Y: How about拳击比赛?
Oh, l ook at that. One of the boxers is really on the ropes.
Y: 那个拳击手被打得退到了角落，靠在绳子上on the ropes 。
P: Actually, Yang Chen, you can say that someone is "on the ropes" if he is in a bad situation or really close to losing. For example, Once the politician got caught taking bribes, he knew his campaign for re-election was on the ropes.
Y: 垂死挣扎, right?
P: Well, 没那么严重啦。It's more like陷入困境。Well, look. This guy is getting really pounded! If he keeps losing, his coach will have to throw in the towel.
P: Actually, Yang Chen, when someone throws the towel into the ring, that means he accepts defeat in the match.
Y: Oh throw in the towel 就是认输。
P: Right. You can say that any time you give up on something.
Y: For example?
P: I asked Karen out on a date 10 times, but each time she said no, so eventually I threw in the towel.
Y: Hmm,你才被拒绝了10次， 就 threw in the towel。太没有毅力了。
P: OK, coach, tell me when should I throw in the towel?