李华气喘吁吁地来接Larry 。李华今天要学两个常用语，off the hook和taken aback.
LL: Hey, I was about to call you. I was worried something happened to you, because you're really late!
LH: 实在对不起Larry, 路上出了点事。
LL: What kind of trouble? Was it a family matter? Are you ok?
LL: Uh oh. Did you get into an accident? I see you left your car running. Do you have engine trouble?
LL: Did he give you a ticket?
LH: 奇怪的是，警察没给我开罚单，但我的驾驶记录上恐怕已经有污点了。他还说，"he would let me off the hook."那是什么意思啊？
LL: Oh, that's a good thing in your case! In this situation, "off the hook" means that you will not be punished for a rule or agreement you violated. The phrase "off the hook" can also mean that a person is relieved of an unwanted responsibility.
LH: 哦，我明白了，off the hook就是脱身，或是摆脱责任的意思。怪不得那个警察说，"I'll let you off the hook with a warning."就是说警告一下，下次注意就行了。
LL: Yeah. Let's get in the car. Don't speed, because you might not be let off the hook this time if an officer catches you!
LH: 一定一定。哦，Larry, 我来晚了，你没生气吧？You will let me off the hook for being late, right?
LL: Sure! You're doing me a favor anyway. Let's get to the car mechanic's shop and see if he fixed the company car my boss lent me for this weekend's business trip.
LH: 对啊，最好别让你老板知道公司的车现在正在修车铺里。You'll be off the hook if your car is fixed.
LL: Can you think of any other time that you've been let off the hook? The last time my boss let me off the hook was... hmmm... Never!
LH: Hahaha! 别急，Larry, 五点以前我们肯定能赶到修车行。
LL: Well, it looks like I'm NOT off the hook. My car won't be ready until next Monday.
LL: He ignored me for five minutes, and then I finally yelled... excuse me, could I have some service, please? I was really taken aback by his rudeness.
LH: Taken aback? 他干嘛推你啊？我们可以告他们！
LL: No. 'Taken aback' means surprised or shocked by something. I was really surprised by his rudeness, because he ignored me even though I was the only customer in the store.
LH: 什么？只有你一个人，他还让你等那么久？太过分了。I am taken aback too. 我也觉得很吃惊。而且车也没修好！
LL: It's ok. He told me that the car's engine needs to be completely redone. It doesn't matter how fast he goes, because he needs to order new parts for replacement.
LH: 哦，原来是发动机坏了，要先去买零件，怪不得要那么长时间。Well, I'm taken aback by this whole situation.
LL: I'm taken aback by the mechanic's behavior AND the terrible situation I'm in.
LL: That's true. He'll still be taken aback, but not as much, because I'll still have a car to use for my business trip this weekend.
LL: Thanks a lot, Lihua. I'm really taken aback by your kindness!
LH: (Laughing) 你是说我平时对你不好吗？
LL: (Laughing) No, it's just that you have gone to a lot of trouble today to help me get out of this horrible situation!
LL: (Out of breath) Ok. It looks like I'm off the hook for the weekend - I got the last rental car available.
LL: You have a safe weekend too. And don't go over the speed limit. I'd be taken aback if the same officer caught you speeding again. He'd be so taken aback that you may get TWO tickets!
天李华学到了两个常用语。一个是off the hook,指摆脱困境和责任。另一个是taken aback,指感到吃惊。