LH: Larry, 我看到一张爵士音乐会的海报。我很想去。怎么样，你下星期三有没有空去听呢？
LL: I don't know. I have several papers due next week and I'm not sure if I'll have time. Let's play it by ear, okay?
LH: 哇，你下星期得交好几份报告啊？那肯定没有空了。哎，你刚才说： Let's play it by ear。你想玩什么啊？玩耳朵？
LL: No! "To play something by ear" is to wait and see if something is possible and to be flexible rather than set any firm plans.
LH: 噢，play something by ear就是想做一件事，可是又不能确定是否可能，只好到时候看情况再说，就像中文里说的“看情况而定”！
LL: Right. I just can't make any definite plans right now, so I prefer to play it by ear.
LH: 所以你刚才的意思是，你要再等等看能不能及时写完报告，然后才能确定能不能去音乐会！ 对了，你不是答应我下星期六去博物馆吗？你还能去吗？
LL: Oh, I forgot that I promised to go with you. Can we play that by ear, too?
LL: Just because I want to play it by ear doesn't mean that we definitely won't go. It just means that I'm not certain.
LH: Larry，下回你要约我上那儿去，我也学你说：Let's play it by ear, 到时候再说！
LL: That's not fair, Li Hua. It's not my fault that I can't make any definite plans because I have so much work to do.
LL: All right, I'll call you the day before the concert to let you know if we should get tickets, okay?
LH：到音乐会前一天再告诉我，那还买得到票呀！ Let's play it by ear!
LL: Hey, Li Hua, I can't go to the concert with you. I'm sorry, but I'm really strapped for time.
LH: 噢，Larry，你不能去听音乐会。没关系。我听说票子早卖完了。你刚才说：strapped for time，那是什么意思啊？
LL: Oh, to be "strapped" for time or money means that you don't have enough of it.
LH: 噢，我懂了。Strapped for something就是缺少什么东西。你因为有很多报告要完成，所以没有时间去听音乐会了。You're strapped for time。对吗？
LL: Exactly. I still have 20 pages to write by Friday.
LL: Yes！I should be finished with everything by Friday, so I won't be strapped for time this weekend.
LH: 你真的能在星期五以前把报告都写完呐！那你这个周末就有时间陪我去看博物馆了。You'll not be strapped for time this weekend, right?
LL: Yes, I promise to go with you.
LH: 那太好了！我很高兴这个星期六我们能一块儿出去，因为下个周末我就要忙了，I will be strapped for time next weekend!
LL: Why? Do you have a paper due?
LL: Let me know if you need any help with that. Listen, I'm sorry, but I'm too strapped for time to talk any more right now. I'll talk to you after Friday, okay?
今天李华学到两个常用语。一个是play something by ear, 就是现在还不能确定，要等到时候看情况再说。另一个常用语是strapped, 也就是缺乏什么，通常是指缺乏时间或金钱。