, but, yeah, he's, I try to motivate him to do a few things but he's a tough one.

Todd: Are you going to tell him he has to move out?

Jeff: Ah, no, he's a smart man. He knows. He knows. He knows the deal. He knows what's going on and I think he's, yeah, I would never ask him to move out because I don't mind having him here but I'm just going to try to whip him into shape.

Todd: Oh, so you're just going to try to change him so he becomes a better roommate?

Jeff: I'm going to be like a woman and try to, yeah, try to get him a better schedule, a better schedule (yeah) like exercise and eating right and less smoking and less drinking.

Todd: Well, what is his schedule?

Jeff:Ah, his schedule is, he's like a night owl, he stays up most of the night drinking, and then he sleeps most of the day recovering, and then when he gets up he has a hangover. He's a bit sluggish and slow, so it's not a healthy lifestyle.

Todd: Yeah, it doesn't sound like it. Good luck.

Jeff: No problem.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson


He's staying with me short-term.

A situation is 'short-term' if it will only be that way for a short period of time, a few weeks or months.  Notice the following:

  1. It's good this job is short term, because it's really hard.
  2. I will by staying with my parents short-term, just until I find my own apartment.


He doesn't contribute any money to the rent.

If you 'contribute' money, you give it to a certain cause.  In this case, he doesn't give any money, but he is living in the house.  We can use contribute for money, actions or time.  Notice the following:

  1. He never contributes to the electric bill, but he watches television all day.
  2. You need to contribute to keeping the house clean.

know what's going on

He knows the deal. He knows what's going on.

If he 'knows what's going on,' then he knows what other people are doing, like a gossip.  Notice the following:

  1. Call Sarah.  She usually knows what's going on.
  2. I don't know what's going on.  Who is he dating now?

whip into shape

I'm just going to try to whip him into shape.

If you 'whip someone into shape,' you force them to change their habits to something more appropriate.  Notice the following:

  1. They really whipped him into shape at military school.
  2. My new roommate is really messy around the house.  I need to whip her into shape.

night owl

He's like a night owl, he stays up most of the night drinking, and then he sleeps most of the day recovering.

A person who prefers to stay up late at night is a 'night owl.'  Notice the following:

  1. He is a night owl and I'm an early bird.  We are complete opposites.
  2. If you weren't such a night owl it would be easier to wake up early for school.

Vocabulary Quiz

short-term • contribute • what's going on
into shape • night owl
  1. She loves to dance all night, she really is a .
  2. If you don't get off the couch and help, I am going to whip you !
  3. In the , it is hard to get started, but after a while, you won't even notice .
  4. How could I possibly help you, I have no idea .
  5. If you would a little more, we may be able to pay rent this month.
Answer these questions about the interview.

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