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VOA流行美语 - Lesson 64 - make a killing / break even

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今天李华和Michael在讨论做生意的事。 李华会学到两个常用语:to make a killing和to break even.

M: Li Hua, what are you looking at on the Internet?

L: 噢,我想在网上买个做豆腐的机器。我和一个朋友想做了豆腐周末拿到农民集市上去卖。 你说有人会买吗?

M: Of course people would buy your tofu! You'd make a killing!

L: Make a killing? 做豆腐和杀人有什么关系?

M: No, I said you'd "make a killing". "To make a killing" means to earn a lot of money quickly through some kind of lucrative business.

L: 唷, to make a killing就是通过做生意赚了许多钱! Michael, 这么说,你认为我们这个生意能做得成,是吗?我不知道美国人是不是爱吃豆腐呐。

M: Of course! A lot of people who don't eat meat, or who want to eat healthy foods eat tofu. Also, there are a lot of Chinese in this part of town. I'm sure you'll make a killing.

L: 对,好多美国人现在健康意识很强,不吃肉,爱吃豆制品。Michael, 你说得没错,这一带中国人也很多,肯定有人会买新鲜豆腐的。Michael, 你能不能再给我举一个例子呀?

M: Well, for instance, my uncle Roger made a killing in real estate. A few years ago, he bought a lot of land and then rich people started building houses in the area, and he made a lot of money.

L: 你叔叔几年前买了好多地,然后有钱人在这些地上盖房子,所以他就通过房地产生意赚了好多钱!他可真有远见呐!

M: You can also say to make a killing in the stock market, in the insurance business or even in the tofu business!

L: 噢,to make a killing in the stock market就是通过买卖股票赚了好多钱,in the insurance business就是保险业。可是,我想靠卖豆腐大概不会make a killing --赚不了太多钱。

******

M: Don't worry about losing money, Li Hua. At the very least, you will break even.

L: 你说我至少会什么?break even?

M: "To break even" means to neither lose nor gain money. If you do some business and are able to cover the costs of the business, but don't make a profit, you are breaking even.

L: 噢,那就是既不赚钱,也不亏本。做豆腐的机器不是太贵,所以,你说得对,要做到收支相抵, 也就是break even, 应该不会有问题。

M: Even if you don't earn a lot of money, if you break even you lose nothing, plus you get to enjoy lots of fresh tofu.

L: 唷,你倒想得好,不赚不赔没什么损失,还能吃好多新鲜豆腐!你不就是想不出钱白吃豆腐嘛!对不对?

M: What? I don't care that much about tofu. Stop being silly and use this phrase in a sentence.

L: 嗯...有了。我和我的朋友Regina上星期第一次去大西洋赌城玩。开始我们各自出了50 美元,可是不到一小时全输光了。后来我们两人各出10美元,合在一起,结果终于把100美元又赚了回来。所以,In the end, we broke even.

M: (Sarcastically) Wow. $50. Good thing you were able to break even, or you'd have to sleep in a cardboard box on the sidewalk.

L: Michael, 别小看人哪!输了50美元,我就得睡在马路上的纸箱里呀?哎,不过,说实话,50美元是不少钱,我本来就不该去赌钱。

今天李华学到两个常用语,一个是:to make a killing, 意思是做生意在短期内赚了很多钱。另一个是:to break even, 意思是做生意没有亏本,也没有赚钱。

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