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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Eric: Expressions to Describe Focusing on Something
Eric: Hi everyone, and welcome back to GermanPod101.com. I'm Eric.
Jennifer: And I'm Jennifer!
Eric: This is Must-Know German Slang Words and Phrases, Season 1, Lesson 16. In this lesson you'll learn how to say that you’re staying focused on something.
Eric: German people often like to stay focused on one topic, and they’ll use these phrases to make the subject clear.
SLANG EXPRESSIONS
Eric: The expressions you will be learning in this lesson are:
Jennifer: Am Ball bleiben.
Jennifer: Auf Biegen und Brechen.
Jennifer: Etwas auf Vordermann bringen.
Jennifer: Mit Haut und Haaren.
Eric: Jennifer, what's our first expression?
Jennifer: Am Ball bleiben.
Eric: This literally means "to stay on the ball." It’s used in the same way as the English expression.
Jennifer: [SLOW] Am Ball bleiben. [NORMAL] Am Ball bleiben.
Eric: Listeners, please repeat.
Jennifer: Am Ball bleiben.
[pause - 5 sec.]
Eric: Use this slang expression when you want to mention that you’re staying focused on something. Now let's hear an example sentence.
Jennifer: [NORMAL] Wenn man etwas erreichen möchte, ist es wichtig immer am Ball zu bleiben. [SLOW] Wenn man etwas erreichen möchte, ist es wichtig immer am Ball zu bleiben.
Eric: "If you want to achieve something, it is very important to stay on the ball. "
Jennifer: [NORMAL] Wenn man etwas erreichen möchte, ist es wichtig immer am Ball zu bleiben.
Eric: Okay, what's the next expression?
Jennifer: Auf Biegen und Brechen.
Eric: Which literally means "by hook or by crook." When it's used as a slang expression, it means "by any means necessary."
Jennifer: [SLOW] Auf Biegen und Brechen. [NORMAL] Auf Biegen und Brechen.
Eric: Listeners, please repeat.
Jennifer: Auf Biegen und Brechen.
[pause - 5 sec.]
Eric: Use this slang expression when all possible options should be taken to accomplish a goal. Let's hear it used in a sentence.
Jennifer: [NORMAL] Ich muss das Projekt auf Biegen und Brechen zu Ende bringen. [SLOW] Ich muss das Projekt auf Biegen und Brechen zu Ende bringen.
Eric: "I have to finish the project by any means possible."
Jennifer: [NORMAL] Ich muss das Projekt auf Biegen und Brechen zu Ende bringen.
Eric: Okay, what's our next expression?
Jennifer: Etwas auf Vordermann bringen.
Eric: Literally, this means "to bring something to the person in front." But when it's used as a slang expression, it means "to bring something up to scratch."
Jennifer: [SLOW] Etwas auf Vordermann bringen. [NORMAL] Etwas auf Vordermann bringen.
Eric: Listeners, please repeat.
Jennifer: Etwas auf Vordermann bringen.
[pause - 5 sec.]
Eric: Use this slang expression when you want to fix something up, put it back into good condition, bring it up to the standard. Now let's hear an example sentence.
Jennifer: [NORMAL] Bevor ich das Handy verkaufe, muss ich es auf Vordermann bringen. [SLOW] Bevor ich das Handy verkaufe, muss ich es auf Vordermann bringen.
Eric: "Before I will sell my phone, I have to bring it up to scratch."
Jennifer: [NORMAL] Bevor ich das Handy verkaufe, muss ich es auf Vordermann bringen.
Eric: Okay, what's the last expression?
Jennifer: Mit Haut und Haaren.
Eric: Literally meaning "with skin and hair." As a slang expression, this means "put your heart and soul into something."
Jennifer: [SLOW] Mit Haut und Haaren. [NORMAL] Mit Haut und Haaren.
Eric: Listeners, please repeat.
Jennifer: Mit Haut und Haaren.
[pause - 5 sec.]
Eric: Use this slang expression when you want to express that you’re putting forward all your efforts towards something. Let's hear an example sentence.
Jennifer: [NORMAL] Ich bin mit Haut und Haaren dabei. [SLOW] Ich bin mit Haut und Haaren dabei.
Eric: "I'm giving it my all."
Jennifer: [NORMAL] Ich bin mit Haut und Haaren dabei.
QUIZ
Eric: Okay listeners, are you ready to be quizzed on the expressions you just learned? I’ll describe four situations, and you choose the right expression to use. Are you ready?
Eric: You’re using all possible means to accomplish a goal. Which slang do you use?
[pause - 5 sec.]
Jennifer: Auf Biegen und Brechen.
Eric: "by any means necessary"
Eric: You want to mention that you’re staying focused on something. Which slang do you use?
[pause - 5 sec.]
Jennifer: Am Ball bleiben.
Eric: "to stay on the ball"
Eric: You want to express that you’re putting all your efforts towards something. Which slang do you use?
[pause - 5 sec.]
Jennifer: Mit Haut und Haaren.
Eric: "put your heart and soul into something"
Eric: You want to fix something up, and repair it so that it’s back in good condition. Which slang do you use?
[pause - 5 sec.]
Jennifer: Etwas auf Vordermann bringen.
Eric: "to bring something up to scratch"

Outro

Eric: There you have it; you have mastered four German slang expressions! We have more vocab lists available at GermanPod101.com, so be sure to check them out. Thanks everyone, and see you next time!
Jennifer: Bis zum nächsten Mal!

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Hi Listeners! Do you know any other related slang expression? Post them in the comments.