Take to the cleaners 让人掏空所有的钱

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The script of this programme 本节目台词

(Helen bumps into Rob in her local laundrette)

Helen: Hello Rob. I didn't know I would find you here. I love this launderette. The washing machines are very efficient.

Rob: I hope so. I bought a very expensive washing machine last weekend but when I put my clothes in it, they ended up dirtier!

Image caption Washing has inspired many idioms in English

Helen: What do you mean?

Rob: Well, apparently some oil is leaking in the motor and it stained all the washing! I'm trying to wash them again here in this launderette!

Helen: Oh, I can see all the yellowish stains… This white shirt… it's an expensive, designer one…

Rob: Yes, it is. That was my best shirt. It's probably ruined now! If this stain doesn't come out, I'll sue the washing machine manufacturers! I'll take them to the cleaners!

Helen: Calm down, Rob! It's the shirt that has to be taken to the cleaners!

Rob: Not exactly, Helen. In English, when we say we are going to 'take someone to the cleaners', we mean we're going to take a lot of money from them.

Helen: 这么说当我们听到 take someone to the cleaners 这个表达的时候,意思是从别人那里拿很多钱。你想让这家洗衣店赔偿你这件昂贵的衬衫,你要他们赔你很多很多钱,甚至于是他们所有的钱,你要他们倾家荡产吗?

Rob: Yes! I'm very angry with them. But we should point out that this expression can be used in a sports context too, when a team defeats another one by a large number of points.

Helen: Take to the cleaners 这个短语还可以用于体育比赛,如果一个队被打得落花流水,一败涂地就可以这么形容。

Rob: 'Take to the cleaners' is today's expression in Authentic Real English. Let's listen to some examples of how this phrase is used.

  • My husband cheated on me with my best friend! I'm going to get the best divorce lawyer in town and take him to the cleaners!
  • My team has the best players and we'll take you to the cleaners in this Sunday's match!

Helen: No need to sue the company, Rob. Call your washing machine manufacturer and ask them to replace it.

Rob: But I'm angry!

Helen: Don't be. I can take you to the cleaners, but not in the sense of this idiom. I can take you to the cleaners next door - the people who remove stains from clothes. They're very good.

Rob: OK. Well, do you think they might be able to remove this stain?

Helen: Of course they can. Come on, Rob.

Rob: OK. Come on, take me to the cleaners! Thanks, Helen.

Helen: You're welcome.Bye.

Rob: Bye.