281 tough call; tone it down

小燕下班后,跟Larry到一家爱尔兰酒吧去喝酒。今天我们要学两个常用语,一个是tough call, 一个是tone it down.

(Sound of a bar and Irish music in the background)

LL: Wow, Xiaoyan, you must be exhausted. Did you work a full shift?

XY: 我今天连着当了两班,double Shift, 快累瘫了。好在这是纽约,能赚不少小费。

LL: So let's eat and drink, shall we? Here's the menu.

XY: 好啊,我饿极了。你觉得点点儿什么好?

LL: It's a tough call, Xiaoyan. There are a lot of great choices, so it's difficult to say that one in particular is the best.

XY: 这有什么好难的!我告诉你什么叫难吧,我的日子才叫难呢!

LL: You know? You are different than Li Hua when you don't understand something. She's so sweet...and you're...

XY: 我怎么样?你是不是觉得我太张扬,不够温柔?我跟李华可不一样。(语气中带有一丝嫉妒)

LL: 'A tough call' is a difficult decision to make, especially when there are so many choices or when something is not clear. For example, choosing the best meal on this menu is a tough call, because so many choices are good!

XY: 我知道了,tough call是说很难选择。你是说菜单上很多东西好像都不错,所以很难决定,it's a tough call. 你看,这还有这么多种啤酒,我真不知道该点哪种。It's a tough call too.

LL: Not for me! Excuse me, waiter, I'll have a Guinness please. Make that two Guinnesses, because my friend here is battling a tough call on what beer to order. So have you had to make any other tough calls in your life recently, Xiaoyan?

XY: 有啊。我正拿不定主意,不知道该回去读书,还是再在金龙干一年,多赚点钱。It's really a tough call!

LL: Yeah, especially since you live in New York, where there are lots of opportunities, yet high costs of living. Ah, here come our beers!

XY: 来,让我们为年轻和机会干杯。


LL: The beers are good! How do you like your food, Xiaoyan? Is it better than Golden Dragon's food?

XY: Ha! That's not a tough call at all. 金龙的菜是最好的!

(Cut off due to blaring music音乐声音放大)

LL: (Shouting over the music)Wow that's loud! I wish they'd tone it down!

XY: 什么? Tone it down? 你是想说 turn it down 吧。

LL: Just a minute. (to the waiter) Hey, could you turn down the music, please? We're trying to have a conversation, and we can't hear each other's voices. Thanks!


XY: Larry, tone it down和turn it down的区别到底在哪里啊?

LL: Well, 'turn it down' means to reduce the noise level of things like music and overall voice level. 'Tone it down' means to cool the overall tone or attitude that someone or someplace has.

XY: 我有点明白了。Turn it down是降低音量。Tone it down是降低声调、语气、改善态度、变得更为和缓的意思。Tone it down能用来指行动吗?比如说,我想请你吃饭,因为我觉得你...

LL: Oh my, Xiaoyan. I think you DO need to tone it down. Perhaps you've had too many beers, haha!

XY: 那其他情况呢?比如说生活习惯和穿着打扮,can we use 'tone it down' for that, too?

LL: Yes. If people are acting out of control, or if they are wearing obnoxious clothing to a formal party, then they need to tone it down.

XY: (生气地) 你是说我的穿着、举止不得体吗?

LL: Hey, Xiaoyan, tone it down. There's no reason to get excited and upset at me. I don't mean YOU specifically. I'm talking about a situation in general.

XY: 那好,这次原谅你。啊,你看那个男的,怎么穿了一件粉红色的外衣,太离谱了。Now, HE needs to tone it down. 不好,他好像冲我们走过来了。

LL: It's your lucky day, Xiaoyan. He's coming over here to buy you a drink!

XY: 不好,三十六计走为上!我们赶快买单吧。

LL: Absolutely. Check please!

我们今天学习了两个常用语。一个是tough call, 意思上很难做的选择。另一个是tone it down, 是指降低语音、语调,让举止、态度变得更加和缓的意思。