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Ross’s sandwich was stolen!

In today’s blog post, you’ll learn English vocabulary by watching Ross from the TV series FRIENDS freaking out about a sandwich that was stolen from the refrigerator at work.

Ross’s sandwich was stolen despite him putting a note on top that clearly said it was his sandwich. So, Phoebe advises him to scare his co-workers so that such behavior will never happen again. That’s why Ross’s boss finally wants to speak with him.

For optimal results, please follow the five steps in the prescribed order:

  1. Watch with Subtitles
  2. Read the Transcript
  3. Learn the Vocabulary and Phrases
  4. Test yourself by watching the whole scene again
  5. Test yourself with some quiz questions

Step 1: Watch with Subtitles

Step 2: Read the Transcript

Donald: Umm, Ross. May I have a word with you?

Ross: Yeah, of course, Donald.

Donald: We’ve been getting reports of some very angry behavior on your part.

Ross: What?!

Donald: Threatening letters, refusal to meet deadlines. Apparently, people now call you mental.

Ross: Yeah.

Donald: We want you to speak to a psychiatrist.

Ross: Oh no, you don’t understand. This is so silly. Umm, this is all just because of a sandwich.

Donald: A sandwich?

Ross: Yeah. You see, my sister makes these amazing turkey sandwiches. Her secret is, she puts an extra slice of gravy-soaked bread in the middle; I call it the Moist Maker. Anyway, I put my sandwich in the fridge over here …

Donald: Oh, you know what?

Ross: What?

Donald: I’m sorry. I believe I ate that.

Ross: You ate my sandwich?

Donald: It was a simple mistake. It could happen to anyone.

Ross: Oh really? Did you confuse it with your own turkey sandwich with a Moist Maker?

Donald: No.

Ross: Do you perhaps remember seeing a note on top of it?

Donald: There may have been a joke or a limerick of some kind.

Ross: That said, it was my sandwich?!

Donald: Now, calm down. Come look in my office. Some of it may still be in the trash.

Ross: What?

Donald: Well, it was quite large. I had to throw most of it away.

Ross: You threw my sandwich away! MY SANDWICH?!!! MY SANDWICH!!!!!!

Step 3: Learn the Vocabulary

to have a word with someone (mainly US) = to have a brief conversation with someone

Example: I couldn’t have a word with the president because he was so busy.

By putting the word “may” in front of the phrase “May I have a word with you?“, Ross’s boss sounds more polite. He could’ve also used the words “can “or “could,” but the word “may “is the most polite and formal of the three.

Other Examples: “May I come in?” or “May I use your phone?”

threatening = You describe someone’s behavior as threatening when you think that they are trying to harm you.

By writing threatening letters, Ross is expressing a threat of harm to his co-workers if they don’t behave as he wants them to. And because of this and his refusal to meet deadlines, they call him mental.

Example: She received several threatening phone calls after her appearance on television.

to meet deadlines = to finish work on time, by the agreed date

By refusing to meet deadlines, Ross isn’t even trying to finish his work on time.

Example: She worked all night trying to meet the deadline.

mental = If you say that someone is mental, you mean that you think they are mad.

Someone who is mad has a mind that does not work in a normal way, with the result that their behavior is very strange.

What’s so funny here is that Ross feels honored by someone calling him mental. It’s likely because Ross thinks that his co-workers are finally taking him seriously. When, in fact, they think he’s just gone mad.

Example: The family has a history of mental disorder.

Example (mainly UK): You’d be mental to spend so much money on a dress.

gravy = a sauce made with meat juices and flour, served with meat and vegetables

Example: It is served with vegetables and tasty gravy.

to soak = to absorb liquid in large amounts

Example: He turned off the water and left the dishes to soak.

In this case, a slice of bread absorbed all the gravy. So it has soaked up all the sauce, or as Ross puts it, it is gravy-soaked.

moist = slightly wet, especially in a good way

Example: The soil is reasonably moist after the September rain.

Ross refers to the slice of bread in the middle, which soaked up the sauce, as the Moist Maker. It makes the turkey sandwich much better, as turkey meat is usually rather dry.

limerick = a humorous five-line poem with a particular rhyme

A limerick is a form of verse that appeared in England in the early years of the 18th century.

Example: Readers are encouraged to compose their own limericks.

So, Ross didn’t just put a note on his sandwich that said it was his. He even made the time to think out a limerick, which again shows how important that sandwich was to him.

trash (mainly US) = Trash consists of unwanted things or waste material such as used paper, empty bottles, and waste food.

Example: The yards are cluttered with trash.

Ross’s boss apparently referred to the trash can standing in his office, which is a container for waste.

Step 4: Watch without Subtitles

Step 5: Take the Test

Ross’s sandwich was stolen!

1 / 5

What does "to have a word with someone" mean?

2 / 5

What does "to meet a deadline" mean?

3 / 5

Please fill in the gap: If you say that someone is mental, you mean that you think they are ...... .

4 / 5

A sauce made with meat juices and flour, served with meat and vegetables is called a ...... ?

5 / 5

Donald threw the leftovers of Ross's sandwich ............ .

Your score is


Scene taken from Season 5, Episode 9 of FRIENDS: The One with Ross’s Sandwich | Definitions and example sentences in the video are partly taken from the Cambridge and Collins Dictionary.

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By Martin

Martin is the main contributor to this website. He loves to watch funny English sitcoms and inspirational videos and to read English books of different genres. Now, he wants to share his experience with you by posting funny and meaningful English lessons based on the sitcoms, videos, and books he loves so much.

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