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Break A Leg

Break A Leg English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Sep 14 2010

Themes: Music, Soap Opera

Grammar: Gerunds vs. Infinitives

Intro

1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

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2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

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The day of your big performance is finally here. You’ve been practicing every day for months. Just as you’re about to walk out on stage, your friend says to you, “Break a leg!”

What?

Surprisingly, when you say “break a leg” to a performer, it means “good luck”. Why not just say, “Good luck”? There’s an old superstition among actors and musicians that saying “good luck” actually brings bad luck. So they say, “Break a leg!”

Jason is about to go play a concert with his band. Watch what happens after his girlfriend Devan tells him to break a leg.

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Dialog

1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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

Jason

Jason

Devan

Devan

Jason:  Hey, sweetie! I’ve got my microphone, I’m going to head over to the show, and I’ll see you later, okay?

Devan:  Wait a second!

Jason:  What?

Devan:  What time are you coming home?

Jason:  I don’t know. I mean, we’re playing… probably last, so… probably over at midnight, or something… and there’s a big party afterward…

Devan:  Big party?

Jason:  Well, you can come if you want! You’re the one who wanted to stay home!

Devan:  I do want to stay home. I just don’t understand why you don’t want to come home afterwards. I don’t see why you’d rather hang out with a bunch of young girls than hang out with your girlfriend, but whatever. I mean…

Jason:  I love hanging out with you. I just want to celebrate, you know, after the big show.

Devan:  Yeah. Yeah, right, celebrate with a bunch of alcohol and girls that are trying to throw their bras at you. Great! Whatever! Fine!

Jason:  There’s no bra-throwing! God.

Devan:  Well, break a leg, I guessI guess

Jason:  What is that supposed to mean?

Devan:  What does “break a leg” mean?

Jason:  Yeah!

Devan:  The really common term that means “good luck”?

Jason:  Okay, well, thanks, I guess. You know… I’ll see you when I see you.

Devan:  Whatever.

Devan:  Hello?

Jason:  Hey, it’s me!

Devan:  Hey… what’s up?

Jason:  I actually broke my leg!

Devan:  What? You broke your leg?

Jason:  I fell off the stage during the show and I really hurt myself.

Devan:  Oh my God, this is all my fault! Do you realize this? This is all my fault!

Jason:  No, no, it’s not your fault. I mean, you wanted me to have a good show, and actually it was a really good show until I hurt myself…

Devan:  But then you literally broke your leg! It’s because I jinxed you, or cursed you or something. This is all my fault! It’s because I’m always, like, nagging you and being a mean girlfriend, and…

Jason:  No, don’t say that…

Devan:  ...and I should be nice to you because at any moment you could be in a hospital and do something worse than break your leg. I’m a horrible girlfriend! I’m going to make it up to you!

Jason:  It’s not your fault at all. You’re a great girlfriend. Just… just meet me at the hospital. I don’t know how I could deal with this without you, so. So, I’ll see you there in a few minutes, okay?

Devan:  I love you!

Jason:  I love you, too.

Devan:  Bye!

 

Grammar Point

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Quizzes

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Lesson MP3

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Discussion

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Devan’s boyfriend, Jason, is about to go play a concert with his band when they get into an argument. She wants him to come home after the show and he wants to party. As he leaves, she says, “break a leg” in a mean tone of voice. Even though she is saying something that is normally meant to be nice, the way she says it makes it mean.

At the concert, Jason actually breaks his leg. When he calls Devan on the phone to tell her, she thinks it’s her fault for saying “break a leg, I guess” in a mean way before he left. Jason says it’s not her fault. He reminds her that “break a leg” is just an expression. She didn’t actually want him to break his leg!

Do you think the accident is Devan’s fault? What do you say to a performer to wish him or her good luck in your country?

 

Comments

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MarkBrown

MarkBrown

China

Jason:  Well, we can come with you if you want. You don’t wanna him wanna stay home.


Devan: I do wanna him stay home. bla…bla…bla.


Jason:  I‘m loving hang out with you. I just want to celebrate, you know, after the big show.


12:12 PM Dec 20 2017 |

weah44

weah44

Sudan

simply  it  is  devan’s  desteny to  break his  leg,  in  other  word  it  is  not  any  one  fault , but  my view is people should  mind their  word  when  the  want  to  talk  , if  she  said  good  luck  instead  of  break  a leg  , she  would  not  repent when  he  broke  his  leg  ,  but  antithesis happened !!


it  a  good  lesson  actually  

01:46 AM May 03 2012 |

1 person likes this

Bassmah

Bassmah

Saudi Arabia

hahaha . ... that always happens

it's just a coincidence Surprised

05:39 AM Dec 22 2010 |

ruanjable

ruanjable

China

Devan is so lovely. what a thoughtful girl.

05:12 AM Nov 04 2010 |

Marcelolic

Marcelolic

Brazil

Hehehe Devan had no intention to wish Jason broke his leg but I guess words has much power when it are said! So I never say something "negative" to someone even though this is said with good intentions…

So when you wish to say someone good lucky just say "good lucky" :D

08:42 PM Sep 21 2010 |

1 person likes this

Anita Chung

Taiwan

I think maybe '' Break a leg'' is not  a good way for me to wish my friends ''good luck''... because I really think it's strange…

06:00 PM Sep 20 2010 |

kukuka

kukuka

Ukraine

we usually say, 'ни пуха, ни пера '...

08:14 AM Sep 20 2010 |

yassar2010

yassar2010

Syrian Arab Republic

yeah , it's devan's fult not for saying break a leg to him but cuz of nagging him for jealosy . in our country we say god be with u  and good luck.

09:02 PM Sep 19 2010 |

1 person likes this

andee1

andee1

China

yes is just Devan's fault indeed. because she said "break a leg i guess" to Jason. means jinx him to break him leg. very simple. "i love you" or "wish you all smooth" or "hope you have a good health."

02:56 PM Sep 19 2010 |

1 person likes this

Quarta Falcidia

Russian Federation

break a leg guys )

10:04 AM Sep 19 2010 |

gokuh

gokuh

India

In our country , v say all the best, as there is superstions over sayin gud luck actually brings bad luck.

08:39 AM Sep 19 2010 |

1 person likes this

gokuh

gokuh

India

This was really a great fun. gud joke actually brigs out through this lesson.

08:35 AM Sep 19 2010 |

1 person likes this

miss_eos

miss_eos

Viet Nam

Of course, it is not her fault. though she actually got a little bit angry to hear that he would be late, she really wished him good luck. What happened was out of expectation. However, I think this is a good lesson for her to learn to treasure her boy friend as he can end up something even worse than breaking his legs at any moment.

06:34 AM Sep 17 2010 |

1 person likes this

rosendo

rosendo

Mexico

Cool

09:42 PM Sep 16 2010 |

afufu

China

Of course, it's not Devan's fault. It has nothing to do with Devan. 

We always say good luck if we really wish a performer good luck. 

02:08 PM Sep 16 2010 |

1 person likes this

alighajar

alighajar

Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I want to say to brutish men that burn to honorable quran: if you don't have religion, at least be noble.(honor hossein (PBUH)

we blame US government's men because they allow this to happen.

08:05 AM Sep 16 2010 |

1 person likes this

Romio79

Romio79

Russian Federation

I guess Devan is not guilty unless she has paranormal skills or she is a witch or smth like that)) In Russia in order to wish a good luck Devan should say "neither fuzz nor fearther" and Jason should answer "go to the devil". This ideom is often used among students before exams. It originated from hunters. The fuzz express an animal and the fearther express a bird. So hunters do not wish good luck in direct way 'cuase they do not want to jinx a good hunt. Actually they do the opposite.

03:57 PM Sep 15 2010 |

1 person likes this

Brunapf

Brunapf

Brazil

Maybe she thought it was her fault because she got mad with him about the party, but obviously wasn't her fault…. it was something had to happen!!!!

 

06:55 PM Sep 14 2010 |

1 person likes this

mickee85

mickee85

Philippines

Wait, I don't get it. Why did Devan says it's all her fault?! she only says "break a leg" right? which means good luck, is there something wrong with it? confused

03:50 PM Sep 14 2010 |

1 person likes this

An-china

An-china

Germany

i know the meaning of "break a leg " today:)

  "word in word"is amazing. 

01:26 PM Sep 14 2010 |

1 person likes this

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